Harvest Monday, October 15, 2012 + Planting Garlic

We had hard freeze and wide spread killer frost. I did heed the weatherman warning and brought in what needed to come in. There was not much.

Now that we had frost, the carrots, parsnips and hardy greens should be tastier.

Blue Hubbard Squash
Not quite ready, needed to remain on the vine a few more days.

According to the seed package, this teardrop shaped squash should weigh 15 – 40 pounds. Mine weighed only 7 pounds. Not only is it underweight, I only harvest 1 (the other 2 never amounted to anything). This is the first time I plant this squash. Given the amount of real estate it requires, will not be planting next year.

Never cooked blue hubbard before. Not sure what I am going to do with it. Will remember to take photos when it is cut, anxious to see what the inside looks like.

White bittermelon, green bittermelon and 3 different kinds of eggplant
Green bittermelon and eggplants were small, but all usable. The white bittermelon was hiding under the vines, was surprised at the large size.


These chicory are planted by the back door and unprotected.

Because of the bitter taste, figured the deer would leave them alone.


Fortunatley I planted some in the garden and those are doing fine.

Planted my garlic. Music is the variety I am experimenting with so did not have as much to plant. The mixed-up varieties are a combinaton of soft neck and hard neck garlic heads given to me by various gardeners through the years. Saved some of the pretty heads for planting.

I planted the cloves about 3″ apart, which is much closer than recommended.

The reason for my planting this close is so that come spring I can pull every other plant and use as garlic green, a real spring treat. Click here to learn more.

Peeled and cooked the remaining cloves (those not needed for planting) in a little bit of broth (instead of oil) to soften. Cool, date, label and freeze for future use. I did an IQF ( individual quick frozen), this alows me to remove as many or as few cloves when needed.

About IQF, click here and scroll down to Method 1

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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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56 Responses to Harvest Monday, October 15, 2012 + Planting Garlic

  1. hotlyspiced says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the frosts. It doesn’t seem that long ago that you were in a heatwave. How do the temperatures vary so quickly? I can’t imagine having deer eat my vegetables. We only see deer at the zoo! Very impressive looking garlic, Norma xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      I was hopng it would miss my garden. We went from heatwave to hard frost in a very short time. You should see what the deer do to my flowers and shurbs. Currently I am working on getting rid of most of the deer-loving plants and replacing them with deer resistant ones, not much to choose from.

  2. Daphne says:

    That frost that came down was pretty wide spread. It seems the whole Northeast area got hit. We often miss that first frost, but not this time. I wonder if German white is the same as my German Extra Hardy. I think it has several names. I do love that variety. The cloves are large and so easy to peel. Mine is a really good keeper so will store until the next garlic is harvested which I really like as I’m not a fan of frozen garlic.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      I was hoping the frost would by pass my garden, no such luck. I don’t think my German white is the same as your German Extra Hardy as they are not good keepers reason I decided to cook them and freeze, I also froze some uncooked will make comparison at a later date. The no-name mixed-varieties are better keepers.

  3. Patsy says:

    I’ll bet that garlic broth comes in handy for cooking! Last year I had way too many leeks and did a similar thing and the broth was amazing for soups and gravies. Your eggplants look wonderful for so late in the season!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Patsy,
      I did not make myself clear in the post, made corrections.
      There is no garlic broth. I just simmered the garlic in a small amount of broth, just enough to cook the garlic until softened and to prevent burning. The eggplants were small, just sufficient for one meal.

  4. I would love to grow some garlic! Garlic broth sounds really interesting.
    I have never seen or had the tear drop shaped squash before. Wonder how it tastes like..

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Angie,
      Garlic is really easy to grow. There is no garlic broth. I just simmered the garlic in a small amount of broth, just enough to cook the garlic until softened and to prevent burning. I did not make myself clear in the post and have corrected the misconception. I will write a post on the squash when I get around to using it.

  5. jenny says:

    Very intersting looking squash and sorry about that deer damage.

  6. Love all that garlic Norma!!! My mother-in-law lives in the NE and told me yesterday that she lost all of her summer vegetables to the frost and has been doing garden work all weekend to get ready for winter.

  7. Phyllis smith says:

    Love your blogs and especially your pix. Wonderful job! Hate to see that first frost! Means summer is really over!

  8. I’m sorry the frost came it sounds like quite the temperature drop! However I love the squash and garlic 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Norma, oh those deer again! I love your harvest, especially eggplants and bitter melons. I bet it’s delicious! With us moving we had to pull all plants from the garden (landlord’s order), and they just started to reach their best after a very hot summer… Oh, well, I found people who took it all, glad it’s not just wasted… 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Marina,
      Yep, those deer are still hanging around and fatten up for the winter at my expense. Sorry about your garden, glad the plants found a home. Safe trip and all the best in your new job and new home.

  10. Eva Taylor says:

    Frost is harsh, do you try to grow anything in the winter? I see some other blogs do it but they seem to be in much warmer climates. We had a garlic festival in Toronto this past weekend, I just couldn’t get there; I’m disappointed as I wanted to buy some local garlic to plant. I’ll have to search our garden centers for some good varieties. You planted your garlic closer with the intent to remove every second one, what if you didn’t? Would they remain small? That squash looks interesting. I’m making the menu we cooked at the cooking class on Saturday for Barb (profiteroles and ponytails) and Kevin, stay tuned for the recipe for the pumpkin soup, I’m sure you could do it with your lovely squash.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I currently still have in my garden leeks, parsnip, celeriac, daikon, kale, collard and Swiss chard. My winter garden are the window boxes I am experimenting with and will periodically post their progress, if any.
      Yes, the garlic heads will be small if I do not thin in the spring. Sorry you missed the garlic festival. I think you can plant the garlic from the healthfood store because they are not (should not be) treated with growth retardant.
      Looking forward to your pumpkin soup recipe.

  11. pooks says:

    I’m going to follow the breadcrumbs to your garlic entry. I have some to plant and that sounds like a great approach. I also have some shallots I bought at Whole Foods Market. They are rather large. I hope they’re okay to plant because I’d love to grow some.

    Gotta say that blue squash looks ugly. I look forward to your pics and experimentation. I wonder what color it is inside!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Pooks,
      If the shallots you pruchased from Whole Foods were not treated with growth retardant they should grow for you.
      Will post pics as soon as I get around to working with the squash. If you saw it up close and personal you will say it is cute.

  12. Oh no about the frost 😦 Is it starting to get very cold in New York? Poor you! I’ve never seen that kind of squash before and GARLIC 🙂 I love eating it but I didn’t know there were so many types do they all taste different?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daisy,
      Not that cold yet, but the forecast is for a cold winter. There are many different varieties of garlic and the taste do vary somewhat especially if eaten uncooked.

  13. Dave's SFG says:

    Partly inspired by your helpful posts, I’m going to be planting garlic this fall: German Extra Hardy and Chesnok Red, both hard neck varieties. As far as the Blue Hubbard, around here they are huge and the farm stands break them up into pieces with a hammer and bag and sell the pieces. They are used like any winter squash, e.g., in whipped squash or in pies. The flesh is orange and less watery than, say, a butternut.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      I understand German Extra Hardy is a good keeper, will look for them next year at our garlic festival. Thanks for the info about blue hubbard, looking forward to experimenting with it.

  14. Eha says:

    Have put your lessons on garlic growing aside for later: really appreciate those, as this is one item I have never tried to grow myself, local organic garlic costs a mint and the Chinese stuff available in all the supermarkets has but little taste and I always wonder just how many chemicals have been used!! This year I shall attempt. have not heard of the ‘music’ one: homework needed again 🙂 !

  15. Darn the deer! I thought for sure those chicory would have been safe! Sounds like the harvesting is winding down now….so sad.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barb,
      Those darn deer waited until the chicory started to form heads then they moved in. Yes, harvesting is winding down, a very cold winter is in the forecast, sure hope the weatherman is wrong.

  16. Still so much in your garden Norma, despite the cold! And those deer are a pain, fancy eating chicory! Shame about the squash, but I guess we experiment so we can refine our choices! 🙂

  17. I am glad to hear that your garlic was not destroyed by the frost. You know how much I like and use garlic in my cooking and I am sure you are the same way. Gorgeous pictures of a fruitful harvest. Excited to see them hit the wok! Take Care, BAM

  18. I’m sorry about the frost and your garlic looks great 🙂

  19. Shawn Ann says:

    Great harvest. I have a hubbard sitting on my counter from the grocery waiting to be used. I have not used one before either. I love the look of that white bittermelon, I just wonder if I would enjoy the flavor. I am such a chicken 😉
    I grew Music Garlic last year and harvested in July. I had a great harvest. I plan to plant some soon, I had enough to share a bit. I was happy with it but I don’t have much to compare it to. The year before I used an organic store bought and did not get a lot, nor were they very good size.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Shawn Ann,
      Bittermelon is bitter, you will just have to try it to see if you like the taste.
      Glad your music garlic did well. I find it is not a good keeper.
      Looking forward to learning how you use your hubbard squash.

  20. Wilderness says:

    Norma, how interesting that you cook the garlic and freeze it. Does it taste like fresh garlic when you use it in cooking or more like roasted? How long do you cook it?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Wilderness,
      The cooked garlic is more like roasted garlic. Instead of oil decided to use broth and simmer until the garlic is soft. I also froze some uncooked, will make comaprison later and try to remember to write a post.

  21. I wonder what that blue hubbard will look like once it’s cooked or baked. Can’t wait to see what you’ll do with it!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello YC,
      I too am wondering what the inside of the blue hubbard looks like and what it taste like. Things should quiet down a bit soon then I can get to my to do list.

  22. I love the different egg plant you got and I’ve never planted different kinds of garlic – that looks amazing!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Jenn,
      If you get the opportunity plant Ping Tung eggplant I think you will love the texture. I may go back to planting just one variety of garlic as I am not good at keeping record.

  23. Kristy says:

    I had no idea you could freeze garlic! What a fabulous way to get to use it throughout the fall and winter!

  24. You are such a great gardener…I tried my best and we actually did have great produce this past summer. Sorry about the frost, it must be frustrating! Great looking veggies though…thank you for sharing and have a great week!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Sandra,
      I would not call myself a great gardener but I enjoy gardening. Glad to hear you had a successful garden this past summer, I am sure next year you will be even more successful.

  25. It looks like a good harvest, despite the deers best effort to much on your crops! I really must try growing a blue hubbard, they look so wonderful. I wonder what the taste is like?

  26. That chicory is gorgeous. My husband really wants me to plant garlic, so I’m going to go and check out your tips on that. So far I have chard, kale, broccoli, carrots and collards planted, but can maybe make some room for garlic.

  27. Charles says:

    Haha, reading about IQF takes me back to my summer job in a shrimp packing factory back when I was a student – damn that was a bad experience! I’ve never heard of “music” garlic before… is it very different?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charles,
      Music garlic is a strong-flavor garlic, the cloves are large (3-4 cloves to a head) and easy to peel. I find cooking mellows the flavor. I do not find it a good keeper reason I am experimenting with cooking and freezing using IQF (had to use the term, hahaha)

  28. Panama says:

    That is a good question. You can buy bitter melons seeds from Internet stores or even from eBay. We had great success and high reliability with a small Canadian company called AgroHaitai( http://www.agrohaitai.com/fruit&gourd/bittermelon/bittermelon.htm ). We bought excellent quality bitter melon seeds from them for several years now. And always got a bounty of fruits.

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