Harvest Monday, January 18, 2016 – Container Peppers

Today’s container peppers are from my daughter’s sunny patio. For some unknown reason peppers do not grow well in her garden. Two years ago (2014) I suggested she try growing peppers in containers and gave her 2 pepper plants in 2-gallon containers. She had very good results and decided to do the same again last year (2015) but using larger containers and that made a huge difference. She harvested enough peppers from just the 2 plants for all her needs plus extra to share with neighbors.

Sweet Peppers
Left Photo : Jimmy Nardello. Right Photo: Doe Hill Golden Bell.

I emphasized that there be only one pepper plant in each 6.87 gallons (26 liter) container.

Two peppers, 1 sweet 100 cherry tomato, 2 bins of potatoes & the

Pepper Seedlings on May 24, 2015

The above pepper seedlings are thinning from Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden that I brought home and nursed.

At LGHVG, seeds are sown in cell packs, 2 seeds per cell. Seedlings are thinned to one plant before being bumped up into 3″ container and us volunteers are the beneficiaries of the extra seedlings from the thinning.

Both pepper plants are very happy and growing well on the patio where they receive full sun. The plants were kept adequately watered throughout the growing season and fertilized once a week with water-soluble fertilizer following package directions.

Immature peppers
Left photo: Jimmy Nardello. Right photo: Doe Hill Golden Bell.

Peppers ready for harvest

By planting only one pepper plant in each container, there was no overcrowding and both plants produced abundantly. My daughter did not buy a single pepper from the food market.

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Gifts from Mother Nature

November and December, 2015 was unusually warm in the USA Northeast, there were a few below freezing and frosty nights during those months but because my daughter’s 2 pepper plants and one cherry tomato plant were in containers, she was able to bring them into the garage at night and take them out during the day. Having the foresight to place wheels under each container made it easy to wheel them in and out.

All the photos below were taken during December, 2015 in Massachusetts where my daughter lives.

December 15, 2015 - last pepper

December 15, 2015 – last of the Doe Hill Golden Pepper

Look closely at the lower right to spot the lone Doe Hill Golden Pepper. The plant did not produce any more peppers.

Jimmy Nardello, on the other hand, continued to produce and was brought indoor 12/22/15 for the remainder of winter.

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Jimmy Nardello continues to ripen, indoor, on January 6, 2016

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Still going strong and producing/ripening on January 14, 2016, amazing!

Picked 8 peppers

 Jimmy Nardello

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The cherry tomatoes were totally unexpected. She never got around to disposing the dying tomato plant left it in the garage and got a pleasant surprise!

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Cherry tomato photo taken on December 9, 2015

Yep, those ripe cherries were tasty.

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The lettuce bed was covered, every night, with GardenQuilt Covers from Gardeners Supply and uncovered during the day (the white roll between the raised beds is the cover).

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Lettuce photo taken December 12, 2015

Look closely at the upper left corner to see 2 heads of radicchio.

Sure has been a very unusual gardening season and an extended one!

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

Do visit Michelle at From Seed to Table for more Harvest Mondays

Posted in Container gardening, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Heritage vegetable garden, Locust Grove, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 37 Comments

Harvest Monday, January 11, 2016 – Container Gardening Update

Decided to bring in the last of my 2 Bronze Mignonette Lettuce.

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Bronze Mignonette Lettuce

Harvested most of the window boxes grown Bronze Mignonette Lettuce on 12/29/15 as they were showing signs of bolting (they went home with my daughter and I forgot to take photo). Decided to leave 2 in the box to see how they would fare. As you can see from the photo above and below, the one on the right is showing signs of bolting so harvested both on 1/6/16. Yes, I harvested lettuce in the Hudson Valley, New York in January.

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Top: Bronze Mignonette Lettuce. Bottom: Forellenschluss Lettuce

The Bronze Mignonette Lettuce in the photo above and the Forellenschluss Lettuce in the photo below were transplanted on 9/8/15, the Forellenschluss Lettuce in the photo above were transplanted on 10/19. All were volunteer seedlings from Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden.

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Forellenschluss Lettuce

Think I will harvest the above Forellenschluss Lettuce this week. Winter is settling in, finally, so I doubt they will grow any more.

To be honest I did not think any of the lettuce seedlings would survive, but survive they did and grew to edible sizes thanks to an unusually warm November and December.

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The carrots in the 2 photos below were sown at the end of July. Unfortunately I never got around to thin at the appropriate time so the results are not impressive but they were sweet and crisp.

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YaYa Carrots


Coreless & Scarlet Nantes Carrots

There are 2 varieties of carrots in the above containers sadly they got mixed up when I pulled them so not sure which is which.

Cleaned up both containers.

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Leaving the carrots to overwinter in the tubs. Wonder if they will continue to grow, will find out in the spring.

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Also leaving the beets below to overwinter in the ice chest.

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A few are of fairly good sizes.

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An update about my overwintering experiment I posted on 11/9/15 (click on link to view post).

Below is what the leek, celeriac and carrots are currently looking like.

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The leeks and carrots did not mind being transplanted and are happy. The celeriacs were not happy, the leaves all wilted and yellowed so I removed and discarded them but left the root undisturbed. Am leaving all to overwinter and will post an update in the spring.

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

Do visit Michelle at From Seed to Table for more Harvest Mondays

Posted in Container gardening, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Heritage vegetable garden, Husdon Valley, Locust Grove, New York, Uncategorized, Vegetables, window box gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Harvest Monday, January 4, 2016 – Radicchio

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Palla Rosa Mavrik Radicchio

I’m so happy to be back. Was absent from the blogging world for part of November and all of December due to minor health issue, nothing serious, just pain in my right hip and knee that sapped my energy.

After resting, paying attention to the kinds of activities I engage in and remembering not to overdo things I ended the year on a good note. Started the new year on an even better note. My energy level has returned and am able to walk normally again. I also started the New Year with a happy  post. Click here to view “A Charlie Brown Christmas” the post will put a smile on your face.

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Due to the unusually warm November and December, my second planting on July 5, 2015 of radicchio that I didn’t think was going to be successful all formed solid heads. (My first transplants on May 2, 2015 were eaten by a woodchuck).

Snow and freezing rain were in the forecast for December 28 night, so brought in most of my radicchio that day (left a couple in the garden to see how they will fare over the next few months). I cut each head at soil level leaving the roots in the ground undisturbed and mulched with shredded leaves, in the spring baby radicchio will appear for spring treats.

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Palla Rosa Mavrik Radicchio

Isn’t the above a good looking group? Part of the harvest went home with my daughter.

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Palla Rosa Mavrik Radicchio

All the radicchios were from the same seed packet, don’t know why the one above is different in color from the rest? (it is the one in the middle of the group photo).

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Palla Rosa Mavrik Radicchio

The radicchio on the left is the largest, weighing in at 10+ ounces. With proper storage, they will last a few months in the refrigerator.

To Store:
1. Remove all damaged and/or blemished outer leaves.
2. Rinse to remove any soil and debris. Pat dry and leave on counter to drain well.
3. Wrap in clean dry paper towel and place in plastic bag. Refrigerate.

To use:
Remove the outer leaves from each as needed, rewrap and return to refrigerator. Replacing paper towel with dry ones if needed.

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On 12/28/15 also harvested 2 small heads of napa, they did not form solid heads but still usable. Cut the outer leaves of each thinly and added to a vegetable soup. The inner more tender leaves were made into a simple stir-fry with leeks in ginger and garlic infused oil.

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Napa Cabbage

The napa on the left weighed a bit under a pound the one on the right weighed about ¾ pound.

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Prior to December 28, I was harvesting as needed from the garden and windowboxes (will write a post on my windowboxes next Monday). The crops below were harvested on December 21.

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Left to right – Top: Large Smooth Prague Celeriac & Palla Rosa Mavrik Radicchio. Bottom: Lutz Beets, Flat Leaves Parsley & Lettuce

Celeriac, radicchio, beets and parsley were from the garden. Lettuce from the windowbox.

The celeriac and parsley went into a stew together with previously harvested leeks, onions and parsnips.

The beets were simmered together with some pork bones to make a delicious soup.

Radicchio and lettuce became part of a salad.

Decided to take a chance and left most of the celeriac, beets, leeks, parsnips and collard in the garden to harvest as needed throughout the winter months. They are heavily mulched with shredded leaves but not protected. Hope I made the right decision.

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Happy Gardening!

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

Do visit Michelle at From Seed to Table for more Harvest Mondays

Posted in Uncategorized | 56 Comments

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” Holiday Windows at Macy’s

Happy New Year!

Hope you enjoy the following photos of NYC Macy’s Holiday Windows
They are sure to put smiles on your face
A wonderful start to a very happy and hopefully peaceful 2016

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All the photos were taken by my daughter, Kathy
She joins me in
Wishing You A Healthy, Happy & Prosperous New Year!

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


Posted in New York, New York City, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

Harvest Monday, November 23, 2015 – Overwintering Swiss Chard + Harvest

Decided to harvest all but the 2-3 center leaves from each of the 10 spring planted Peppermint Swiss Chard and leave the leggy plants in the ground to hopefully survive in the garden over the winter.

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Peppermint Swiss Chard

This will most likely be the last harvest for the year. Total harvest was slightly under 2 pounds.

Cut chard into bite-sized pieces, combined with a thinly sliced leek (leek was camera shy). Sauteed in garlic and fresh ginger infused oil until tender, S&P to taste. Tossed in grated lemon zest, dried cranberries, toasted slivered almonds and a squirt of fresh lemon juice to taste. Yummy!

The chard had a milder flavor and sweet taste after the frost.

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Leggy Peppermint Swiss Chard with 3 center leaves

As you can see from the above photo the plant (one of the 10) is very leggy. Throughout the year I have been harvesting the outer leaves reason for the  legginess.

The photo above and the photo below were taken 4 days apart, I think the chard grew during that time. Who knows, I may get another harvest after all. That’s parsley on the left.

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Mulched Peppermint Swiss Chard

A mild winter is predicted by some so decided to mulch the leggy plants (instead of pulling them as I have been doing previous years) with shredded leaves hoping they will survive the winter.

Swiss Chard is a biennial (will seed the second year). If my plants survive the winter I will have a jump start on the growing season when I harvest tender Swiss chard early in the spring. What a delicious treat for that time of year especially when not much is happening in the garden yet.

When the plants are about to go to seed I will pull them all to make space for other crops.

Do you overwinter crops? Please share your experience.

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Got another basket of Red Giant Mustard, the leaves have a darker maroon color due to the cold weather, so pretty.

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Red Giant Mustard

All the mustard in the basket are volunteers.

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Harvested all the snow peas growing in the foam ice chest mentioned in my November 9, 2015 post. Only 12 peas but still a good looking bunch and a treat for late November.

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Container Snow Peas

These are the last snow peas for the year until spring. Now that I have proven that it is possible to grow snow peas successfully in container I will be growing more next year.

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Container Bronze Mignonette Lettuce (left in photo below) continues to grow well and I am still harvesting outer leaves as needed. It sure is a hardy lettuce.

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Window Box Lettuces

The lettuce on the right (not sure of the variety) in the above photo started to bolt so I brought in the whole head.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!

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

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Mondays

Posted in Container gardening, Cooking, dairy free, Gardening, Harvest Monday, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments