Harvest Monday, May 7, 2012

Strawberry flowers

Lots of flowers on the strawberry plants, should have an excellent harvest IF I get to the ripe berries before the birds.

First spinach harvest, weight 1 pound. These are the thinnings, actually they were pretty good size baby spinach, grew overnight after the rain. Shared part of the harvest with a neighbour, made soup with the remainder, was tender and delicious.
Harvested ¾ pound of the volunteer giant red mustard and 4 stalks of garlic green. Made a stir-fry (added a few slices of ginger), garnished with toasted nuts and dried cranberries.

Also havested some onions, weight ¾ pound. These were the misses from last fall’s harvest, not sure about the varieties they were flowering and I do need the garden space so dug them up. Think I will toss them with a bit of oil and roast them, sometime this week.

Also brought in a few ounces of kale and collard florets from overwintering plants.

Bought a roll of newsprint paper remnants from Southern Dutchess News (a local newspaper company), very inexpensive. Using it to cover the vegetable beds (4 layers) this will cut down on weeds. Placed branches on top then wet down to keep the paper in place.

Transplanted Brussels sprouts (Long Island improved), broccoli (premium crop from the local nursery), and Swiss chard (Fordhook giant, golden and rhubarb red). Placed 2 toothpicks along the side of each seedling to prevent cut worm from destroying the plant. Gave each plant a nice shot of fish emulsion fertilizer. Will cover the paper with leaves or straw when the plants get larger.

Bed at right is for kale, collard and Chinese cabbage.

Also transplanted kohlrabi, choy sum, gai lan (Chinese broccoli) and Shanghai bok choy, sorry no photo.

Potatoes I planted the week of April 9th are doing very well. These are the purple Peruvian.

Chinese celery and bittermelon are begging to be transplanted into the garden, but must wait a bit longer as the night time temp will be dipping into the low 40’s for a number of nights this week.

Something gave my leeks a hair cut (I think it’s the rabbits), not a happy person.

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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80 Responses to Harvest Monday, May 7, 2012

  1. cocomino says:

    What a beautiuful strawberry flowers! I also have strawberry in my garden. I can’t wait to eat it.

  2. As always I am leaving your post with a smile on my face due to the beauty in your photos 🙂
    Glad to see such a blooming garden!

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. novicelife says:

    What a lovely harvest!

  4. kitsapfg says:

    My challenge with strawberries is to get them before the slugs. Miserable creatures that they are, they do love fine dining on strawberries.

    Wonderful use of the newspaper for a mulch. I bet it works beautifully.

  5. Lovely photos of a delicious looking harvest!

  6. Strawberries… How amazing is our climate: in some places you pick the strawberries, in others they are just in bloom! Great photos Norma. I finally took photos of my “garden” and will post it today. I planted the lemon grass, one in the sunny spot, and another in the part shade to see which place it likes better. Summer here is very hot, well, we are still in spring and temperature here is in high 80s and 90s, which is already hot for me. I bought some lemon grass last farmer’s market and forgot to ask how do they raise it in this parts. Have a great week, Norma! What do you think of my stir fry? 🙂

  7. Phyllis smith says:

    Hi Norma, Nice to see results of gardening like that pretty spinach. I do container gardening and just planted spinach. Can’t wait to pick. Just won’t have as much as you do. See you tomorrow at LG

  8. I didn’t realize that strawberry’s had such a pretty bloom. You had a great week; with plenty for the wok!

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    To be sure, that first photo of the strawberry blossoms is pretty but the second, the one with the freshly harvested greens and onions, is such a nice thing to see following Winter. Soon, that basket of yours will be getting a lot of work!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      I was sooooo very excited when I saw how much the spinach had grown after the rain. Picked, cleaned, wilted them in some broth and enjoyed. I am really, really spoilt. Yep my baskets do get quite a work out.

  10. Lou Murray's Green World says:

    I love seeing photos of plants in bloom, like your gorgeous strawberry flower photo, and of gardens in progress. Terrific basket of harvested produce too.

  11. I would love to have a walk around your beautiful garden.
    🙂 Mandy

  12. pooks says:

    What a beautiful harvest! It’s gotten too hot for the spinach here so I pulled it up but my ruby chard is doing wonderfully well. I don’t know what got our strawberries last week, but we are wondering if it might have been our dog! I noticed yesterday that after I touched a tomato, he followed after me and sniffed it with great interest. I may have to always wear gloves so I don’t leave my scent on stuff and call his attention to it!


    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Pooks,
      Thanks. Sorry to hear about your strawberries, ruby chards are so pretty, glad yours are doing well, will be a while before I can harvest mine.

      • pooks says:

        You mentioned above about cooking with sweet onions and how delicious they were. I always felt for cooking that I needed hotter onions for more flavor. Is that not your experience? Or is it a difference in cuisine, since I generally would be cooking cajun, Italian, or Mexican?

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Pooks,
        To be honest, I really do not know. I assume if you are browning the onion then yes, you may need “hotter onion” though I have used vadalia onuon for browning and am happy with the results. I am guessing it is really a personal preference. I know I did not answer your question.

  13. Too bad about those leeks! Will they grow back? Our chickens always attack the kale and chard, but there is enough to share (and we keep the veg fenced in, so the chickens can only get at the edges). Unplanned for “sharing” is always an unpleasant surprise, though.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello GC,
      I don’t know if they will grow back, I am hoping they well. I honestly did not think any creature would eat leeks, guess I was wrong.

      • Come to think of it, that is kind of weird. I always think that onions and garlic are pretty hands off to garden foragers. The chickens never touch my Chinese chives, for example. I hope your leeks pull through!

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello GC,
        That’s what I thought too, reason they were in an unprotected area. Imagine my surprise when I saw the hair cut. I think they will pull through, I seem to see tiny growth or is it my imagination? Time will tell.

  14. Daphne says:

    Those onions look gorgeous. I have to buy mine now. All the ones from last year have been eaten. So sad.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      Thanks. Sliced one tonight and add it to a stir fry, was surprised at how sweet it was. I think I will purposely leave many in the ground to over winter this year.

  15. Juliana says:

    Beautiful strawberry flowers Norma…your garden looks awesome…I so wish I had space to “play” around with vegetables…
    Thanks for sharing these nice pictures and hope you have a wonderful week ahead 🙂

  16. oh, Norma! I can’t believe all of that grew overnight! It makes me so happy to see that. I can’t wait to have a garden of my own one day and am paying very attention to your blog =D

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello TSM,
      I could not believe it also, it was like they were on steriod. I hope you have a garden very soon, it is lots of work but oh, so rewarding and tons of fun.

  17. Using the newspaper remnants is a clever idea. I just can’t get over the variety of things that you plant and all the work that goes into it. Sorry to hear about your leeks. 😦

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello P and P,
      Working in my gardens is great therapy for me, I do enjoy the entire process – seed starting, growing, harvesting and the final stage, eating. Yes, it is a lot of work but very rewarding in the end. I think my leeks will regrow, if not I will just have to get some seedlings from the local nusery.

  18. zestybeandog says:

    There you go again making me dream of having a beautiful garden! 🙂

  19. Tosh says:

    The different greens are very lovely! I had to google choy sum – I think I have seen it before but never tasted it. I absolutely love gai lan – I’ll be looking forward to seeing these vegetables grow. Question about cutworm…do they just attack the brassicas or every plant is fair game?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Tosh,
      They will attack other plants too but seem to favor broccoli in my garden.
      Choy sum is tender and mild with a hint of sweetness when cooked. Use the same as gai lan.

  20. Julie says:

    Nice strawberry flowers- I hope you have a successful harvest! I’m currently battling the rodents and the birds over my strawberries and I feel like I’m losing.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Julie,
      Wildlife in the garden is a major issue with me too, last year some critters ate about 1/3 of my soy beans and took bites out of quite a few of the largest of my sweet potatoes.

  21. mac says:

    Love the basket of greens, they look gorgeous, I’ll have to start growing some red mustard, never grown them before. Which variety of spinach are you growing?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      I am growing bloomsdale long standing spinach, tried other varieties this one seems to be the happiest in my garden.
      One of my red mustard is bolting and I am allowing the seeds to mature. If you are not in a hurry I will be happy to send you some seeds when they are ready. They turn green after cooking.

  22. maryhysong says:

    awesome looking harvests! Maybe I will plant enough garlic next year to have green garlic to play with. I have a couple of little rabbits getting in the front yard; just can’t seem to catch them…but they will soon be rabbit stew!

  23. That is one beautiful harvest you have there! Your garden is coming along so nicely, and I envy you the strawberries to come. Garden pests…yes, I am fighting against caterpillars who seem to drop from the trees and cut through the leaves of my beans and greens. No idea of what to do about them, but thank you for the reminder about the toothpicks for cut worms!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello B and B,
      Thanks and you are welcome. Don’t envy my strawberries as yet, the birds may get to them before I do they seem to know which are the largest and leaves me with the smaller ones if they leave me any at all.

  24. Karen says:

    You are getting a nice crop. I know what you mean about birds…I have 26 wild blueberry bushes around my orchard and the birds don’t leave me enough for a pie.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      I got rid of my blueberries because no matter how I cover the plants the birds seem to find a way to get in but unable to find their way out and I have to release them, adding insults to injuries.

  25. ceciliag says:

    morning norma, my name is cecilia and i cannot believe that it has taken me this long to find you. You are harvesting similar veges to us too! Isn’t it lovely to finally have fresh produce. Thank you for the reminder to uncheck the box. i have taken the option right off my comment section, so people will not be bombarded if they forget..hope it gets sorted out soon c

  26. Kristy says:

    I’ve never seen the newspaper technique used before – what a great idea!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      This is not newspaper, it is paper used for newspaper printing. What I purchased from the company are the ends of rolls that cannot be fed through the machine.

  27. Wow I’ve never seen Strawberry flowers before 🙂 I’ve only ever just ‘ate’ them lol 🙂

  28. I just love the close up of the strawberry flowers, thank you so much for sharing these photos with us Norma

  29. Sophie33 says:

    What a lovely garden produce! The strawberry flowers are just looking beautiful! I love to eat strawberries a lot. It is now strawberry season here in Belgium! 🙂
    Your baby spinach is thriving but my spinach is still too young to devour! 🙂

  30. I’m excited to see your strawberry plants! Fingers crossed against the birds!

  31. prahaida says:

    Thank you very much! My garden is my favourite subject to photograph:)

    Wow, those strawberry flowers look amazing! Strawberries might just be one of the best things about summer.

  32. The picture of the immature purple onions look so pretty.

    You must have drip irrigation under the paper?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Foodgardenkitchen,
      I wish I have drip irrigation under the paper, I waited until after it rained to lay down the paper, the openings for each plant is large enough for water to penetrate when I water.
      This fall I am going to purposefully leave onions in the garden to over winter so I can get onions in the spring.

  33. Sissi says:

    Hi Norma, I have come here from Eva’s blog and am so happy I did! I have greatly enjoyed reading about your garden. You are so lucky to have one! I love growing herbs and, rarely, other plants on my small balcony and keep on dreaming of my own real garden… I laughed out loud reading the “haircut” bit! (Sparrows regularly give my parsley a haircut, so I know how you may feel…). I cross my fingers for your ripe strawberries and look forward to reading your future posts.

  34. Hi Norma,

    Lovely harvest and I too loved your close up photo of the strawberry flower-hadn’t realised how pretty it is. Thank you!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello GD,
      Can you believe all these years I never really took a close up look at the strawberry flowers! Blogging sure is making me pay attention to many more things around me.

  35. Charles says:

    Oh, oh! The spinach looks wonderful… the onions too. I’m trying to grow some of those at the moment. Not sure how successful I’ll be to grow them in a pot on the balcony but it’s fun to try anyway 🙂 Beautiful photos Norma – I’m really jealous of your gatherings!

  36. Diana says:

    Lovely harvest. I am looking forward for your purple peruvian potatoes harvest in summer!

  37. Hello, I found your blog through a blogger named mydearbakes. I love gardening and baking. Your blog is delightful and I’ve been peeking through it a while. In this entry, I love the newspaper remnant and stick solution to weed prevention…brilliant! I will employ this idea. Thank you!

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