Harvest Monday, March 23, 2015 – Overwintered Root Crops + Thyme Harvest

Happy Spring!

March, 20, 2015 did not look or feel like the First Day of Spring. Can you believe we had snow? Not an awful lot, about 3 inches.

But spring will arrive, the sun will shine, all the snow will disappear, the grounds will thaw and I will be planting in my garden with harvest to follow in the not too distant future.

Below photo shows the last of my overwintered root crop that were stored in foam ice chests in my unheated garage.

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Overwintered Root Crop. Left to right Top: Sunchoke, aka Jerusalem Artichoke (from LGHVG), Lutz Beet, Celeriac. Center: Parsnips, Carrots. Bottom: Purple & Orange Carrots from Transplants

I forgot to take photos of how I stored the root crop in the foam ice chests so you will just have to use your imagination, so sorry.

This is how I prepared the root crops for storage:
Placed about a 1-inch thick layer of pro-mix (sand will work also) in the bottom of a clean foam ice chest
Placed unblemished and unwashed root crop on top of pro-mix and covered all with a layer of pro-mix (some of the mix will settle between the root crops)
Covered ice chest with lid (slightly askew) and placed along outside wall of the garage.
Used throughout the winter as needed.

This is how I cooked the above root crops:

Peeled the sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke), celeriac, parsnips and carrots. Cut into bite-sized chunks. Placed on sheet pan with a few crushed garlic cloves (from indoor storage), few sprigs of thyme (from garden). Tossed with olive oil, S&P. Roast in 400º preheated oven until tender, about 40 minutes. Served as a side.

Cut the beet in half lengthwise. Tossed with a bit of olive oil and salt. Wrapped in foil and placed in oven same time as the other root crops. When cooled, peeled and cut into small cubes, tossed with unseasoned rice vinegar, bit of sugar, salt, minced ginger and lemon zest.

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You may remember the thyme photo below from my February 9 post.

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Overwintered Thyme

The thyme in the photo below is the same thyme plant as the one in the photo above when a lot of the snow disappeared this past week.

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Overwintered Thyme

Harvested a few sprigs of the above thyme to add to the roasted root crop (oops, again no photo, can’t believe my first harvest of the year and I forgot to take photos).

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Overwintered Scallions

The scallions survived the winter. This week, weather permitting, I will clean up the area, carefully remove all the dead scallion parts and new plants should be coming up along the sides of each.

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Overwintered Sage

The sage also survived the harsh winter. After tidying up the area I will prune the plant to keep it under control.

The twig in front is the seed stalk of a cilantro plant that I never got around to take care of last fall. The seeds have fallen to the grounds. As soon as the soil warms up I should see many volunteer cilantro plants appearing. The benefit of a lazy and disorganized gardener.

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The celeriac seeds germinated, took 10 days.

Did more indoor seeding: Radicchio/Chicory, Chard, Kohlrabi and Collard.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest MondaysMonday

Posted in Cooking, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Herbs, Heritage vegetable garden, Locust Grove, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

Harvest Monday, March 16, 2015 – More Indoor Seed Starting + Updates

This past week was a week of waiting.

Waiting for the snow to disappear.

Unfortunately my yard (front, sides and back) is still white. First day of spring is this Friday, March 20, only 4 days away, will all the snow disappear by then?

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Photo taken March 15, 2015

There is hope, the above photo taken yesterday shows non-white (grassy) areas along the side of my walkway leading up to the front door. Today is going to be warm so will most of the week and by the end of the week all of the snow will disappear????? Wishing. Well, not all but most.

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Waiting for the seeds I started the week before to germinate.

Good news! Four of the 6 variety of onions germinated (5 days) so did the leeks (5 days) and both carrots (yellow & purple 6 days).

The yellow flat Dutch onion, Brunswick onion and celeriac hopefully will germinate this week.

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Onion seedlings under grow lights

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Last week I started 6 varieties of lettuce. These are for container gardening.

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Lettuce: Deer Tongue, Romaine, Oak Leaf, Lolla Rosa, Forellenschluss & Cimarron

Because the lettuces do not all germinate at the same time, I cut the cell packs in halves enabling me to move the germinated ones under the grow lights ASAP.

The Forellenschluss germinated (3 days) and is under the grow lights. The others should germinate this week, I think.

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This past week I also started Shanghai Bok Choy, Calabrese Broccoli and Happy Rich Asian green (a cross between gai lan and broccoli but much easier to grow than gai lan). These are for container gardening also.

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Left to right: Shanghai Bok Choy, Calabrese Broccoli & Happy Rich Asian Green

All the above germinated  in 3 days and are now under the grow lights (below photo).

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Shanghai Bok Choy, Calabrese Broccoli, Happy Rich Asian Green & Forellenschluss Lettuce under grow lights

It will be a long while before my garden is dry enough for me to till for early spring planting so all the above and all the lettuces will be grown in containers. In a few weeks I will start additional seeds for whenever the garden is ready.

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I stored one of the pencil thin Okinawan sweet potato from last fall’s harvest in plastic bag hoping it would make it through the winter.

It did but was all shriveled up. Decided to soak it in water overnight to see what would happen, and, to my amazement, it plumped up.

Okinawan sweet potato

Okinawan Sweet Potato

Debated whether to root in it water or plant it in pro-mix. Chose the latter and hoping it will root and sprout (the re-purposed tofu container was just the right size). But if it does not, that’s OK as I will be rooting cuttings from my fall potted slips that are now growing as houseplants.

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Also this past week I started rooting Purple and Georgia Jet sweet potato slips for Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden (LGHVG).

Click here to  learn which end of the sweet potato to immerse in water when rooting. Click here to learn all about growing sweet potato.

First day of spring is Friday, March 20, only 4 days away.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

Posted in Gardening, Growing sweet potatoes, Harvest Monday, Heritage vegetable garden, Locust Grove, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Harvest Monday, March 9, 2015 – Indoor Seed Starting

I am so blessed!!!!! This past week, one of my garden friends gifted me with a bucket of pro-mix enabling me to start my onions, leeks and celeriac seeds.

Still unable to get into my shed for the needed seed starting containers, decided to retrieve the mushroom containers from the recycle bin and repurpose as seed starting containers (after cutting a hole in each corner for drainage). Made my own plant labels/markers using toothpicks, paper and clear tape.

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Left to right: Black container – Leek, King Richard (2 rows). Blue containers, onions (1 row each) Yellow Flat Dutch, Brunswick, Cipollini, Hybrid Red Cabernet F1, Southport White Globe & Heshiko Evergreen Bunching

After filling containers with pro-mix, I tap each gently on a hard surface to settle the mix, made 2 shallow rows, sow the seeds, cover lightly with milled sphagnum moss, water (from the bottom so as not to disturb the seeds), cover with plastic film and place in a warm place. Will check daily for germination. Place under grow light once seedlings emerge.

leek & onions seed package (07247)Growing more varieties of onion but fewer plants of each. Experimenting to see which ones grow better in my garden and which ones store better.

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You must be wondering: What is that light color stuff marking the rows in the first photo? It is NoDampOff. A unique blend of finely milled Wisconsin long fibered sphagnum moss.

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Sphagnum moss naturally sterile feature prevents damping-off disease.

I have been using this and similar products for years and have had very good results. So you can imagine how upset I was when I realize my bag of sphagnum moss is in the shed and I cannot get to it. Fortunately I found the above at Poughkeepsie Adams in the greenhouse section  (I previously found it in their garden center may be it will be on the shelf at a later date). The cost is $4.99 for 222 cu.in (3.6L). A little goes a long way and this bag will last me a number of years.

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Celeriac, Large Smooth Prague

Two (2) seeds to a cell, will thin to one after they germinate.

Half of the celeriac is for my daughter and son-in-law. They do not have grow light so I start some seeds for them.

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Celeriac seeds, a pin & 3 onion seeds

As you can see from the above photo, the celeriac seeds on the left is very tiny, the size of a pin head. To the right are 3 onion seeds for comparison.

seed starting hint (07254)To make seeding easier, I enlisted the help of a ball point pen cap. Makes it a whole lot easier to pick up the seeds and place them where you want. (I use the pen cap for larger seeds as well.)

Some of you may recall my 2/13/12 post titled: Two (2) Must Have Seed Starting Tools, click here for post.

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Continuing my carrots transplant experiment.

Again some of you may recall my 2014 fall carrot experiment, click here (and scroll down) and here for the 2 posts.

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Left to right: Carrot – Jaune Obtuse du Doubs & Cosmic Purple

Using Jaune Obtuse du Doubs (a yellow carrot) and Cosmic Purple for this experiment. Seeds are sown in 6-inch deep milk containers (holes cut in the bottom for drainage). I plan to allow the carrot roots to grow as deep as possible in the container. The longer roots will be easier to work with allowing me to keep them straight during transplanting also there should be less root damage. Will keep you up-to-date with my experiment.

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This week I should start seeding lettuce and Asian greens also rooting Purple and Georgia Jet sweet potatoes for Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden (purple for myself as well, I do not like Georgia Jet).

According to the weather report, we are going to have above freezing temperature during the day for a whole week. Yeah, a heat wave! (Nighttime temp will still be below freezing though.) Which means I should clear away (again) the accumulated snow from the front of my shed door and hopefully the ground underneath the ramp will thaw allowing me to adjust it so I can open the door.

By the end of the week the snow piles should be lowered and perhaps we will see patches of grass somewhere.What a winter this has been!

First day of spring is only 11 days away.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

Posted in Gardening, Harvest Monday, Heritage vegetable garden, Locust Grove, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Only In New York

Have wanted to organize my photos for a long, long time and it was on my 2014 end-of-year-to-do list, but never got done because I was not feeling up to par. Now that I am feeling a lot better decided to tackle it before gardening season rolls around.

While organizing, came across the following photos:

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Man walking his pet turtle on the sidewalk of 5th Avenue by Central Park, NYC

Yes, that’s a man walking his turtle on the sidewalk of 5th Avenue by Central Park, NYC. The turtle is a she and her name is Cindy.

When I saw the sight, my first thought was “Only in New York!”

What are your thoughts?????

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Turtle on the sidewalk of 5th Avenue by Central Park, NYC

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Same Turtle, different angle

Above photos were taken in the spring of 2013 by my daughter Kathy when we visited NYC
Thank you Kathy!!!!!

Wondering if the man is still walking his turtle?

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Would you believe it snowed again yesterday (March 1). Doesn’t mother nature realize we do not need any more snow?

The temperature has been way below freezing for weeks (day and night) as a result the accumulated snow is not melting. Yesterday’s fresh snow added a few more inches on top of the more than 1½ feet of snow still covering the ground not to mention the more than 4 feet high snow bank by my driveway.

This is from this morning’s local paper: “According to the National Weather Service, February was, on average, the coldest month on record in Poughkeepsie with an average temperature of 15.6 degrees.” Poughkeepsie Journal, March 2, 2015

First day of spring is only 18 days away, when will I see some grass? Will I have a spring garden?????

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Posted in Husdon Valley, New York, New York City | Tagged , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Harvest Monday, February 23, 2015 – Sprouting Adzuki Beans

Was not going to publish a post today as I was annoyed at myself for spilling my 2nd batch of successfully sprouted adzuki bean before I took photos. No sprouts no new recipe.

After I calmed down, realized there is a lesson to be learned here. Decided to work with the photos I had and reblog photos and recipes from previous posts.

As I had suspected, reason for the failure in the first batch was because the beans were too “old”. Most were not viable and would not germinate (still good for soup and other bean dishes but not for sprouting).

The newly purchased adzuki beans sprouted without any issues.

Note the differences between the 2 photos below:

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Adzuki beans after overnight soaking.

The adzuki beans in the above photo were the beans I had in the pantry for a while, may be 2 years or more, after overnight soaking I did notice that more than half of the beans did not plump up but did not think anything of it.

The beans that plumped up sprouted but the un-plumped (is there such a word?) beans did not.

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Adzuki beans after overnight soaking.

The adzuki beans in the above photo were the newly purchased beans. Notice how all the beans are plumped and ready to germinate. Yes, all the beans sprouted.

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The 3 photos below (previously published on 1/22/13, click on link for the complete post) show the different stages of the sprouts.

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This is what the sprouts look like after 24 hours. The tiny roots are just appearing.

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This is what the sprouts look like after 48 hours (on the second day) The roots are about ¼ inch long. This is the stage I prefer.

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This is what the sprouts look like after 72 hours (on the third day) The roots are about ½ inches long

NOTE: Sprouts will sprout quicker if you live in warmer climate or is sprouting during warmer weather. If it is hot and humid, you may need to rinse your sprouts 3 times a day instead of 2. Since I sprout during the winter, I rinse twice daily, in the morning and in the evening.

Lesson learned:
When soaking beans for sprouting, if many of the beans did not plump up after the required soaking period, forget about sprouting, make soup or other bean dishes with the soaked beans instead.

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Below are photos of 2 dishes I created using adzuki beans sprouts.

Adzuki Bean Sprouts & Winter Root Vegetables Stew

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Adzuki Bean Sprouts & Winter Root Vegetables Stew

Click here for recipe

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Adzuki Bean Sprouts Salad with Sesame Dressing

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Adzuki Bean Sprouts Salad with Sesame Dressing

Click here for recipe

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I do need to get into my shed to retrieve my seed starting supplies. Hoping there would not be any more significant snow fall decided, on Wednesday, to clear away the snow from the front of my shed door. Guess what? Woke up to more than 3 inches of additional snow fall yesterday (Sunday) morning, I was not a happy trooper.

shed door (07237)Even though I cleared away the snow I could not open the shed door. The ramp had shifted a bit preventing the door from opening, a big disappointment. Will have to wait until the ground thaw to reposition the ramp. Hoping for warm weather.

Still without my seed starting supplies so off to the garden center to buy what I needed.  Found cell packs and trays but no pro-mix. I need my pro-mix! Hope the supply arrives at the garden center soon.

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The deep snow did not keep the deer away, in the photo below are some foot prints they left in the snow between my back door and the shed.

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Deer foot prints in the snow

First day of spring is only 25 days away!

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

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