Harvest Monday, May 28, 2012

Harvested my first strawberry on Wednesday. Not completely red. Debated whether to wait until the next day to pick, but decided I was not taking any chances with the birds, not with my very FIRST strawberry. Kept it out of my mouth long enough to take this photo.

Top photo: Fig tree. Bottom photo: Figs on tree.

My fig tree is doing beautiful things. There is a fruit at the base of nearly every leaf. I am sooooo looking forward to a few quarts of honey-sweet figs.

Had to pull up all my spinach, 4+ pounds. Starting to bolt and also attacked by leaf miner.

Photo at right, above the © symbol is the nasty critter (enlarged). Actual larvae is about ¼” long and the size of the tip of a ball point pen.

Took me quite a while to sort and clean all that spinach (had to make sure there is no extra protein in the leaves). Processed and froze most for later use.

Did you realize how much longer it takes to clean homegrown veggies compared to store bought?

Harvested more lettuce and giant red mustard, forgot to weigh.

First harvest of Shanghai bok choy. Weight: ¾ pounds. Also harvested Chinese chives. Weight: 6 ounces.

Some of you may remember my March 26 post, when I bumped up my Shanghai bok choy. I had some pots with single plant, some with 2 plants, others with 3 or more plants. I harvested the outer plants of the muli-plants clump allowing the others more space to grow (extending my harvest without having to do succession planting).

Transplanted cucumbers, butternut squash, blue hubbard, beets, onions and scallions. Must get the other plants in the garden this week or next the latest. Also put in some annuals. Gardens looking good but would be better if the weeds were not so happy.

Some critters have exotic taste, eating my white Chinese celery but left the green ones alone, both planted in the same location. The white variety is more difficult to germinate (slow and very poor germination) is also a slower grower.

Photo at right on the veg stem is another one the many garden critters (slugs) I have to deal with. For a better view, click on photo to enlarge.

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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64 Responses to Harvest Monday, May 28, 2012

  1. Your garden is happily full of wonderful life my friend – just look at that strawberry 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Dave says:

    That is a great looking fig tree! I am glad we don’t have many leaf miners in our area. Actually, I don’t think I have ever seen one, except in photos. I hope you enjoyed that strawberry!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      Oh you bet, that was the most delicious strawberry I ever tasted.
      How lucky to not have leaf miners, they also attach the Swiss chard and beets.

  3. Maybe it was the warm winter? I, too, am having a slug problem, the worst I’ve had in years.

  4. cocomino says:

    How nice. Even if the strawberry isn’t completly red, the taste must be delicious because you grew it by yourself.

  5. Prairie Cat says:

    Congrats on your first strawberry! I don’t think I would have waited any longer to pick it, either.

  6. Daphne says:

    I’ve noticed that the slugs love my Fun Jen over the other Asian greens in the bed. It makes a good trap crop. Too bad I want to eat it. I think they like it because it is more mild than the others. I wonder if your celery is like that.

  7. Oh! The first strawberry! How wonderful!

    Leaf miners are awful! I’m still battling them! I think they may have migrated form the front yard to the backyard now 😦 Gross!

  8. Good call on picking today. That would’ve been heartbreaking had the bird gotten it.

  9. maryhysong says:

    my fig tree, planted this year from a container has a few baby figs on it too. so excited! I’ve had a bit of leaf miner damage on greens this year but they seem mostly to just be infecting older leaves; haven’t noticed any on the newest leaves. Have also found some small green caterpillars.

  10. kitsapfg says:

    You did good to keep that strawberry long enough to take a picture of it! I have a tough time getting my berries weighed and photographed because we tend to eat them right there in the garden.

    That fig tree is a thing of beauty. Gorgeous.

  11. I love harvest mondays! I was just thinking the same thing about cleaning garden veg yesterday as I sorted through a pile of lettuce from the garden. Worth the trouble, though! I like your bok choy strategy- I will try it in the fall (getting too hot for brassicas here).

  12. Lou Murray's Green World says:

    congrats on your first strawberry. Remarkable self restraint to photograph it first. I have no self control and just pop them in my mouth. Looks like your fig tree is doing well, and that you had a great harvest.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Lou,
      It took a great deal of self restraint. I am really happy with my figs. No so with my Asian pears, one has zero fruit the other is still self thinning, if this activity does not stop I will also have zero fruit, will see.

  13. Your garden is so beautiful Norma! I love that you have a fig tree!!!

  14. Oh, figs! I love fresh figs (I never tasted a fig until several decades into my adulthood — only Fig Newtons). By the time you read this, you might have another strawberry in the garden.

  15. Sammie says:

    Wow Norma! You’re so patient! Always love seeing your harvests! And the strawberries look delicious! I bet they’d be perfect for baking too! 😀

  16. Nothing tastes better than the first strawberry! I just love them.

  17. Barbara Good says:

    That first strawberry of the season is so special isn’t it. Love your fig tree to, I find figs so generous so quickly. though it helps that my supply comes from my neighbour’s tree so I don’t have to look after it.

  18. Norma, we were talking about you at the dinner table tonight. I made a beef and brocolli stir fry using the same principles as your asparagus and shrimp stir fry. My 6-year old daughter said it tasted like it was from a restaurant and so I told her the recipe was from Norma, a blogging friend who also teaches cooking classes. Then she said: “Can I go to one of her classes?” I said only if I could come too!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello P and P,
      Your daughter is so sweet, tell her she can come to my cooking class anytime. Isn’t it cool to have just one recipe, make a few changes and an entirely different dish appears. Feel free to post your new creation.

  19. Liz says:

    Your fig tree looks magnificent! I loved having figs this year – it was the first year when we got more than the odd one or two.

  20. Andrea says:

    A great selection of veggies harvested this week Norma and your first strawberry! hope its the first of many many more………………….
    Fig tree looks so healthy and large, it seems to be very happy in the pot (didn’t think they would do well it a pot) do you give it extra liquid feed?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Andrea,
      I hope it is the first of many more too, but I keep seeing flocks of bird in the garden. Yes, I need to give the fig extra fertilizer, lime and plenty of water. This fall I will also need to prune the roots and repot with new potting mix.

  21. Kristy says:

    That strawberry looks wonderful! Reminds me of my dad’s garden when I was a kid. 🙂

  22. Eva Taylor says:

    I saw some wild strawberries in NYC while we visited the Irish Hunger Monument in the Financial district. We won’t have berries until mid June at least.

  23. I’ve come to accept all the bugs in our produce, although I still resent how much they eat! Still, it’s the price we pay for growing organically! 🙂 And yes, it does take a lot longer to wash homegrown!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Celia,
      I don’t mind sharing if only the critters will be polite and have some manners, finish one thing before moving to another (not a bite here and a bite there).

  24. I started my first garden this spring, it’s so much fun!

  25. Susi says:

    That picture of the bug inside the plant will give me nightmares!

  26. Congrats (she says with some envy 🙂 ) on your first strawberry! I love your shot of it…it almost looks like a painting or illustration. Looks like your figs are coming along very nicely. Seems like there is an unusually large amount of veggie eating critters this year. I don’t have a single plant without a hole in it.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello B and B,
      Thanks, may be I should enlarge and frame it.
      I think critters that would not survive during a normal winter survived because of the unusually warm winter we had.

  27. Sissi says:

    What a gorgeous strawberry! I once had wild strawberries on my balcony (two years ago) and I remember I cherished every single one like a jewel (same with cherry tomatoes). I suppose it was like this also because I have such a restricted space.
    We easily forget how real, healthiest vegetables are demanding when it comes to cleaning, removing the insects etc.. Even the organic ones have organics products which protect them from bugs. They are also quite clean. The only “dirty” organic vegetables I buy are potatoes. There is always a choice between cleaned and dirty ones. The latter keep much much longer of course.
    I’m looking forward to see your figs!

  28. So jealous of your garden Norma. I noticed when I started buying organic vegetables that they take longer to clean etc, but they are much better for us. So I’m okay with that 🙂

  29. Karen says:

    I think it was a good call to pick the strawberry. Too many times I have left my tomatoes to ripen a little longer only to have a bite taken by some critter.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      We seem to be having more garden critters this year (perhaps due to the unusually warm winter) so may have to bring in produce a day or 2 sooner that I would like to.

  30. Diana says:

    Yeah it does take a long time to clean home-grown veggies compare with the store-bought one. But the taste of home-grown veggies like a dish from heaven compare with the tasteless store-bought ones ;). How long does the fig takes to ripe? Your harvest basket won’t be enough for next harvest picking I reckon. You need to bring extra basket.

  31. Charles says:

    Good job on rescuing your spinach – It’s so annoying to sort it – I have to do it when I buy fresh spinach from the market because the number of times I’ve found little slugs in the bag…..

    Saw a little glimpse of your garden behind the fig tree… any chance of any more photos? It looks beautiful!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charles,
      It was annoying and time consuming but worth the effort.
      Behind the fig tree is an oak leaf hydrangea, will post photos when it blooms. I posted photos of my tree peonies today and some of my froggies on 5/14, did you see that Harvest Monday’s post?

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