Harvest Monday, July 2, 2012

Harvested the remaider of the Shanghai bok choy. Total weight: 2 pounds. Should have harvested them before the June 20 heat wave.  Knew the heat had stressed them out when some of the leaves started to develop a very light blue haze. Not as tender for stir-frying (I am just being spoilt) but still excellent for soup.

First harvest of Russian red kale. Weight: 1¼ pounds

Other harvest for the week:
Swiss chard, total weight: 3 pounds
Lacinato kale and collard combined, total weight: 2½ pounds
Snow peas, total weight: ½ pound
Gai lan (Chinese broccoli), total weight 6 ounces (these are the cut-and-come-again side shoots)
Raspberries, only a few, they never left the garden

Also shared garden bounty with neighbours, friends and family, did not keep record and did not weigh any.

Started seeds in cell pack for fall planting. The lawn guy came to mow the lawn and blew the grass clippings onto some of the cell packs. As if that was not annoying enough, I spilled one of the seeded trays, a whole tray, and had to start all over.

In the tray above are: broccoli, kohlrabi, 3 kinds of lettuce, chicory, celtuce, dandelion, Beedy’s kale (from Dave of Our Happy Acres, thank you Dave) and 2 kinds of napa. Will be starting spinach and baby bok choy (may be choy sum and Chinese broccoli too) in the coming weeks.

My previous years seed starting records are not well kept and orgainzed (translation: a mess), now that I am blogging (blogging is making be a little better orgainzed) I hope to do better. Using the above dates as a base and will adjust in future planting seasons.

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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63 Responses to Harvest Monday, July 2, 2012

  1. Daphne says:

    I’ve got to start some new seedlings too. My fall brassicas and lettuce. I’m still not sure the best time at this place and with all the heat. At my last house I started them in June and they got planted out in early July. But now I think early July and planted out at the end of July. Maybe. But August might be too hot. I keep thinking maybe I should do waves of them and not put them in all at once, but that requires so much more planning.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      Starting my seeds at this time, I am not sure I am doing the right thing, August can be so hot but so can September, oh, this is such a crazy planting year.

  2. kellysiew says:

    I’ve awarded you the much deserved Lovely Blog Award
    Check it out here: http://kellysiewcooks.com/2012/07/02/blog-awards-and-random-facts-about-myself/

    Have a great week!

  3. Liz says:

    Is having access to good fresh veggies being spoilt? Well I guess it probably is and very enjoyable it is too. I know how you feel about the seeds – if I don’t manage to spill them, or forget to water them then my 2 year old is sure the wreck havoc with them – sometimes I wonder whether I should just buy seedlings…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      I sometimes feel it is cheaper and easier to buy seedlings but then when I go to the nursery what I want is not available as I plant specific varieties so I ended up having to start my own.

  4. Blogging has helped me keep better records of my plantings, too. I enjoyed reading about the things you have harvested and those things you have planted for fall.

  5. Uh oh…you’ve already started your fall seeds! I was thinking about that over the weekend, but didn’t get around it…maybe next weekend…

    Your kale looks wonderful! Lots of greens still coming out of your garden…I am jealous…I actually had to purchase some greens at the store the other day. It was a sad event 😉

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Melissa,
      Well, I am not sure I am starting at the correct time. This is going to be my base for future planting dates. I will probably do some stagger dates and see which is the ideal, but then given the unusual weather so far this year, not sure what is going to work in the future, it all depends on mother nature.

  6. maryhysong says:

    Nice harvests this week Norma. I”m beginning to work on fall plantings also but the birds are sooo terrible and baby quail can pop through 1″ wire mesh. The quail are always terrible this time of year because the desert is all dried up and they are looking for anything green to eat. I may have to make boxes to go over the seed flats out of hardware cloth to keep them out.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mary,
      Thanks. I seem to have more wildlife this year than previous years, rabbits are all over so are chipmunks not the mention the flock of birds. I see bits and pieces of blackberry scattered in the garden but when I check the plant there are only green berries.

  7. Last year I started lettuce, cabbage, nappa cabbage, and kohlrabi on 7/15. Transplanted lettuce 8/7 and the rest 8/15. the Nappa cabbage and the Kohlibri kohlrabi did best. Not enough time for the Kossack Kohlrabi. It was too early for the Summer Mix lettuce – had to eat it small because it was bolting. The summer crisp (batavia) lettuce (Sierra & Nevada) did better, did not bolt and some made it through the October snow. I bought broccoli xplants and put them in ground around 8/7 but they produced only small heads before snow.

    This year I’m growing cabbage Storage #4 from Johnnys – I started them mid-May and xplanted them to Vassar Farm over the last week. We grew these in the EL last year and most of them sized up nicely.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mary,
      Thanks for the planting dates. Oh, I wish I was as organized and disciplined as you are. I followed your suggestions about keeping records, started out very nicely but somewhere down the road, you guessed it, forgot. I tell myself I will write the info as soon as I get indoors and then fail to remember, but am trying.

  8. kitsapfg says:

    The bok choy looks very good even if it was a little stressed by the arrival of a heat spell. I have trays of winter crop seedlings going too. I need to start some more in about two weeks of the items that are faster growing.

    I totally sympathize with tipping over the tray of seedling starts. I did that once, tripping while carrying some beautiful grown out starts and flipping the whole thing over upside down… breaking and smashing the lot of them. I was so furious with myself for that.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kitsapfg,
      The bok choy were not bad, pretty good actually, would have been excellent if picked earlier, as I said I am spoilt. Guess we all have accidents at one time or another during our gardening years.

  9. Wilderness says:

    Here I am still planting for my first and only crop and you are working on your second one for the year. Things are just starting to sprout here.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Wilderness,
      This yo-yoing weather sure made planting even more difficult for you in the area where you live. You must welcome this heatwave we are having, just hope it is not followed by a cold spell as seems to be pattern thus far this year.

  10. Diana says:

    Your Bok Choy stem is very big and fat so healthy. My husband is allergic to red russian kale and I am not sure of the reason. Because other kale he is not allergic just this one.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Diana,
      There is probably a compound in the red Russian kale that is the problem. I cannot eat canteloupe and honeydew but no problem with watermelon.

  11. ChgoJohn says:

    You bok choy and red kale look wonderful. Yes, the bok choy may have been a little stressed but show me something that isn’t these days — and that would include us! This is one for the record books, all right. Even so, your garden continues to flourish, Norma, and I enjoy reading of its progress.

  12. Dave's SFG says:

    Nice choi, Norma, but I suspect you are an expert on it. I had my last two heads of joi choi bolt on me (but I really didn’t have any more room in the refrigerator). And boy are you organized. I haven’t even thought about fall crops yet since we are still facing some hot weather.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      Saying that I am organized, you just made my day. I am trying to be organized, but really am not. Last year I thought about fall crop when it was too late, have a feeling I may be too early, but at least now I have a written base to work with. Shared a lot of my greens so they would not go to waste.

  13. I love fresh garden greens! I can’t wait to put in our kitchen garden at our plantation!

    Will you help us Save our History?

  14. Dave says:

    From here, that bok choy looks really good!

    I’m going to wait a bit before starting any Asian greens for fall. It’s just too hot here in August, and sometimes September. I can usually count on them in October though, and then for the rest of winter.

  15. I love reading of your garden successes and seeing such healthy produce my friend 😀
    Keep it up!

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. Rick says:

    Great harvest! I’m just getting seedling started for the fall as well, the same types of veggies as you, mostly lettuce and Cole Crops.

  17. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’ve heard you’re having a ferocious heat wave. Great that the vegetables did survive. Love how you’re growing your own raspberries – I would love to do that. They are such a great berry and we have to pay so much for them in the stores xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Hotly Spiced,
      Oh yes, we are having a heatwave and dry too. My raspberries frequently do not make it out of the garden gate, I end up eating most as I pick, a real treat.

  18. Your bok choy looks tender compared to what I buy in the store. Sounds like another great harvest Norma. I had swiss chard on Friday with my mom (she’s been visiting) and thought of you. Do you have a favourite way to prepare swiss chard?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello P and P,
      True, the bok choy are better that what is available at the store, but as I said, I am just spoilt.
      I prepare my Swiss chard very simply.
      Saute a bit of minced garlic, minced shallots/scallion/onion and a few slices of ginger briefly in oil with salt to taste
      Add sliced chards, saute until reached desired doneness
      Optional: Stir in a bit of fresh lemon juice or rice vinegar and sesame oil
      Optional: Stir in dried cranberries and toasted nuts/sesame seeds
      Substitute: soy sauce or oyster sauce for the salt
      Optional: Peel chard (ribs) to make more tender, I toss ribs and leafy part in at the same time but you could cook ribs briefly first then add leafy part.

  19. I was wondering how your garden was faring with that insane heat wave Norma. I hope the weather stabilizes soon!

  20. Charles says:

    I never heard of Russian red Kale – the name sounds “Soviet”, but I’m sure the “red” isn’t anything to do with that 😀 – Is it similar in taste to regular kale?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charles,
      Eating wise, it is not my favorite kale, I plant it because of the color and leaf pattern. Some catalogs actually refer to it a Red Russian Kale.

  21. Barbara Good says:

    Norma, I am always so in awe of how perfect your greens look, mine always have a few chewed on bit and holes in the leaves. Good on you for getting the seeds planted out, how annoying to have dropped some and to have grass blown on others. I think I’ll start getting organised in the next couple of weeks to start mine for the spring planting.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbara,
      The holes are there. Next time when I photo I will make sure to show the holes more prominently. Strange you are talking about spring planting and I am thinking fall planting, I will get used to the differences.

  22. Eva Taylor says:

    I know I would love eating at your house, Norma! What an incredible roundup of fresh vegetables!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I eat lots and lots of vegetables, some veggies I grow because I am fussy, others I grow because they are not readily available where I live. Let me know when you will be in my area.

  23. Kristy says:

    Wow! You started planting seeds for fall already? Planting and gardening is so foreign to me. Although spilling an entire tray of seeds…not so foreign! 😉

  24. Russian and lacinato kale are some of my favorite things in the garden…as well as something I can grow in my situation. This year they bolted early because of the heat, but I’m coveting yours and will plant more when weather permits!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello B and B,
      Lacinato is my favorite. I plant the Russian red for the color and leaf shape. With the heatwave we are experiencing I think I should start fresh seedlings for the fall, should do so next week..

  25. I love Kale and need to try Russian Red soon =D

  26. Juliana says:

    Wow Norma, such a fun thing having all this harvest…the bok choy sure looks great…I never seen the Russian red…
    Thanks for sharing all these awesome pictures and hope you are having a great week 🙂

  27. I could go for some steamed bok choy right now!

  28. I wish I had a thing in gardening. Love those bok choy!

  29. Such a wonderful garden you have, Norma! Such delicious looking bok choy!

  30. I was thinking this morning that it might be a good time to think of what to plant for autom
    Your posts are always inspiring and informative Norma

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Sawsan,
      Thanks. What did you decide to plant?

      • I am thinking tomatoes, is this the proper time to start the seeds?
        is there anything you think will work well in a window garden?

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Sawsan,
        I apologize for just replying to your question earlier, meant to but somehow never did.
        Not knowing anything about growing conditions in your part of the world I don’t know when is the proper time to start tomato, do you have garden centers? If yes, you should be able to get some info there.
        Beets, scallion, Asian greens (bok choy for one), Swiss chard, kale these will grow in window garden it all depends on the size of the container and how much sun it receives. Hope I helped some.

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