Harvest Mondays, March 19, 2012

Spring greetings from my garden to yours!

Hellebores (Lenten Rose). One of the few plants the deer decided to leave alone, so far.

Miniature Iris, the ones the deer could not get at. While walking around the property, I discovered a large clump of the blue ones (left photo) blooming, did not have my camera and figured I will  take photos the next day. Big a mistake. The deer came through during the early morning hours and had a feast. I was not a happy person.

Had a harvest. The leeks and parsnips were left in the garden (mulched with a thick layer of leaves) last year to see if they would survive the winter. They came through just fine, but this was an unusually warm winter. I will have to try my experiment again this fall.

Leeks, ¾ pounds.
Found a few very tiny carrots, total weight less than 2 ounces but they were very sweet.

Parsnips, 2½ pounds. Not the best looking parsnips, but sweet and tasty.
This year, before planting, I need to make sure the entire parsnip bed is deeply dug and free of stones so the roots will be able to grow long and straight.

Parsley survived the winter also.
Flat leaves parsley, left photo.
Curly leaves parsley, right photo.

Garlic coming along nicely. German white shown in photo at right.

I am so looking forward to harvesting garlic green sometime next week or the week after.

Last fall, I purposely planted the garlic cloves closer than recommended, so I will be pulling every other plant for use in cooking, both white and green part.

Garlic green, another spring time treat.

Following close behind will be the garlic scape, another special treat.

Then I will sit back and wait for the garlic heads to form underground.

Growing garlic is so rewarding plus it is easy to grow and requires little space. If you never planted garlic, do give it a try.

This is what I do: in the fall, I plant the cloves and leave them alone, they do not mind been left out in the cold. Come spring they emerge and I am in for many treats.

Copyright © by Norma Chang

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

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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73 Responses to Harvest Mondays, March 19, 2012

  1. Judy Killmer says:

    Hi Norma, I just love your blog. I look forward to it each Monday & Friday!!!!!
    Love, Judy K.

  2. Liz says:

    I love green garlic – and I love the idea of planting the cloves extra close so you get a good big crop of it. Great looking leeks too.

  3. Hello Norma,
    A well mulched bed of parsnips or leeks will always survive the winter around here. I have pictures of me digging parsnips out from under 10″ of snow and 8″ of shredded leaves late Feb. 2011. The parsnips not dug in Feb. grew in April.
    This winter it was so warm that my un-mulched bed of parsnips made it through with no problem.

  4. Hi Norma!

    Looking at all your little treasures I feel like puting up my garden photos. =D
    The dear came into your garden? lol lucky and unlucky u in the same time. They make lots of mess at times, dont they?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Helene,
      Please put up your garden photos, would love to see them.
      Yes, the deer are are cute aand pesky all at the same time and they sure leave a mess.

  5. Dave says:

    I’m sure enjoying our green garlic I planted in containers. Lovely flowers you have blooming! Too bad about the deer though. I didn’t realize they liked iris.

    I have to add that recent changes at WordPress.com is making it extremely difficult to comment for those of us without accounts there. I hope they change their policies, or I am afraid many people will stop commenting.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      The deer do not eat the regular irises but sure clean out the miniature ones. May be because there is not much for them to feast on this time of year?????
      So sorry I was not aware of an issue regarding trying to comment on WordPress.com, I too hope they fix the problem real soon.

  6. kitsapfg says:

    Good harvest of really nice looking leeks. Those baby carrots look tasty too.

    Gorgeous early flowers – too bad the deer like them as much as we do. ;(

  7. Great Spring harvest! I’m looking forward to the garlic greens and scrapes as well! I planted a hard neck variety for the first time this year, so I’m curious to see how it behaves 😉

  8. Barbie says:

    Beautiful flowers, and a lovely harvest. The carrots make the leeks look MONSTROUS 🙂

  9. Kim says:

    Nothing smells so good as the first dig into the new Spring’s earth.
    My first daffodils bloomed yesterday.

    Happy spring

  10. Phyllis smith says:

    So nice to see all the Spring flowers that made it. Hellebores are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Phyllis

  11. ChgoJohn says:

    Love your miniature iris, Norma, and so much of your garden seems to have weathered winter very well. I love this time of year!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      That’s because this has been such an unusually warm winter.
      Me too, love gardening this time of year, not yet hot and humid and the annoying biting bugs are still not awaken yet.

  12. I absolutely love your leeks. They are so beautiful. So many of the gardeners on Daphne’s Dandelions grow garlic. Now that you say it doesn’t take much room, maybe I will put it in for the fall garden. (I tend to have more room for fall garden, because I don’t have as many favorites as I do in summer.)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Cristy,
      Thank you, they were sweet and tender.
      I grow my garlic in a single row along the edge of my garden beds instead of filling up a bed with just garlic, this way I am able to plant other things in the same area beside the garlic and when I harvest the garlic around mid June the other things get a little extra space.

  13. Norma, thank you for the garden greetings! It’s wonderful! I left some roots and plants to overwinter, and now have some chard, green onions, parsley (a lot!), carrots, dill, collard greens, kale. Your irises are so beutiful, I love the colors.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Marina,
      You are so welcome. Yes, the miniature irises are gorgeous, don’t mind sharing some with the deer but sure wish they would display a bit of manners.
      That’s a lot you overwintered in your garden, but you have a milder and shorter winter than we do.

  14. The blue iris is so pretty! I’m glad it wasn’t eaten by the deer!

  15. mac says:

    Beautiful flowers and leeks, love green garlic and scapes, like the idea of pulling every other one.

  16. Ohhh your garden is like a treasure hunt Norma! You’ve not only got veggies but you’ve also got flowers~ that’s so nice!

  17. Rick says:

    I sure agree with you on garlic. It’s simple to grow and a great crop to have in your garden. I wish I would have started growing it years before I did!!

  18. Norma, wonderful post! So nice to see what’s coming up in your spring garden as ours are slowing down for winter!

  19. Purely.. Kay says:

    Your garden is absolutely beautiful. You’ve done such a wonderful job.. your parsley looks great and so does your parsnips and leeks:)

  20. I love these blue Irises. I love Irises. And Hellebores are a true harbinger of spring…well almost, certainly for those who are desperate for the season change!

    On another note: Made the tofu & asparagus the other night. It was really good…but you knew that already! ;~)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello FC,
      Yes, the irises are beautiful, but they do not last long. The hellebores last a long time.
      Glad you enjoyed the tofu and asparagus. Did you scrape away the portabella gills or it is just fussy me doing that?

  21. What a shame about the deer damaging your flowers Norma. You know, I always regret it when I don’t take a photo right away…I guess we have a sense for these things. I would love to cook up your little carrots, as I just love them when they are nice and sweet. Hope you enjoy them!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello P & P,
      We have so many deer in the area it is a major problem not only damage to vegetations but also lyme and other tick borne diseases.
      The little carrots were very tasty. Just washed and steamed for a few minutes, no peeling.

  22. beautiful. especially love the close up of the speckled iris petal!

  23. Diana says:

    Pretty flowers and nice harvest. I do agree garlic don’t take much space to grow. But I still don’t grow enough garlic. Home-grown garlic finished up faster than the store bought one. Much much tasty.

  24. hotlyspiced says:

    Wow Norma – you sure do have a lot going on in your garden for so early in the season. And yes, your parsnips do look unusual but I bet they’re delicious. I love to make parsnip mash and I’m sure your harvest would be perfect for this. xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Hotlyspiced,
      The parsnips were delicious though a bit challenge to peel. I just cut them into chunks and braised them in a little broth.
      Need to make sure I prep the parsnips bed better this year.

  25. Robin says:

    Lovely flowers and a great spring harvest! Happy Spring!

  26. Hi Judy, Spring is not yet here but your flowers and vegetables did say that it is here. Glad to meet you and would visit you for some gardening tips as well as some of the cooking tutorials.

  27. Thank you for sharing these amazing pictures Norma,
    Spring is amazing with all the colors and different things comng to life

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Swansan,
      You are so welcome. Yes, this is an amazing time of the year, it is also the best time of the year to work in the gardens, not yet hot and humid and the pesky bugs are not awaken yet.

  28. I had no idea you could grow leeks in the winter, how lovely is that? I just noticed another blogger pulled out a bunch of winter carrots…what a clever idea, although I doubt they would grow in Toronto, normally it’s just too cold!
    Sorry about your floral buffet for the dear; it reminded me of something that happened a couple of years ago. We have a large hydro (electricity) box at our cottage that sits just on the edge of the lake. Why they guys put it right there is beyond me, but at least it is dark green. When it was installed, about 15 years ago, I went out to the back forest and picked out a lovely little ever green that would flourish in front of the box, and cover its hideousness. We brought decent earth from the city (we are on the Canadian shield and there is very little earth) and planted the cut little tree. We watered it and took good care of it and it rewarded us by growing into a wonderful little tree covering the ugly green box. Until last year. Beavers. Need I say more?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Must mulch all the overwintering vegetables with a thick layer of leaves, about 8 inches. Don’t think they actually grow much, if at all, during the winter months.
      So sorry to learn about the fate of your evergreen tree. Love wild life, but would prefer they stay in the forest. Don’t mind them visiting but wish they would mind their manners, not only do they eat what they are not supposed to they also leave souvenir that I have no use for.

  29. Your pictures are truly beautiful and the epitome of spring 😀
    Very enjoyable post!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Double Nutella Cheesecake Brownies

  30. Lrong says:

    Love your veggie harvests… the leeks, I have yet to succeed growing them…

  31. Katerina says:

    You cultivate so many beautiful produce and so nutritional in your garden! Growing your own produce is priceless!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Katerina,
      Thanks, I enjoy working outside but at the expense of things that need attention indoors. I am pretty much self-sufficient most of the year as far as produce goes.

  32. Look at all of those goodies! What an incredible garden you must have. I just planted a bunch of seeds a couple of days ago and I can’t wait to see what happens with them. I’m just hoping they’ll be a little successful!

  33. Hi Norma,

    Glad to see your garden is growing well. Sorry to hear about the wandering deer eating things in the garden-I have the same problem with the occasional wandering lost sheep!!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello GD,
      Deer is a major issue on my property. Plants they never ate before are now one of their favorite foods. Very few flowers that I can plant. My veggie garden is surrounded with a 10 foot fence, then there are the birds eating my berries and the voles gnawing my root crops.

  34. eclecticeducation says:

    Your plants and harvest looks great! I’m jealous of your parsnips. I am trying to grow some this year, so far they have not germinated.


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