Harvest Monday, August 27, 2012

My one and only red cabbage. Not very big, less than 1 pound, but it is solid.

Due to limited space, I do not plant cabbage, red or green (they are so readily available). But after all the plantings were completed at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden earlier in the year, there was one lonely red cabbage seedling that had no home. Not wanting it to end up in the compost pile, I decided to provide it with a home.

First daikon, Korean radish F1 Tae Baek

This is the first time I am growing this Korean radish. The catalog listed it as crisp and sweet. Crisp, yes, sweet, no (made a pickle and it had quite a bite). May be it is due to the hot weather, or perhaps I should have harvested sooner, don’t know. Will give it another try next year. Going to make a stew with it and see if cooking brings out the sweetness.

Gai lan and heirloom tomatoes

My sister, Joyce, gave me the gai lan seedlings in July. Am surprised that they flourished through the heat. Actually they look better and the stems fatter than the spring planting.
Tomatoes are finally starting to ripen. The critters took bites out of a few of the bigger ones.

Harvested yellow beets
Left photo, uncooked. Right photo, cooked. Yellow beets retain their color after cooking.

Caught in the act
Tried to get a better photo, but when I got closer the critter took off.

Damage by Chipmunk

Saw the chipmunk sitting on the fence eating the seeds from the maturing beans (on the vines) that I was saving for next year’s planting. That’s after it had eaten a portion of some of the immature green beans.

Notice how it ate the tender pods of the immature beans but only the beans from the more fibrous mature pods. Such gourmet taste bud.

Deer damage
This section of the squash plant decided to venture outside the garden fence and met its fate. Deer ate all the leaves.

This squash is a volunteer. It was growing in the compost pile. Had no idea what kind of squash it was. Decided to leave it alone.

It’s a butternut squash plant, definitely a keeper. Counted 6 squashes so far inside the fence. Not sure if they will mature before frost arrive, will see. There are also 2 squashes outside the fence, but the deer already took bites out of them.

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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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86 Responses to Harvest Monday, August 27, 2012

  1. What a solid red cabbage my friend, lovely garden update 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great harvest Norma, too bad about the wild-life. I can imagine how satisfying it is to eat from your garden. Was that the sister from Toronto? If so, how did you transport the shoots?

  3. It is nice that you got a head of cabbage…it looks perfect. Sorry to see that you have had damage from the chipmunks and deer…pesky critters are a bag thing. Hope they don’t get anything else.

  4. Daphne says:

    Don’t you just love the volunteer plants that do well? My compost volunteers for the last two years have been morning glories. And they are so pretty. I can’t bear to rip them down, but when I need to get into that end bin I’ll have to.

  5. hotlyspiced says:

    I love red cabbage and just cooked braised red cabbage to serve with confit duck. You sure do have a lot of animal friends after your produce xx

  6. Patsy says:

    Those darned critters! You do the work, they take advantage, lol! Your harvests look great Norma, especially the red cabbage. I find it very hard to grow a nice red cabbage even though the regular green ones seem so easy. The yellow beets look very nice, do they taste the same as the red ones?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Patsy,
      The yellow beets do taste like beet, personally I think they are less earthy and taste sweeter, but then again that also depends on at what stage one is harvesting.

  7. Considering you have so many critters after your wonderful produce Norma, you still harvest the most brilliant veg.
    🙂 Mandy

  8. leduesorelle says:

    Ah, caught the thief in action! Beautiful gai lag, and I imagine that the daikon, like other radishes, is lacking in sweetness from the heat. Did it taste hot or spicy instead?

  9. kitsapfg says:

    Why do the garden thieves always have to be so cute? The deer damage on the squash really shows the value of your fence. Imagine what the entire garden would look like without the protection of the fencing!

    The red cabbage looks like a nice dense head. I like to grow red cabbage because the plants are so beautiful and they grow well in my garden, but I try not to grow too many of them as they are space hogs and we only need so much cabbage (red or green).

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kitsapfg,
      I could not have a garden without a 10 foot fence (had a lower fence that did not keep the deer out). Unfprtunately the fence does not keep the other critters out.

  10. maryhysong says:

    Nice looking harvest! I have to set a lot of traps and try and keep the critters under control around here, I have squirrels, chipmunks and rats and they all eat stuff!

  11. Rabbits will chew the seeds out of soybean pods the same way.
    I spotted a chipmunk up my Sungold yesterday – I’ve been wondering if it is worth the effort to save them when the birds and beasts are getting all the tomatoes.

  12. rowena says:

    It’s usually that one big loner that always stands out either because it was “saved” or survived dire circumstances. I’m looking at that purple cabbage and thinking sauerkraut! Everything else looks gorgeous (that gai lan…I’ve never had any luck) save for the images with freeloading critter. Thank goodness no chipmunks in italy.

  13. Barbie says:

    Well, I suppose that is what the squash plant gets growing all willy nilly- but that darned chipmunk, GRRRR….. Figures he’d just eat the beans out of the pods.

  14. I didn’t know chipmunks would bother a veggie garden, but there you are…solid proof! Such destructive little buggars and sorry about that. The rest of your harvest looks lovely.

  15. Rick says:

    Dang critters!! We are luck to live in an area where we don’t have many vegetable predators. We do have deer but our yard is fenced and that seems to keep them out! Every think looks great though, I love how you experiment with so many different types of veggies.

  16. zentMRS says:

    Ugh – those critters can be so frustrating! We actually saw our squirrel nemesis in our yard this morning, standing directly in front of our squirrel live-trap. He just wouldn’t go in – grr!

    Fortunately the rest of your harvest is fantastic!

  17. Malli says:

    What a bright and gorgeous garden with the freshest produce!! Can’t blame the critter, I’m tempted too:)

  18. ChgoJohn says:

    Another great harvest, Norma. That cabbage may be a one but it sure is a beauty! You’re fighting chipmunks; we’re fighting squirrels. I’ve never seen squirrels that like tomatoes like ours do. It will always be something. Critters, weather, disease of some sort. It’s a giant chess game.

  19. Love that red cabbage! I am thinking to make a slaw….oops, that’s not mine.
    I need to visit the grocery store tomorrow!

  20. Sophie33 says:

    That red cabbage looks amazing! Well done, you!
    We don’t have chipmunks in the wild, in Belgium! Go on, chase them away!
    Your yellow beets look great! I am also growing them, but are yours the same as chaggioga beets? I am growing them. Your daikon looks tasty too!

  21. Dave's SFG says:

    Really nice harvest, Norma. We have had chipmunk and mouse problems, with lots of tomatoes being nibbled on. Some live traps and rat traps took care of a few of them. We do have a deer fence around the garden and coated chicken wire 18 inches down and horizontally to discourage tunneling. But the garden gates are the weak link and the chippies can easily squeeze through.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      I too have chicken wire buried 18 inches down that so far has taken care of the woodchuck (knock wood) but the chimpmunks and squirrels climb through and over the fence, I think they sometimes fall from my neighbour’s trees.

  22. Purely.. Kay says:

    I just LOVE your garden. and I can’t get over that red cabbage. I would love to have that in my home right now and make some wonderful meals with it

  23. The red cabbage looks great! You have a beautiful garden.

  24. I’m in love with that purple cabbage. What a great color!

  25. Dave says:

    Let me add to the other comments on that lovely red cabbage! I have a lone one too, and I’m looking for ideas on what to do with it. I was thinking a braised sweet and sour treatment. I don’t normally grow the red ones. You always have such great recipe ideas!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      With freshly harvested red cabbage, I like to shred it, saute with garlic, onion, 1-2 slices ginger and salt in a bit of oil (may need to add a tablespoon or so of liquid to prevent burning). Stir in some vinegar and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Continue to saute until reached desired doneness, I like it still crunchy.
      With red cabbage in storage for a while I may do a braise with the outer leaves but saute the inner tender leaves.
      Hope I helped.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      I would also sometimes flavor the finished dish with a few drops of Asian sesame oil and stir in some toasted sesame seeds.

  26. I have often wondered how those with large gardens deal with all the critters Norma!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Alyssa,
      I too have often wondered and posed the question to my garden friends but never received an answer.
      Do you think “Google” would have an answer for us?

      • I am sure! But things are probably so varied from climate to climate. My mother-in-law has a huge garden and lives in a semi-urban area. She is always trapping skunks and releasing them far away plus complaining about rabbits and other small creatures.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Alyssa,
        Trapping skunks, your mother-in-law is a brave soul. Isn’t she worried about getting sprayed? I have skunks too but I stay away from them.

  27. I can imagine that red cabbage in the salad, mmm, good! What a creatures are those little chipmunks eating your beans! No manners whatsoever!
    Daikon is lovely, pickled daikon radish is one of my favorites!

  28. wok with ray says:

    Let me tell you, those chipmunks are always camera-shy. Aren’t they? Hehe. Well, they get attracted with all of your goodies in there, Norma.

  29. You certainly have issues with critters! I love how you take it all in stride though because that’s just how it is when you share your life with other animals. I agree that the voles should relocate. 🙂

  30. Your Gai lan and daikon look fabulous. Sorry to hear about the critter control problems. It is all of them against you. A difficult battle to overcome when you are living one with nature…. Take Care, BAM

  31. Okay, so the yellow beets keep their colour after cooking but the striped ones don’t! My girls have been dying to see wildlife, but it looks like it isn’t always a pleasant experience!

  32. Stinkin’ garden pests! We haven’t encountered many of them in our yard (I think all the sirens & honking horns must chase them away)! Your harvests are always impressive though, despite the challenges the wildlife throws your way!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Melissa,
      Thanks. We gardeners are always faced with challenges, be it wildlife, weather or diseases, but we still garden season after season, I am beginning to question my sanity.

  33. Kate says:

    Hi Norma,
    Not posting anything this week. Just had to commiserate with you on the critters. They are such jerks!

  34. Eha says:

    So glad just had to come and read your column on a crazy busy day: have my plants list ready for the Nursery on Friday: did I have daikon or gailan on it: NO!! So ‘thank you’! And that red cabbage is a beauty: enjoy once you get to cutting into it! May be slow on the uptake but did not recognize that latest critter 🙂 !

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eha,
      That critter is a chipmunk.

      • Eha says:

        Yes, well! Don’t have them there critters here!! But you would not like putting your hand out into a garden bed to touch a redbellied black snake or look at this ‘innocent’ small spider climbing up the waterspout to find out it could kill you in an hour 🙂 ! Not sure about 🙂 !!

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Eha,
        I once touched a black snake while harvesting peaas from the trellis, screamed so loudly, I think I woke up the whole neighbourhood.

  35. That chipmunk–amazing that he would eat the tender pods, but only the seeds inside the more mature beans. I am sorry about your critter troubles. Maybe you’ll come up with a way to defeat them.

  36. Juliana says:

    Beautiful red cabbage Norma…every week I think before coming to your site, trying to guess what you will be harvesting…and you always amazes me 🙂
    it is so interesting that these animals are so smart ;-), they know what is good 🙂
    Hope you are enjoying your harvest 🙂

  37. mac says:

    Sorry about the chipmunk and deer damage.
    What a beautiful cabbage you have there, I haven’t don’t have any daikon or napa cabbage this year, been on the road too often.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      No, as a gardener, we cannot be on the road too often during the gardening season. Is it too late for you to plant daikon and nappa? You have a very different growing season than I.

  38. Wow Norma 🙂 you must have a large garden hehe it’s so fantastic to be able to go outside and pick your own fresh vegetables and not have to rush out to the supermarket! I loveeeee Gailan!

  39. Oh my! chipmunks too!
    I thought the deers were bad enough!
    though I have to tell you that my kids will be willing to offer the whole garden for a chance to see deers and chipmunks

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