Harvest Monday, August 20, 2012 – Angled Luffa, Butternut Squash, Eggplants & Asian Pear

Angled luffa

First angled luffa. Well, actually this is the second one. The first one was camera shy but it was tender and delicious.

Right photo: Cross section of the luffa. There was no seed. Could have waited a few more days to harvest. Wonder how much longer it would grow?????

To learn more about angled luffa click here.

Decided to do a quick simple stir-fry.

Peeled away the ridges and part of the skin. Cut into wedges. Stir fried in a bit of oil, salt, garlic slices and Chinese chives flowers for a few minutes. So tasty.

Butternut squashes not quite ready, but given the situation with the angry critters, decided to harvest 4. They passed the nail test but may not keep well, needed to stay on the vine a bit longer. Left 2 on the vine to make comparison.

Two of the 4 butternut squashes

Ping Tung eggplants

Having the eggplant wearing knee-hi’s kept away the critters but it also blanched the fruit. The eggplant in front was higher up from the ground so I decided it did not need knee-hi. Notice the deeper purple color.

Eggplant collection from my garden: Left, 3 ping tungs. Center, Japanese long purple. Right, Listada de Gandia. The Japanese long purple and the Listada de Gandia both have slightly thicker skin, may need peeling. The ping tung skin is thin and tender, never needs peeling, is never bitter, so no need to salt, my favorite eggplant.

Still harvesting: green and white bittermelons, sweet potato vines, Swiss chard, lettuce, kale, collard, blackberries and figs.

Days are getting shorter and nights are getting cold, plants will still be growing and  producing but at a slower pace.

Asian pears

Too many pears in clusters, resulting in small fruits. Early spring, I was going to thin out the fruits, but the tree was self-thinning. Not knowing how much or how long this self-thinning was going to be, I worried that if I thin also I may end up with no fruit, so did no thinning, big mistake.

Showing off


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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

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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95 Responses to Harvest Monday, August 20, 2012 – Angled Luffa, Butternut Squash, Eggplants & Asian Pear

  1. Annie says:

    What an incredible harvest you’ve got…that is called success! 🙂

  2. hotlyspiced says:

    It’s amazing how the colour of the eggplants differs by the addition of a stocking! I love the look of your pears and that fig is amazing. What a beautiful garden you have xx

  3. I have always wanted to grow luffa- maybe I’ll give it a try next year. If any get too big to eat, I can use them in the shower! Or does the angled sort not do that?

  4. Oh that fig – I am salivating! Can’t wait to harvest a few from our tree at the end of the year or maybe beginning of next – weather permitting…
    🙂 Mandy

  5. I put stockings on my lower clusters of tomatoes. The stockings block air flow, I think, creating nice humid conditions; the stockinged tomatoes are all getting anthracnose while the rest are OK. So it’s a choice: critters or disease.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mary,
      So sorry to hear about your stockinged tomatoes having anthrocnose. I had worried about disease on my eggplants also, thank goodness they were all OK.

  6. I love the eggplants. I do enjoy eating eggplants. I have had a pretty good eggplant year, but many of my other things didn’t do too well. I have asian pears in my yard, too, and my children and I love the crisp, crunchiness of the fresh fruit.

  7. Patsy says:

    I read your post about the angled luffas; very interesting as I’d never heard of them before! They look good. Beautiful eggplants! My PingTung aren’t producing much, but my Swallows are making up for it. That zinnia looks like it should win a prize!

  8. kitsapfg says:

    I honestly would never think to actually eat a louffa, I only think of them being grown for their fibrous interior for louffa scrubs. Learn something new every day. That fig is a beauty.

  9. Your eggplants are gorgeous! I’m hoping we still have time in the season for mine to mature, but I’m not sure we will. Your butternuts look wonderful to me! I accidently didn’t get any in the ground this year (planted pumpkins instead…stinkin!). Ah well…there’s always next year 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Melissa,
      I hope you have time for your eggplants to mature. We gardeners are an optimistic bunch, there is always next year for whatever we missed or didn’t come out as expected.

  10. Kristy says:

    That fig is making me hungry! I have a few at home for later this week. 🙂 mmmmm!

  11. barbie says:

    Amazing harvests- better to butternut than not to! 😉 Same for the pears. I think it was better to have left some than to have had none at all.

  12. Daphne says:

    Those Asian pears look lovely even if they are small. I keep thinking I should have put one in when I put in the fruit trees. I might decided eventually to get rid of one of the figs. I’m thinking they just aren’t going to grow well here if left in the ground. I might move one. Hard to say. I’m still debating.

  13. Eggplants and figs and butternut squash! Fall is coming.

  14. Amber says:

    Awesome harvest. I have had so much trouble with my LDG eggplant. Tried it from seed for 2 years with no success. Flee beetles forced me to buy two eggplants this year, but found that I LOVED the japanese eggplant! Perhaps I will try the PT Eggplant next year!

  15. Wilderness says:

    would love to have your butternut squash. I have just 2 and they just set so will never make it to maturity.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Wilderness,
      Those butternut squashes are the only winter squashes I have, there is not sufficient time for the others to mature and develop a hard skin, sad.

  16. Jenny says:

    You have an amazing harvest! Those asian pears and figs look so yummy! and the eggplants are so vibrant and colorful. didn’t know you could eat luffa so learned something new – thank you.

  17. Butternut squash!!! O….I miss them terribly! I remember I used to buy some pickled Asian pears from a fruitstall at our local market. I can’t wait to see what recipes you gonna come up with those pears.

  18. Hi Norma! I actually like smaller fruits so your pears look just perfect to me, as well as all other harvest. Norma, last Farmer’s market I saw bitter melon, they were so cute but I didn’t know what to do with it. How do you cook them, or don’t? Thanks! 🙂

  19. That is a BEAUTIFUL zinna. They grew well for me and handled the Texas heat.

  20. Ohhh, Asian pears, what a treat. You sure have a heavenly little garden with pears and figs, not including the angry critters… 😉

  21. Eva Taylor says:

    Your harvest is wonderful Norma. I love the eggplant. I’ve seen the angled luffa at the store but have never tried it. I’m going to check your link to see what I’m missing.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I think you will like it. You may want to peel away all the skin though. Most non-Asians do not care for the contrast between the crunchy skin and the soft flesh.

  22. Rick says:

    As usual you have another beautiful harvest!! I sure have noticed the days getting shorter!! I’m usually up in the morning to go for a run. I leave about 6:15 am an now I’m able to beat the sun home! It didn’t come up until after 7:20 today! Fall is coming!

  23. Your eggplant collection looks beautiful 😀
    And fantastic garden update!

    Choc Chip Uru

  24. ChgoJohn says:

    What a harvest to celebrate this Monday, Norma! Sorry you had to pick some early & cover other vegetables but it sure beats finding them half-eaten on the ground. I must say, though, that the zinnia photo is stunning, a perfect way to end your post.

  25. Norma you must be having so much fun making these wonderful vegetables for dinner every night. I am so jealous!

  26. Treasure in your garden! I adore eggplant, I think they might be one of my favourite vegetables!

  27. wok with ray says:

    I love of of these vegetables especially the luffa that I cook with misua noodles. Norma you have all the vegetables that we always eat. I love your garden. Have a good week! 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Ray,
      Thanks, I love my gardene too. I plant mostly what I like and want but are not readily available in the local markets. Would like to plant more but lack garden space not to mention energy. A good week to you too.

  28. Liz says:

    Wow, you have quite the green thumb…lovely harvest. I’ve never even heard of an angled luffa…so that’s one I’ll keep my eyes out for 🙂

  29. leduesorelle says:

    Lovely variety! I cooked with some larger eggplants from the farmers market recently, and they were seedy and bitter, and the skins were tough — I’ve really come to appreciate these smaller, Asian varieties like the Ping Tung.

  30. Purely.. Kay says:

    Just look at how amazing your butternut squash and your eggplant look. If I show this post to my mother, she would want to come through the screen and cook it right now lol

  31. maryhysong says:

    Everything is amazing, as usual Norma! love those Ping Tung! Might have to try some next year. My luffa has yet to even show a flower bud; I planted a bit late plus it is not in the sunniest spot; next year it goes on the big trellis where it will get a lot more sun.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mary,
      I am not getting a lot of maturing fruits from my luffa, many of the babies turned yellow and dropped from the plant. I think there is a lack of bees for pollination.

  32. ceciliag says:

    I have some unfinished butternuts that i had to harvest when the vine died, what are we going to do with them? c

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Cecilia,
      I use immature winter squash in different ways. I sometimes peel slice thinly and saute in a bit of oil, salt, garlic and shallots. If you are into Chinese fermented black beans, a little is good also. I also peel cut into chunks and braise alone, maybe with some tomatoes or add to stew. Or use as one would with an overmature summer squash. Hope I helped.

  33. those eggplant look terrific. I can almost taste Moroccan eggplant jam. 🙂 I just love your garden, Norma!

  34. Eha says:

    Love the look of your Ping Tung eggplants: will be in the nursery next week an shall see whether I too can plant! Have just had two talks on line re the Japanes ones, which are the ones we most often get here bar the fullsized purple ones; glad I could place them: we call them ‘cocktail’!! 🙂 ! The Asian pears; do you find them ‘watery’ compared to the usual kinds – the ones I have had had a lot of juice but little taste! Oh, do you grow corinader ’cause that grows best in winter here and spring, but seeds awfully quickly when warmer weather arrives . . . .

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eha,
      There are many varieties of Asian pears, mine are juicy, yes, but also sweet and crunchy. I have coriander growing in a patch of the garden but they are volunteers, meaning I allow some of the plants to go to seed and now they regrow every year and is sufficient for my use.

  35. Liz says:

    Thanks for the tip on Ping Tung eggplants – I will definitely seek them out. I grew what I think was probably a similar variety a couple of years ago but I bought it as a seedling, and lost the label so I had no idea what it was unfortunately.

  36. Dave's SFG says:

    Another beautiful harvest, Norma. I really envy your eggplant, bleached or not. I had the same experience as you trying to thin my Asian pears. Whatever pears I chose to snip from a cluster, a few weeks later the tree would drop more of the ones I chose to keep. Just shows I don’t think like a pear tree.

  37. Gorgeous harvest photos!

  38. Juliana says:

    Gorgeous as always Norma…I love your eggplant collection…I never seen the listed…so pretty. Your garden is amazing…I would love to take a tour 🙂
    Thanks for sharing all this pictures of your harvest and hope you have a great week!

  39. How Ironic! Guess what I just bought at the wet market today? An angled luffa. The lad at the wet market had to break it half to weigh it. So it must be cooked today and I will try your recipe. thanks, BAM

  40. Envious of your harvest as always Norma 🙂 And I haven’t had angled luffa in YEARS! They were delicious.

  41. I hate being out late reading posts but always enjoy your Monday harvests…even on Wednesday! I’d never heard of an Angled Luffa, nor did I know that variety of eggplant, which I have enjoyed in Asian dishes in restaurants but it was misnamed as a Japanese eggplant, was Ping Tung. Always learning something over here. Amazing fig and beautiful zinnia. All in all a grand harvest day I would say!

  42. Barbara Good says:

    Wow, now Angled Luffa is a new one to me, read your other post also so I definitely learnt a thing or two. Very interesting about the eggplant, and please excuse the ignorance but what is the nail test for pumpkin? Another great and inspiring harvest Norma.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbara,
      The “nail test” for winter squash is: when you press on the squash skin with your nail if it does not leave a dent the squash skin is hard and the squash is ready.

  43. Cakewhiz says:

    All your hard work in the garden is paying off coz this harvest is superb! You are so lucky to have all those fresh veggies to cook with!

  44. Wow – what a beautiful harvest, and an amazing variety!! You are so lucky to be able to grow so many fresh fruits and veggies. Sooo healthy. A quick question, though: What are knee-hi’s?

  45. Sophie33 says:

    That fig sure is showing off!! hehehehhe:) Your butternut squashes look amazing & pretty too! 🙂
    Your longer aubergines too!

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