Harvest Monday, July 30, 2012

Yes, I remembered to take a photo of my blackberries and 1 lonely raspberry. Well, there were more than one, the others just did not make it into the photo.

This past week I harvested a few firsts (all listed below).

White bittermelon

The seeds for this white bittermelon were given to me by my friend’s sister. She was out of the country but when she returned it was too late to start the seedlings. I am hoping for a bountiful harvest so I can share with her. I also need to make sure to allow at least one of the bittermelons to mature so I can save seeds for next year for both of us. This is the beauty of seed sharing, keeping the source alive. To learn more about bittermelon click here. (I posted my first green bittermelon on July 23 Harvest Monday.)

Chinese long beans (yardlong beans)

The green ones are more abundant. The red ones, called red noodles, are coming in slower, hope they pick up pace.

Yellow pear tomato

The yellow pear tomatoes, above, were not ready to harvest, but a major storm came through the area on Thrusday evening, knocked down the plant and broke some of the branches. Restaked the plant, pruned away the broken branches and gathered the fallen tomatoes. Hope they ripen at room temperature and the plant recovers.

Ping Tung Eggplant

Was very excited when I noticed my first Ping Tung eggplant was ready for harvest. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered someone had gotten to it before I did. Cut and tossed it on the compost pile (after I photographed). Two days later, noticed another was ready, but again someone beat me to it. This time decided to leave the partially eaten fruit on the plant hoping the critter will continue to nibble on it and leave the others alone. Well, that’s the plan and the hope. Need to find a solution to protect the others.

After returning from my trip earlier this month, I keep forgetting to weigh my harvest. When friends and neighbours come to the garden to get harvests, those never got weighed either, so will  probably not weigh for the remainder of the year. Will try again next year  hopefully I will do a better job at keeping records.

Japanese anemone

Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

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

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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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90 Responses to Harvest Monday, July 30, 2012

  1. cocomino says:

    That eggplants are interesting and unique. 🙂

  2. wow blackberries!! Quite expensive over here….and you grow and harvest your own! Fantastic!

  3. How wonderful to have blackberries!!! Sorry to hear about your eggplant! I’ve never grown it before this year but I wonder if some stockings/pantyhose pulled over the fruit might help deter the pests? It should allow it to breathe, get sun and grow while being quite unappealing to any critter walking by.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Melissa,
      I thought about the stockings/panty hose idea but I will need quite a bit of whichever I choose. If only I had not thrown out all those knee hi’s. I believe chipmunks are the culprits, saw quite a few in the garden.

  4. That white bitter melon is so beautiful! Is the flavor the same? We had bitter melon last year that took over part of the garden. People here let it ripen and eat the red flesh around the seed. I pick them green, but sometimes it’s too bitter for me…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello GC,
      Yes the white bittermelon is very beautiful. To me the flavor is the same as the green ones. I did not know you could use the red flesh around the seed, how is it used?Must try when I have a ripe one. If you allow the bittermelon to reach the pale yellow stage it is less bitter, or you can blanch the green ones to get rid of some of the bitterness.

  5. Kristy says:

    Those blackberries look scrumptious! I wonder what kind of critter is eating the eggplants.

  6. leduesorelle says:

    The white bitter melon look worth growing for their beauty alone! Thanks for the reminder to go and check the blackberry bushes on the side of the road…

  7. The storm tipped my big concrete reinforcing wire cages (there isn’t enough room for them to fall.) The tomatoes trellised with stakes and woven string were fine. At Vassar Farm a lot of the Sugar Buns corn is now leaning but the Incredible corn is still standing.

    Good luck with the yard long beans – they really like the heat we haven’t gotten in the last few days.

  8. kitsapfg says:

    Those yardlong beans are really amazing. Sorry you have a critter problem eating your eggplants. I have a hard time remembering to weigh things too. Berries are the worst for that because we tend to just pick and eat them on the spot. Never even make it into the house – let alone get weighed or photographed.

  9. Josephine Chin says:

    Hi Norma. . . . . .your garden (both flowers & veggies) continue to amaze me. If I hadn’t seen the size of your veggie garden, I would think it was acres! Beautiful photos! ~ Jo

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Jo,
      I do pack a lot in my garden. Will have to cut back next year. The neighbour’s tree is casting too much shade and the tree roots are invading my garden.

  10. jenny says:

    Those beans are very long! Never tried them so might have to do it next year. Too bad about eggplant damage. And berries here never make it to the house 🙂

  11. Hi Norma,
    I have never come across a ping tung eggplant before. Very interesting!

  12. I’ve just popped over from Karen’s blog.. and what beautiful and unique treasures you’ve grown!!

  13. Wilderness says:

    Nice harvest Norma. Sorry about the egg plant. I have problems with the chipmunks eating the bottom out of the tomatoes when they start to ripen so have to pick them early and let them finishing ripening in the house.

  14. Wonderful harvests, Norma. I am so happy that you are encouraging us all to save seeds.

  15. Eva Taylor says:

    The tomatoes look great Norma, and that eggplant variety is my favourite! Remember when I mentioned that I had forgotten to plant tomato plants this year? Imagine my surprise when I found one of the roots from last year sprout and now it is about 60cm tall with several flowers and a couple of tomatoes

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      You can grow that variety of eggplant in a container. Did you take photos of your harvested garlic? Hope we will see photos of your ripe tomato, isn’t that exciting! I still get excited everyday when I bring produce in from my garden. Am so waiting for my brandywine tomato.

  16. zentMRS says:

    I love your blackberries – and those yard-long beans are very intriguing!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Zent,
      The blackberries were/are delicious, best of all because it is a thornless bush, I do not get scratched when I reach in to pick.
      Will be posting about growiwng and using Chinese long beans on Friday.

  17. Courtney says:

    I can not wait for our blackberries to ripen!

  18. Those blackberries have me my friend, you are a gardening goddess!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  19. So many interesting things growing in your garden, Norma! I’m intrigued by the white bittermelon – I’ve only ever seen the green ones, and also by the fact that something ate your eggplant. Usually nothing eats ours! The berries look fantastic and you’ve been able to grow my all time favourite been – snake beans – I’ve never been able to make them work here. Now that I have a heated seedling mat, I’m going to try again – thank you for the inspiration!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Celia,
      I grew white bittermelon few years ago but planted them next to the green ones, got cross pollinated and my following generation white bittermelons were pale green. I was so happy when my friend’s sister offered me some seeds. Since deer will not eat it, I planted one outside the garden to avoid cross pollination. That is the plant I will be collecting seeds from.
      I think it is chipmunks that are eating my eggplants. I believe you have a longer growing season than I, so hopefully your snake beans will grow and produce for you.

  20. Beautiful Norma! I have never had Bittermelon – what does it taste like?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Alyssa,
      It is BITTER. If you like broccoli raab and chicory you may like bittermelon. If you dislike them, then you definitely will not like bittermelon. I know someone who is eating it for medicinal purpose and able to tolerate it by making smoothie.

  21. Daphne says:

    Too bad about the eggplants. It is always annoying when something is almost ready then you find it eaten.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      Agree, especially when it is a good looking one. I believe it is chipmunks, I see quite a few in the garden. Something is digging in my sweet potato patch also, not pleased about that. How are your sweet potatoes doing?

  22. Shawn Ann says:

    very unique and interesting harvest items. Love to see new things!

  23. Your post today is full of interesting textures! I know all too well the feeling of something beating you to the harvest…so disappointing, but what can you do? Still, looks like you had some good things this week, and I love the blackberries. Beautiful anemones.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello B and B,
      I was disappointed but I got over it, many more little ones on the plant, will try to protect them. The anemones are quite a sight, my photo did not do them justice.

  24. Hi Norma, you have a lovely harvest, even if you have to share it with some creature. I bought those long purple beans last farmer’s market, haven’t cooked with it yet. What is the best way to prepare them?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Marina,
      I am going to be writing a post about the Chinese long beans for Friday. But if you cannot wait, a simple (and my favorite) way is to cut them into 2-3 inches lengths, saute in a bit of oil with garlic and shallots or scallion, taste as you go along to find the stage of doneness you like best. Do you still have the dried shrimp you bought some time ago? If yes, soak a few till soften, coarsely chop and add with garlic.

  25. Rick says:

    As always you had another beautiful harvest. I’ve never tried the yard long beans. Are they similar to other beans in taste and growing condition? I’d like to give them a try if they will grow here in hot and dry Utah. That anemone at the end of the post looks fantastic!!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Rick,
      I am going to be writing a post about the Chinese long beans for Friday. They like hot and humid condition, don’t know how will they fare in dry Utah, the only way to find out is to try.

  26. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love the photo of your blackberries Norma (and one lone raspberry!) How lovely to have your own berries. That white bitter melon looks very interesting and I hope you will show us what you do with it xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      It is a treat to go to the garden and harvest a handful of berries for breakfast. Raspberries are all gone but still lots of unripe blackberries on the plant so the treat will be for a while longer. I use the white bittermelon the same as the green ones, will try to post additional recipes at a later date.

  27. You grow such interesting veggies. I love reading your harvest Monday posts because it gives me ideas about what to grow next year!

  28. Lisa says:

    Beautiful produce. Beautiful photographs.

  29. Dave's SFG says:

    Beautiful blackberries. Sorry about the eggplant. We have chipmunks in the garden doing that sort of damage. We set traps and got one but the rest seem to have learned to avoid them for now. Time to use the peanut butter.

  30. Norma, you always have the most magnificent treasures growing in your garden! Beautiful.
    🙂 Mandy

  31. Karen says:

    Lovely berries from your garden. Critters, they certainly can be a challenge to a gardener. We had the same storm I guess…spent an hour tying up branches over the weekend. Like you, I hope they do OK because I have a lot of green tomatoes on them.

  32. Juliana says:

    Again, the harvest are so beautiful…the berries look awesome. I always enjoy seeing your harvest 🙂
    Thanks for the fun post Norma and enjoy your week!

  33. Those blackberries look fantastic!

  34. So beautiful, Norma! You are so lucky to have such a wonderful garden. I’ve never even heard of white bittermelon. I love the idea of seed sharing – one more way a garden can pull people together 🙂

  35. pooks says:

    The stuffed bitter melon recipe on the page you linked to looks truly delicious!

  36. maryhysong says:

    A stunning harvest as usual Norma. I’m not that fond of bitter stuff myself, so have never tried the bitter melon. Also I tend to be a bit of a lazy cook, if something requires peeling and blanching before it is edible, count me out!

  37. Beautiful harvest (minus the pest barging in on your territory)! Your blackberries have me thinking of new recipes, but I’m not sure they would last long enough to do something with them because I would eat them as they were picked!!

  38. When I saw the eggplant I thought the dear was responsible for it lol
    the Japanese anemone are so beautiful..thank you for sharing the picture 🙂

  39. Charles says:

    What a shame about the eggplant… did you salvage any of it at all? Good luck with the others… I hope the critter keeps munching away on the one you left. Those tomatoes look really fun too… I’ve never heard of that variety. I don’t even need to say that those blackberries look fat and juicy too… What are your plans for them?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charles,
      No I did not salvage any. I am very paranoid, if an animal takes a bite out of my produce, it gets tossed, never know what diseases it carries. We do have rabid wild life in the area.
      Oh, those blackberries, the plans are: eat as soon as picked.

  40. Sophie33 says:

    Waw! A lot of blackberries! Mine get eaten by me or the husband straight from the plant!
    I have never seen white bittermelons before but this fruit looks strange but lovely too!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Sophie,
      I had to make a special effort to not eat those blackberries, I needed a photo. Subsequent pickings do not make it into the kitchen, well may be a few if that day’s picking is abundant.

  41. Lrong says:

    Admire your first harvests such as bitter melon and the tomato… envy your black berries… I should do something with the plant I have as it is not doing as well as I expected it to…

  42. Diana says:

    Interesting, I have never eaten white bitter melon before, is it less bitter than the green ones?
    Wow you also have red-coloured yardlong bean. Where did you get it from?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Diana,
      I personally do not find any difference between the green and white. I going to do a comparison and see if I can detect any difference.
      I got my red-coloured yardlong beans from the garden catalog.

  43. durga soma says:

    Norma,
    Where do you find white bitter melons? WE GET GREEN ONES AT INDIAN STORES

  44. Wow! What a green thumb you have! I just want to dive into that bowl of blackberries…they are huge! You grow a unique variety of vegetables too. Lovely stuff!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Diva,
      Actually my thumb and fingers are all brown from digging in the dirt. I grow mostly veggies that I like but that are not readily available where I live.

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