Harvest Monday, April 23, 2012 – Garden Update

The above is a patch of giant red mustard, all volunteers.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this patch of giant red mustard growing in a corner of my garden. Was going to transplant some to a more favorable location, but it has been so dry I didn’t think the transplants would survive. It finally rained Saturday night and the above is what I saw yesterday. Decided to leave the patch as is (even though it is overcrowded) and harvest the larger plants, as needed, thus giving the smaller plants room to grow. This way I can extend my harvest.

Harvested the larger mustard plants, total weight ½ pound.
Toss briefly, to wilt, in ginger and garlic infused hot oil, tender and delicious. Garden to wok within the hour, cannot get any fresher.
Also harvested 6 ounces of Chinese chives (garlic chives).
Made a stir-fry with the oven dehrydrated pressed tofu (from the freezer).

Bumped up the Chinese eggplant. Ping Tung is the variety I am growing.

Angled Luffa (loofah) coming along nicely.

Will wait until the end of May before planting both the eggplant and angled luffa in the garden. Night time temp for this week may drop to the low 30’s, hopefully next week the night time temp will remain above 50 so I can get many of my seedlings in the grounds.

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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70 Responses to Harvest Monday, April 23, 2012 – Garden Update

  1. All your plants are coming along beautifully – wonderfully harvested mustard greens 😀
    You are most certainly gifted with a green, no, emerald thumb 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Robin says:

    Those are the garden surprises that all gardeners love! This weather has sure been crazy! Hopefully the weather will stabilize to normal soon!

  3. Liz says:

    I’d heard mustard self seeds very easily – and now I’ve seen it. It looks fabulous though.

  4. Looks delicious! Things seem to be coming in nicely.

  5. zestybeandog says:

    All of your posts always make me wish I had a lovely garden like yours! 🙂 It’s so beautiful! 🙂

  6. kitsapfg says:

    Your seedlings are all looking very healthy and happy. The volunteer patch of Mustard greens is really beautiful and obviously very productive too.

  7. Barbie says:

    Volunteers – the gift the gardener gives themselves. 😀 Looks great!

  8. maryhysong says:

    I love the giant red mustard; actually I’m waiting for mine to bolt so I can have more seed. Love your garlic chives; how long before they are that big? I just started mine from seed this year. I planted a couple of luffas to grow over the archway into the front garden; I used to grow them over the rabbit barn when I lived in TX; In the fall I would get up on the roof and harvest 20-30 ‘sponges’

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mary,
      I have that patch of garlic chives for years now. The blades are larger in the spring and get thinner after the first or second cuttings. Unfortunatly my luffa never gets to the “sponge” stage, growing season not long enough.

  9. Unfortunately it has rained incessantly here in South Wales for the last 6 days so much so that some of my plants are now getting very waterlogged…very envious of your mustard greens-I’m going to try some here-when it is a bit warmer-and drier!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello GD,
      The rain since Saturday night (still raining today) is a most welcome sight, I was so worried that I would lose a number of shrubs. Can you believe areas northwest of us (about 3 hours away) are having snow????? This is the last week of April!!!!! Not as bad as the October 2011 snow storm but still not good. Hope the sun is shining for you now.

  10. ChgoJohn says:

    Your garden is doing quite well. So much good progress to report!

  11. That’s a substantial patch of *volunteer* red mustard!

    I hope your temperatures cooperate for you to get your seedlings in the ground. I’m a bit worried about ours as it’s been much cooler the past few days than the previous extended forecast had forecasted. I’m sure the tomatoes aren’t exactly happy at this point…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Foodgardenkitcgen,
      Yes, a really, really tasty patch of “volunteers”.
      I sure am glad I did not get carried away when we had those summer like days. The sun is making an attempt to come out as I am writing. Hoping the night time temp will stabilize next week.

  12. Jody says:

    I love volunteers! Yours looks very happy in its present location. I see why you decided to leave it there.

  13. You certainly have a green thumb! Looks like a great growing and healthy garden! Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful day!

  14. Lou Murray's Green World says:

    Gorgeous photo of the mustard greens. I would transplant some of those babies. I saw that snow is headed your way, a major storm. This late in the season, it’s going to be bad for trees. Hope your garden and Asian pears weather the storm in good shape.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Lou,
      The snow is supposed to stay a bit north of us, hope the weatherman is correct. It will not be as bad as the October 2011 snow storm but still not a good thing for this time of year when the trees have already leafed out.
      The mustard look so happy I didn’t have the heart to disturb them.

  15. I saw Ping Tung Eggplants in the garden catalog, but I only have so much room to try new varieties. It looks like a beautiful eggplant. I do love eggplant. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Cristy,
      Ping Tung is a long skinny eggplant, never bitter, has a very smooth texture and thin skin that never needs peeling. That’s the only variety I grow due to limited space.

  16. Eva Taylor says:

    Hi Norma, how does Chinese Chives differ from what we normally see in North America? They look thicker and are possibly hardier. I was checking out my planters from my back deck (still in the shed, covered with leaves) and I noticed that the chives and the mint are doing very well. I can hardly wait to get the planters out so I can get my herbs going. I must figure out a way to do this inside in the winter.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

  17. Juliana says:

    Yeah Norma…I am agree with you, could not get fresher than this…love the pictures…always so nice.
    Have a wonderful week 🙂

  18. Norma, you really do grow the most interesting things in your garden! I never thought about growing a loofah before!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Celia,
      Loofah would grow very well where you are, you probably have a long enough growing season to allow some to mature into “sponges”.
      About 2/3 of what I grow in my garden are veggies not readily available in the market where I live.

  19. Kim says:

    Thank goodness for the rain, I measure 2.25 inches here!
    My spinach is coming up and I’m thrilled. Hope to see you at LG this week

  20. I’ve never heard of Ping Tung eggplant before. So interesting Norma! It was snowing here today, so I can’t imagine harvesting anything!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello P and P,
      Ping Tung is a Chinese eggplant, long and skinny, the amethyst color skin is thin and tender, no need to peel; flesh is silken and never bitter, no need for salting.
      We got the much needed rain but the snow stayed north west of us. Hope this late April snow did not cause any damage.

  21. pooks says:

    That red mustard is gorgeous, whether growing or harvested and ready to eat.


  22. Norma those are the most beautiful mustard greens! I bet they were delicious 🙂

  23. Question: is your garden outside in the open or inside and covered? My mother is starting a garden and the birds ate her little shoots!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Yummychunklet,
      My garden is outside in the open. I put netting over my peas to prevent the birds from stealing the peas and remove the netting when the shoots are a few inches tall. the others I take a chance and hope the birds and other wild life will leave them alone.

  24. Daphne says:

    Beautiful harest. Red mustard is really pretty. We may get close to a frost this week, but I don’t think we will get one. But it isn’t warm enough for the warm weather plants yet. My cool weather plants are all in the ground and growing well.

  25. You definitely have a green thumb, your garden looks beautiful!

  26. Purely.. Kay says:

    Your plants really came out looking beautifully. Everything just looks amazing. Superb post as always Ms. Norma

  27. Norma, those plants are so beautiful! reminds me that I need to take some photos and update my Gardening page. I made some pasta, come see it and let me know what you think as I had some issues with it. Was I correct about the water part?

  28. Norma, you must have the greenest fingers – your garden always has the most beautiful and interesting things.
    🙂 Mandy

  29. Courtney says:

    So impressive! We just planted our herbs – now that the danger of frost has passed. Can’t wait to harvest and use some, too!

  30. Kristy says:

    I love living vicariously through your garden Norma. It’s just gorgeous and so plentiful. I keep hoping someday. 🙂

  31. Karen says:

    We got much needed rain as well but still having frost at night. Your plants are really looking good.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      Thanks, they are looking good so far, but if we keep having below normal temp especially at night I am afraid they will suffer, had frost last night.

  32. Charles says:

    Lovely to see, Norma – my seedlings are in need of a re-planting soon. I can’t believe I actually was able to get seeds to sprout this year… little me 😀

  33. leduesorelle says:

    Wonderful mustard, sounds like a great combination with the garlic chives! We also grow the ping tung eggplant, it’s a great all-round one, and the small size is suited to our short growing season.

  34. Pingback: Harvesting luffa | Sybaritejourna

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