Did dig in my Purple Sweet Potatoes and Okinawan Sweet Potatoes before the frost and hard freeze but did not post last Monday because I had no photos.
As the photo of the Purple SP below illustrates my harvest consists of different sizes and shapes, would be nice if they were more uniform but not complaining.
Purple Sweet Potatoes
The Purple SP on the left weighed in around 2 pounds, the little one on the right weighed in at 4 ounces.
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July of last year I received a gift of Okinawan SP slips from Angie, The Novice Gardener. I did not succeed due to the late start. Decided to grow slips as houseplants over the winter so that I could try again this year.
Will I succeed if I start early? From all that I have read the growing season in the Hudson Valley is too short for growing Okinawan sweet potato.
But what if I start really early, like March? I actually started March 10, indoors.
As you can see from the photo below, I succeeded. Got 5 good size Okinawan SP from 1 plant (planted 2 plants but one did not make it) the largest weighing 9½ ounces for a total of 2+ pounds. Not a huge success but not bad either.
I am going to try again next year, putting one plant in a very large container (black if I can locate one) and one maybe 2 in the garden for comparison. Wonder how different the results will be?
Okinawan Sweet Potatoes & Vine
As the above photo shows, I managed to spear all 5 of the tubers.
You see, the tubers of the Purple SP form pretty close to the soil surface and I assume it is the same with the Okinawan SP, so when I carefully remove a few inches of soil from around the base of the plant and saw no tuber, figured I had failed again so pushed my garden fork down to turn over the soil. Well the minute I did that I hit something hard and knew I had speared a tuber. Now you think I would be smart enough to get down on my hands and knees and use a hand trowel to see if there are any more tuber/s buried in the soil, but no, I continued to dig with my garden fork and speared all the tubers.
I am not the brightest light bulb.
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The 2 photos below are of uncooked and cooked Purple SP and Okinawan SP.
Cross Sections of Uncooked Purple Sweet Potato (left) & Okinawan Sweet Potato (right)
Steamed & Peeled Purple Sweet Potato (left) & Okinawan Sweet Potato (right)
Both the Purple SP and Okinawan SP are of the “dry flesh” type. I find the Okinawan a tad drier than the purple. Both are tasty.
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Planted my garlic, again only planting 2 varieties – German White and Duganski.
For garlic planting how to, visit Cornell’s Vegetables Growing Guide – Garlic.
Each head of the German White is made up of 5-6 large/huge cloves, each head of the Duganski is made up of 10-12 small cloves.
German White Garlic (left) & Duganski Garlic (right)
As you can see from the above photo one clove of German White is the equivalent of 2-3 cloves of the Duganski.
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Had a bit of time on my hand and was in the groove to put up some of my remaining garlic into the freezer. But before I do that I had to separate & peel each clove, roast them, cool, do an IQF (individual quick frozen), pack into freezer bag, date & label then return the filled bags to the freezer.
Duganski Garlic Cloves
The above is only ¼ of the amount I needed to peel.
After trying different methods, personally I found the following the easiest:
Easiest Garlic Peeling Method
1. Place garlic cloves in a container and cover with luke-warm water.
2. Allow to soak for at least 5 minutes.
3. Drain and peel. If the peel is not coming off easily, soak a few minutes longer.
Soaking Duganski Garlic Cloves
4. Rinse and drain peeled garlic cloves.
5. Spread on a clean dish towel and pat dry.
Peeled Duganski Garlic Cloves
Stove-Top Roasting Peeled Garlic Cloves
1. Place peeled garlic cloves in a heavy bottom pot/pan.
2. Add oil to coat each clove.
3. Cover pot/pan and place on stove. Turn stove to medium low.
4. Roast on medium low temperature until garlic cloves are soft, shaking pot/pan every now and then to toss around cloves for even roasting.
NOTE: Due to the different sizes, I roasted the Duganski and the German White separately, the Duganski took about 30 minutes the German White took about 45 minutes.
Stoved-top Roasted Duganski Garlic
5. Spread roasted and cooled garlic cloves, single layer, on a plastic lined sheet pan.
6. Cover with plastic and place in freezer.
Roasted Duganski Garlic ready for the freezer
7. Once frozen, transfer to freezer bag/s, date, label and return to freezer for future uses.
Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) Duganski & German White Garlic
I combined the roasted Duganski and German White and filled 3 quart-sized bags. This should hopefully last until next year’s harvest, doubtful though.
There are endless uses to frozen roasted garlic, add to stir-fry, sauces, stews, dips, spreads, …, and because the cloves are IQF it is easy to just take out the amounts called for in recipes.
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Two or maybe it was 3 years ago Mac, High Desert Garden, gifted me with a few Goji sprigs for rooting. They not only rooted they flourished in my garden and this year I am harvesting a few fresh Goji berries. The plant survived the recent frost and hard freeze so I guess it is very hardy, the plant also tolerates shade.
I don’t know much about using Goji and would welcome any feedback and suggestions. Understand both the leaves and the berries are supposed to be good for ones health and has anti-aging properties (wondering how much I need to consume to get rid of my wrinkles)?
Tasted the berries, they are slightly sweet/sour kind of tomatoey flavor and leaves a slight medicinal aftertaste (not unpleasant) in the mouth.
Fresh Goji Berries (aka Wolfberries) & a Corn Kernel
That is a kernel of corn next to the Goji berry. The yellow spots in the cross sections are seeds. I counted 7 seeds.
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Completely forgot to harvest my Asian pears before the hard freeze and lost all that were on the tree, which was most of the crop, ah well lesson learned, will remember next year.
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