Harvest Monday, September 10, 2012 + First Blogoversary

Actually my first blogoversary is tomorrow, 9/11.

Hard to believe it is was one year ago I published my first post with the title: Stir-fried Okra, everyone had seconds! Yes, my first post was about okra.

I have to thank my garden friend, Kim, pokeytown3, for planting the idea into my head and encouraging me. Thanks also goes to another garden friend, Mary N, Mary’s Veggie Garden, for helping me publish my first post.

When Kim, who has been blogging for a while, suggested I start a blog, I had no idea what a blog is. Mentioned it to my kids, and they too thought it was a good idea. My son got to work right away and did all that was necessary to start a blog, sent me a link and asked me to select a theme. What is a theme? Had nooooo idea. I have come a long way since but still have a lot more to learn.

Blogging has broadened by gardening and cooking knowledge, taught me about different customs and cultures in the USA and around the world, but most importantly I made many friends. I am looking forward to more learning and friendship.

Now on to the harvest.

The angled luffa (above photo, top) was hiding among the vines and leaves. Glad I found it before it passed the edible stage. Used it to make a soup with bean thread noodles and tofu.

Missed the cucumber (center) even though it was not hiding (it was actually in my face, not sure how I managed to not see it). Passed the salad stage, so decided to peel every other strip of the skin, removed the seeds, sliced and made a stir-fry with chicken.

The green bittermelon (bottom) could have remained on the vine for another day or 2.

To prevent cross pollination, I planted one of the white bittermelon plants on the other side of the property away from the green bittermelons and the other melon families. Allowed the first fruit to ripen so I could collect seeds for next year planting. Forgot to check daily and this (photo below) is what I found on Wednesday. The ripened fruit had burst open. Was very disappointed when I found only 6 matured seeds inside the cavity.

As it ripens, the white bittermelon turns from white to yellow. The mature seeds are encased in a soft red membrane, I removed the membrane from 2 of the seeds (the 2 brown oval/rectangle, center right, in above photo) so you can see what the mature seeds look like. I shall clean the remainder 4 seeds, allow them to air dry at room temperature then store for next year’s planting. Hoping to get another ripe one so I can collect a few more seeds.

Colleccted some dried green Chinese long beans, will shell and save for next years planting.

May not have any red noodles seeds. Something (chipmunks?) is eating the seeds out of the maturing pods on the vine.

Harvested a few more tomatoes, eggplants, red noodles beans,  green long beans, sweet potato vines, kale, collard and 1 fig.

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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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90 Responses to Harvest Monday, September 10, 2012 + First Blogoversary

  1. My friend a huge congratulations on a year of blogging 😀
    Your garden and produce is always stunning!

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Daphne says:

    I’m collecting fewer seeds this year than in the past. I want to collect butternut seeds, but I grow two varieties. I think next year I’m going to see which one does better. Right now they are all mixed up as they were planted together. So I don’t know which is which.

    And happy blogoversary!

  3. hotlyspiced says:

    Congratulations on a great first year of blogging. Doesn’t it go by fast! You have a beautiful garden where there is always something of interest going on and I look forward to following you through the next 12 months and beyond xx

  4. Maureen says:

    Congratulations, Norma! Your blog certainly feels very seasoned and professional yet maintains a friendly warmth and welcome.

  5. Dave says:

    Happy Blogoversary! I have gotten a lot of great recipe ideas from reading your blogs. I’ll have to check out your first post about stir fried okra.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      Thanks. I got many ideas from your blog also, and am working on my organizational skills, if I can be 1/10 as organized as you that will be a major accomplishment.

  6. Karen says:

    Congratulations on your first year of blogging. It has been so interesting following along as you grow so many things that are new to me. I’m looking forward to your next year.

  7. zestybeandog says:

    I always enjoy your lovely produce! Happy Bloggoversary! It feels good to hit a year! Cheers to you!

  8. Happy 1st Blogoversary!
    You have a beautiful garden and I look forward to the next year.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  9. Happy Blogoversary, Norma. The blogging community is wonderful — warm-hearted and generous.

  10. Patsy says:

    Happy Blogoversary Norma! I have learned a lot from reading your blog posts and you have been encouraging in your comments to me! Love how you missed seeing that cucumber; I think that cukes are even better than zucchini at hiding in plain sight!

  11. Kristy says:

    Congratulations on one year of blogging Norma! I’m happy to have met you. I have learned a great deal from your posts…so many things I had never heard of before! 🙂

  12. Congratulations on completing your first year of blogging! It has been a joy reading your posts!

    That bittermelon is quite beautiful inside! The red membrane around the seed is gorgeous! Who knew?

  13. Pat says:

    Happy Anniversary Norma! I look forward to Monday mornings now because I know I can read your blog and be brought back to the garden or to cooking….which are some of my favorite pasttimes. Thank you for being so generous with your time and knowledge.

  14. wok with ray says:

    Hi Norma!! Happy 1st blog anniversary to you! I want to thank you for one year of your time sharing the gardening knowledge with people like me. Your blog is where I find familiar vegetables when I was growing up and missing after moving here in the States and you also introduced vegetables that I have never seen before like this white bittermelon. Thank you, Norma! 🙂

  15. dvelten says:

    Congratulations, Norma. Your posts are always so informative. The teacher in you really shows through.

  16. Rowena says:

    Happy blogoversary and wishing you many more years of gardening fun. I read the okra post and can only say that if I were among the volunteers from the getgo, you wouldn’t have to ask me twice about bringing some home for myself. I got my italian husband hooked on that vegetable and we hope to grow some next year.

  17. Connie Lee says:

    Happy first blogoversary! We arevery proud of you for being so generous and informative in your gardening & recipe sharing in your blog. Way to go cousin, congratulations!

    Love, Connie & Yuen Fat

  18. Annie says:

    Happy first blogging anniversary Norma!! I’m so happy you started blogging because many people enjoy reading and learning from your blog…I’m just one of them. Thank you once again!

  19. Kim says:

    How kind of you to give me credit :0), you are such a good, natural, teacher Norma blogging is just perfectly made for you. To bad there is no smell with blogging. because your food smells divine,
    I do hope your readers are making your delicious recipes.
    Have 1 st anniversary and many more to come

    Happy gardening

  20. Jack Ford says:

    I can’t believe its been a year already! I look forward to each and every new post!

  21. Happy 1st year blogging! You have some of the most interesting crops. I wish I could come to one of your seminars to taste.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello SM,
      Thanks. Most of the crops I grow are what I lke but not readily available at the food markets others are what I like but will only eat if home grown. Would like to grow others but lacking space not to mention time and energy.

  22. Happy blogversary 🙂
    I am one person who is really glad you started this blog because I always learn so much when I come here
    Looking forward to your new and up coming posts

  23. Congratulations on your first blogoversary! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to old and new ingredients, some of which I never knew we could grow. The accompanying cooking tips have been invaluable as well.

  24. zentMRS says:

    You always have the most interesting harvests! Congrats on one year – blogging can be so fulfilling. I always look forward to your posts!

  25. maryhysong says:

    Well I for one am sooo glad you started blogging Norma! I love visiting every week and see what cool new veggies you are growing and eating as well as your ways of cooking some things that I would never on earth think of, like stir frying old cukes! Love it; great looking harvests. With a name like bitter melon, kind of puts me off trying it; While I do eat more slightly bitter/less sweet food than when I was young, I’m still not actually fond of bitterness

  26. Congratulations for your blogging anniversary and we all should thank to Kim 🙂

  27. Congrats Norma!!!!! I love your blog and am so glad you started it 🙂

  28. All your different colored bitter melons look great!

  29. jenny says:

    happy Blogoversary! That bitter melon looks very interesting. is it edible? What do you do with it in general?

  30. Congrats Norma on your one-year! And I love your vegetable garden 🙂

  31. belovedgreen says:

    Congratulations on your blogiversary!

  32. Juliana says:

    Congratulations on you first blogoversary Norma….I didn’t know that the white bitter melon turns into yellow…so interesting!
    Have wonderful week ahead 🙂

  33. Eha says:

    Congratulations galore on your first anniversary! Yours is one of the posts to which I always look forward: during the brief time I’ve come visiting I have learned such a lot! Thank you:) ! Today has been to learn about bitter melons which don’t seem to be grown widely here: another bit of research ahead!

  34. ChgoJohn says:

    Congratulations on your 1st anniversary of blogging, Norma, and best wishes for many more happy years — and good harvests — to come!

  35. Eva Taylor says:

    Congratulations Norma, a year is indeed quite the accomplishment, and you have come a long way technologically! I really love your harvest Monday’s post and the variety of vegetables you plant…certainly an eye opener for me! You have inspired me to do more container gardening and next year I will! I hope I don’t bother you with questions too much; the thought of growing my own Ping Tung eggplant in addition to the little tomatoes makes me so excited!
    Your recipes are easy to follow and a little on the exotic side (ginger wine, for example), so fresh and with such appetite appeal. Your stories of the Locust Grove Events are entertaining and make me wish I lived closer to the Hudson Valley to be able to enjoy these events with you.
    Congratulations again, I look forward to reading many more blog entries in the future.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Yes, I have come a long way technologically and must thank you for helping me along the way.
      Please do not hestitate to ask questions, I love questions, never too much. I am experimenting with windowbox gardening. Will be writing about my success and failure in future posts.

  36. Congratulations on your one-year anniversary Norma! I’m intrigued by your white bittermelon. Do you eat the seeds that have ripened (after they turn yellow) or do you have a favourite way to prepare it? Perhaps I’ve missed an earlier post on these — if so, I apologize. (I have to recheck my subscriptions, as I’m not getting your emails at the moment.)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barb,
      Thanks. It is the flesh of the bittermelon, before they turn yellow, that we eat not the seeds. This is the bittermelon post I wrote on 11/11/2011.
      Sorry about you not getting my e-mails, someone else had mentioned that too. Not sure how to rectify the situation.

      • Thanks Norma! I checked and I’m still listed as a follower of your blog. I’ll be sure to check back on the days I know that you typically post. I’m getting back to more of a schedule now that summer is over and I’m not working so much overtime.

  37. Congratulations, Norma!
    The white bitter melon looks awesome! I remember my mom said that white one doesn’t taste that bitter and perfect for making a claypot dish.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Angie,
      I think the white ones are a little less bitter, but I have to do a side by side test to be sure, will try to remember to let you know the results, but first I need to have a harvest. It is getting cold, night time temp in the 40’s these few nights, may or may not have a harvest.

  38. Congratulations on a year of blogging! That is amazing!

  39. Congratulations on your 1st Anniversary and I am looking forward to many more years to come. Take care, BAM

  40. Barbara Good says:

    Congrats on making a year Norma, I’ll have to go back and read over your earlier posts. Your blog is also so informative, case in point the above lesson bitter melon. I’ll be following with interest from now on.

  41. Hi Norma, Congratulation on your blogiversary! I love your blog, it has such a positive vibe and informative content. And most important is your kind words you find to tell everyone in your posts and in your comments. Thank you, Norma! And thank you for blogging, dear friend! 🙂
    Oh that bitter melon looks so good, I fell in love with that vegetable, can’t wait for the farmer’s market on Saturday to get more and cook with it (I got just a couple to try, left one on the table and it turned yellow, I opened it and collected all red seeds, instinctively. Then I went on-line to learn more about this vegetable, some interesting facts I found about this unique and unusual vegetable).

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Marina,
      Thanks you for your kind words.
      I am so glad to learn that you are fond of bitter melon. It is still edible even when it turned yellow. Do try my salad recipe and let me know what you think. Did you read about the medicinal properties of this unique friut/vegetable.

  42. Diana says:

    Happy Blog Anniversary. I am starting to miss angled luffa and bitter gourd very much reading your post. I still can’t find white bitter gourd seeds here yet. Is it less bitter than the green ones. Good Luck on Saving seeds this year.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Diana,
      Thanks. I think the white is a bit less bitter but I need to do a side-by-side comparison. I promised to share the results with another commenter as soon as I have the opportunity to get the cooking done.

  43. Charles says:

    Happy Blogiversary Norma! This reminds me just how long it’s been since I’ve had okra! 😀 Doesn’t time fly? I can’t believe it’ll be 2 years soon that I’ve had my blog going… seems like only yesterday that I was hitting “Publish” for the first time!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charles,
      Thanks. Guess its time for you to seek out some okra. Are they readily available in Paris? Yes, time does fly.

      • Charles says:

        Hi Norma – Okra can be bought, but it’s expensive. They sell it in my local supermarket in the “tropical fruit and veg” section. Really expensive, but worth it I think. I love it.

        Incidentally – it’s called “gombo” in French, which is funny, since it’s often used in “gumbo”.

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