Harvest Monday, August 13, 2012 – Harvest Update

The Chinese long beans are happily thriving in the heat and humidity. Harvested daily this past week. Freezer is happy it is getting fed. In my August 3 post I mentioned I read somewhere that the flowers attract hummingbirds. Have been keeping my eyes open and happy to report, yes, the hummingbirds are visiting, but they are so swift, I could not get a photo.

Brought in the last of the baby bok choy. Surprised they survived the heat. A few of the plants were flowering and all the leaves are holey, still tender and delicious stir-fried in just a bit of oil with minced garlic and ginger and a splash of soy sauce.

First red amaranth harvest. Planted later that usual, but garden was producing lots of greens so that was OK. Cooked the same as the baby bok choy.

Left photo, amaranth plant.

First beets harvest.
Top to bottom: Detroit dark red, chioggia and cylindra

This is what the inside of the chioggia beets look like.
Left, pole to pole
Right, cross section

Also brought in the last 2 kohlrabi. These went into a beef stew. They were tender, not at all bothered by the heat.

Prepped the grounds and transplant some of the kohlrabi seedlings started in cell packs at the end of June (bumped up into 3-inch pots around mid-July). Hoping for a fall/winter harvest.

Also transplanted my Beedy’s Camden kale seedlings. Got the seeds from Dave, Our Happy Acres. Thank you Dave.

Battling cabbage worms. Hand picking daily (I do not spray) from all the brassica seedlings, many got their leaves chewed up so badly, may not make it.

Ants discovered my ripe figs. The race is now on to get to the ripe figs before the ants. I may have to harvest a tad earlier than I like.

The wookchuck has appeared, so far it is nibbling on my neighbour’s property. Despite the drought, it is really fat so there must be lots of goodies over there. Hope it continues to be happy and satisfied with what is there and not waddle over to my yard.

Lots of flowers on my blue hubbard squash but they are all male flowers, growing season is coming to an end soon so most likely I will not be harvesting any blue hubbard. This on top of losing all my summer squash plants to squash borer. A disappointing squash year. Next year will definitely be better.

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

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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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74 Responses to Harvest Monday, August 13, 2012 – Harvest Update

  1. You have the greenest fingers Norma! Lovely to see what you have in your garden.
    🙂 Mandy

  2. Liz says:

    I just asked Robin at Garden of Eden what Chinese red long bean plants look like and here I am looking at them – they look fascinating. Another thing for me to try…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      I think you will enjoying growing the Chinese red long beans, they make a statement in the garden.

      • Yvonne says:

        I am planning to grow the snake bean this Summer but had never came across the red/purple snake bean like yours, it looks very attractive on the green vines of bean leaf. I haven’t seen anywhere in Australia selling the red/purple snake bean, does anyone know where can we get it in Australia?

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Yvonne,
        Have you looked in the garden catalogs? You could also try the Asian markets, in NYC some of the Asian markets carry vegetable seeds.

  3. Sophie33 says:

    These long beans look lovely. How long can they be? What is the longest bean in cm?
    I also have chioggia beets but they aren’t ready yet. Your amaranth leaves look lovely & so does your beets & kohlrabi’s! Yummy yum!

  4. Eva Taylor says:

    What an incredible harvest Norma. Our neighbours grow tomatoes and gave us a couple yesterday; I’m going to use them in a Julia Child recipe later this week (it’s one I made with store bought tomatoes on the weekend, see post tomorrow). Did you mean woodchuck? I’m going to have to google what they look like. My friend Angela has bunnies in her garden and mentioned how cute they are before they become “Garden Eating Machines”. So funny.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Woodchuck is also known as groundhog. It tunnels into the garden (I once saw one climbing my garden fence) and can wipe out a garden in no time.
      I am looking forward to seeing your post tomorrow.

  5. hotlyspiced says:

    I love the variety Norma. I’m so sorry to hear about the figs. I know you wanted them to stay on the tree until they had ripened. I hope the ants find something else to eat xx

  6. maryhysong says:

    There is a thing called tangle trap or something like that; basically sticky paper to wrap around a tree trunk and catch bugs that climb up from the ground. Beautiful harvest as usual! I really love those chiogga beets, ordered some seed to try for myself.

  7. Kate says:

    Hi Norma!
    Sorry about the squash. Those striped beets are really pretty. Do they keep their stripes after you cook them?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kate,
      They lose their stripe after cooking. I read somewhere that lemon juice will help preserve the color, I have to get to the store for a lemon and experiment.

  8. Norma, you are growing so many interesting things–things I have never tried. I always enjoy reading your blog, because you open my eyes to all sorts of possibilities. Kohlrabi isn’t bothered by the heat? That’s something else to add to my list. Long beans attract hummingbirds? Another one on the list. Red amaranth can be cooked the same as baby bok choy? See,it gets quite long when I read your posts. 🙂

  9. Patsy says:

    All of your harvest looks so nice! I can sympathize over the squash; I often have trouble with them because of bugs. How does amaranth taste? I’ve never grown it before, but if it does well in heat it might be something I should try.

  10. cocomino says:

    The red ones are really wonderful color and I’m interested in the taste.

  11. The beets look marvelous and so does the amaranth. You grow so much, how big is your plot–it seems like you harvest an acres-worth of vegetables…:)

    Ohhhhh woodchucks! Yes, I noticed too, mine are EXTREMELY fat and don’t seem to be suffering at all. I’m sure it helps that they’re gobbling up my tomatoes!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello FC,
      Well my garden is not that big, I just grow many varieites – a little of this and a little of that, and I pack them in tightly, too tightly, i think. Sorry to learn the woodchucks are gobbling up your tomatoes.

  12. kitsapfg says:

    Those long beans are really interesting. I will keep my fingers crossed that the woodchuck stays at your neighbors. Sorry about the squash production. We had a lousy squash year last year because of the abnormally cold summer. Looking to be better this year, but I noticed the pumpkins seem to be having problems pollinating. The patch is such a tangle of vegetation that it is hard for me to get in there to hand pollinate.

  13. ceciliag says:

    What a fantastic harvest, I love how you often panfry your veges lightly, this is how we eat them too most of the time. from the garden to the mouth in under 20 minutes! yum! c

  14. Amaranth!! Totally cool! Can’t remember when I last saw them…
    These long beans are really thriving!

  15. Daphne says:

    I hope that woodchuck stays away. I had one a couple years ago and it ate every squash in the garden except one that I wrapped in a million layers of bird netting. Oh how I hated that animal.

    And those beans look so lovely. I tried to grow them one year and they never did much. I should try again. I do love them.

  16. Your beets are gorgeous! I hear you about battling cabbage worms…we hand picked for what felt like forever at the beginning of the summer and then finally gave up. I’m going to try again this fall, but it was rough.

    I’ve never tried to grow those long beans…I might have to add them to the list…they look lovely!

  17. Wilderness says:

    Norma, I hear you on the male squash blossoms. That is all I have on my butternut but the acorn have finally started to set. They may get ok to eat but don’t think they will make the stage that they will store well.

    Love those beans. What do they taste like.

  18. Charles says:

    I’m still fascinated by those long beans – they’re just so *long*! (and cool!). Those beets look amazing, do they taste pretty much the same as “normal” beets?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello charles,
      The beans are really cool. I sometmes cook them whole and then curl them to serve, that’s really cool.
      They taste like “normal” beets but a bit sweeter.

  19. barbie says:

    My long beans drowned this week. I couldn’t believe it! I’ve never seen that happen. TIme to replant anyway – but still!

  20. Such beautiful photos, Norma, and such good food.

  21. What superb beets my friend 😀
    Absolutely love your garden!

    Choc Chip Uru

  22. I enjoy reading your posts and watch this green pictures. And I would love to have my own garden.

  23. Rick says:

    So sorry to here about your squash problems. We are struggling in the squash department this year too. Those long beans are amazing. How do they taste? Where can I get seeds I’d love to try them next year.

  24. ChgoJohn says:

    It seems like everyone is having problems growing squash this year. If it isn’t the bugs, it’s the heat, and sometimes both. Lucky for you the rest of your garden is doing great! Your Chinese long beans look great and isn’t that chioggia beet beautiful?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Yes, the chioggia beat is gorgeous, unfortunately it loses its color after cooking. Do you know how to preserve the color? I read somewhere about using lemon juice. It is an Italian heirloom and I am hoping you can give me some ideas.

      • ChgoJohn says:

        I spoke with my Zia moments ago and mentioned your beets. She knows of no “fancy” beets. The beets they had to prepare were the standard deep red beets common to all of our groceries. Sorry but I if do come upon something, I will certainly let you know.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello John,
        Thanks for checking with your Zia for me.

  25. Juliana says:

    Love your harvest as usual…and the Chinese long beans look awesome…never had amaranth…and the beets look great.
    Beautiful as always Norma…have a wonderful week ahead 🙂

  26. Those chioggia beets deserve centre stage on a plate with some grilled meat. Beautiful!

  27. Sammie says:

    what a great harvest!!! Fresh vegetables are the best!!

  28. Eha says:

    Hmm: love those long beans; could not do without my baby bok choy, holey or otherwise; have never tried growing amaranth: what a good lesson – I don’t spray either, and have found out what a woodchuck is!! Lots of thanks due, methinks 🙂 !

  29. leduesorelle says:

    I was familiar with amaranth as a seed, I hadn’t realized that the amaranth leaves were also edible, making it much more valuable as an edible. We’ve had woodchuck problems for the first time this year, and have taken it as a sign to put up a stronger fence…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Leduesorelle,
      Yes, the leaves are edible. the stems also, if tender.
      Sorry to hear you are having woodchuck problem. They do dig under the fence to get into the garden so you need to bury the fence 12 inches below ground surface. I bury chicken wire.

  30. Annie says:

    You have done so well with the top of my veggie wish list : snake beans & amaranth! My snake beans plant looked ‘so sorry’ right from the beginning, and was able to cough only 4 beans in total. As for the Amaranth, I searched hi & low for seeds, finally managed to find a packet that was expired 10 years ago..they still wanted to sell it and I still wanted to buy it…of course…not even one seed came into being!! Norma, You are so blessed with your garden produce!! 🙂

  31. Dave's SFG says:

    Nice harvest as usual. Your long beans are great, I should try those,.they would love this summer, and I bet they are great for stir fry (Szechuan dry-fried green beans, mmm…). The cabbage caterpillars weren’t bad until now. Lots of moths fluttering around, but not a lot of damage. Maybe they didn’t like the hot weather. Now they are chewing up the place. You could spray with Bt, it’s considered organic.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      Thanks. Yes, the long beans make excellent Szechuan dry-fried green beans, their textures are perfect for the dish. I don’t have a huge amount of plants so I will just continue to hand pick.

  32. Lrong says:

    Love the patterns of the beets… and your long beans look so lovely, dangling down are they are…

  33. Kristy says:

    Oh hummingbirds are such little delights! I get so excited every time I see one. They just fascinate me. Good luck getting to the figs!

  34. Norma, I was thinking again about your experiences with amaranth today. Now that it’s cooler, I have more time to think about what I want to plant next year. I think I am going to plant amaranth. It sounds really like an exciting plant. 🙂 Thanks for introducing me to it.

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