Harvest Monday, April 8, 2013 – Garden Update

The parsnips in the photo below are from Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden. Finally had a fine Thursday morning to work outdoors. We, the volunteers, pulled weeds, spread compost and harvested the parsnips and leeks that were left to over winter in the garden.


Parsnips from Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden

As you can see, the parsnips overwintered well (with just a layer of leaves). The leeks did not fare well.

I was able to get quite a bit accomplished in my own garden. Tidied up the helleboros, pruned the hydrangea, put down some mulch, etc., still much to do. Will get to the other chores another day.

Finished tidying up the veggie beds. While doing so, came upon some carrots that I missed last fall. They are small, but tasty, and it is a harvest.


Orange carrots and one tiny purple carrots

Veggie beds in need of nourishments. Digging in well rotted cow manure and compost. Managed to get half of the beds taken care of, hoping to get the remaining half completed this week.

Failed, not completely, but close.

Some of you may recall my 3/11/13 post (click here) about experimenting with growing pea shoots in a window box. The seeds germinated and were growing well. I decided, since peas are hardy, I can now put the window box outdoor.

Most of March, we had below (way below) normal temperature both day and night. Much too cold for the poor seedlings. Most of them just shriveled and die, the remaining few did not look healthy (photo below).

pea shoots

Snow peas in window box
Decided to transplant all into the garden to see if they will do better

Lost my strawberries. Kinda expected this to happen as they did not look too happy last year and were not producing. Replaced them with Sequoia and Earliglow. Hope these 2 varieties do well in my garden.

Spring has finally arrived and here to stay (I think), happy gardening!!!!!



Miniature daffodils

Miniature daffodils

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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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67 Responses to Harvest Monday, April 8, 2013 – Garden Update

  1. Happy Spring, Norma. I hope your garden produces massive amounts of food for you and your family this summer. Those carrots look pretty good after going through that winter!

  2. leduesorelle says:

    Thanks for the signs of Spring update! It’s still too cold here to get out into the garden… brrrrr!

  3. Eva Taylor says:

    The garden is starting to look as it should Norma, dare I say finally. Temperatures were a bit warmer this past weekend, but if I think back to last year, well I dare not for I would surely cry!
    The parsnips and carrots look lovely, do they taste sweet or have they gone woody?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I hope the springlike weather is here to stay. Last year this time I was eating from my garden, this year nothing yet.
      The parsnips did not go woody, the carrots were sweet and crunchy.

  4. Liz says:

    Happy Spring Norma, We are having the reverse here with the weather gradually cooling – although not too quickly I hope. Your scilla and daffs are really pretty.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      Thanks. I was going to say Happy Spring to you too then I realize you are going into autumn. How cold will it get? Do you get snow? I believe you have a much longer growing season than I.

  5. Karen says:

    Hopefully spring warmth will stay. It sounds like you got so much accomplished. There are only a few patches of snow left here in New Hampshire but Maine where my garden is another story. I just got a call from a friend that said it should be another couple of weeks for the last of the snow to melt there.

  6. Barbie says:

    Nice carrots. I love when a great little surprise finds you in the garden. 🙂

  7. Daphne says:

    Oh pretty daffodils. Our daffodils aren’t yet blooming. They are starting to come up though. Our crocuses are in full bloom though and very pretty.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      Thanks. Those are miniature daffodils and they bloom at the same time as the crocuses. Not sure what happened to my crocuses may be some critters ate the bulbs.

  8. We’ve sprung from beginnings of spring and cold temps to up in the 80’s this week and a 2000 plus pollen count! Last week it was too cool to put out young tender plants and this week we’re zooming into summer. What are you going to do with those fine looking carrots and parsnips? I just read BAM’s post on making veggie chips and these look like great candidates. Happy Monday, Norma!

  9. Shawn Ann says:

    I have not had much luck with parsnips, I bought some seeds again though, so maybe I will give it another shot! Isn’t it nice to find hidden veggies in the garden! I found some potatoes about a month or so ago! They were yummy for dinner! Beautiful flowers!

  10. Loved the photos of Scilla and daffodils. Makes it look like spring has sprung where you live.

  11. I love that purple carrot!
    Happy Gardening, Norma!

  12. Oh, yay, I think everyone is ready for spring! I like to weed my yard. I love the way it looks when I’m done, but you are right, can’t always get the job complete in one day. Love the little purple carrot you found!

  13. michelle says:

    Those flowers are saying “spring”, very pretty!

  14. Ann Noone says:

    Dear Norma, It is a joy to read your post and learn so much from you. Thank you so much. Ann

  15. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love parsnips and your hardy carrots look like they’ve survived the winter nicely. Great that it’s warmed up just enough for you to get into your garden xx

  16. Aw, the daffodils are so pretty and spring!

  17. mac says:

    Happy spring, the flowers are beautiful.
    Some gardeners are still digging up carrots from last year, I might have to give it a go this time and plant more carrots for the winter.

  18. Kristy says:

    You have blooming flowers! I think we’re close. My daffodils are almost there and our magnolia tree is getting close too. I can’t wait. I always think it’s the most beautiful week in our backyard. I do hope spring is here to stay. We need to spend a day in our flower beds too. We let our landscaper go and are going to try it ourselves this summer. Let’s hope Mike has a better green thumb than me! 😉

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      This is a beautiful time of the year, everything’s coming alive, so many different blooms, so many gorgeous colors. I am sure you and Mike will do a fantastic job with your gardens. Do the kids enjoy working in the gardens as much as they do in the kitchen?

      • Kristy says:

        Probably even more so! Well, at least they usually give us a good 10 to 20 minutes of help and then they are off and running (or digging for worms). 🙂 I wouldn’t have it any other way though.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Kristy,
        Your kids are excellent, 10 – 20 minutes is a long time for kids to focus on just gardening. Digging worms that’s lots of fun. What do they do with them?

      • Kristy says:

        Mostly they just pick the worms up and watch them. Then they’ll build little worm farms and find grass, weeds, flowers to put in there. They put everything back when they’re done, but they will spend at least an hour “feeding” the worms. 🙂

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Kristy,
        What fun! It would be so delightful to observe the kids and wonder what’s going through their minds as they gather foods for the worms, feeding them and watching them. How thoughtful that they put everything back when they’re done. You and Mike are doing a wonderful job, congrats.

  19. ChgoJohn says:

    How great was your find of those carrots? I bet you were pleased to see the daffodils in bloom. The only flowers I’ve got blooming are crocus. My daffs need more time and the tulips even more than that. Like you, I’ve been spending time in the flowerbeds. It’s that time of year and it feels good to be outdoors again. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Total surprise, they were sweet and crunchy. think I will plant more for overwintering in the ground.
      The miniature daffs bloom much earlier than the normal sized one and they are oh so cheerful. Lost my crocuses, may be some critters ate the bulbs. Had to give up growing tulips and hyacinth because they are my deer favorites.

  20. Eha says:

    Liked the look of those heritage parsnips: quite one of my favourite vegetables. And loved being in your flower garden: hhmmph, I must have had critters in my soil also as last year but few daffodils graced the pots and beds – have to order new strawberry plants this week, perhaps I better find some brass for a little beauty next spring also!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eha,
      Glad you enjoyed being in my flower garden. I think critters ate my crocuses. How is your scallion doing? Is your winter mild enough so you can leave them in the ground? They actually are quite hardy.

  21. Daffodils! My most favourite spring flower, so full of sunshine and hope. There is no spring here, I thought we were getting there but we have a blizzard going on today…so there goes that!
    Nice find with those carrots! They look beautiful.


    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Nazneen,
      Yes, the yellow daffs are full of sunshine and hope (love your quote). Hope the blizzard did not last long and today you are having some springy weather.

  22. The parsnips looks lovely – I’ve never grown them, though they are going in my garden this year. The crocuses are just starting here and lots of green sprouts are shooting up (thankfully!)…Happy gardening to you too!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Jennifer,
      Parsnips are easy to grow, but slow to germinate. Glad to hear spring has arrived in your area also. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping spring is here to stay.

  23. Happy gardening to you as well Norma. I’m sorry about strawberries, I like their sweet comforting taste. Spring is almost in Berlin, can’t wait for warmer days.

  24. You know, Norma, I’m not sure I know where you live? I think your spring is just unbelievable.. how beautiful are those flowers! It just makes my heart glad to see them, even if they are just a photograph. I didn’t know veggies could overwinter, but I guess that’s your gardening zone.. they’d be frozen solid here unfortunately. xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbara,
      I live in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley, about 90 miles north of New York City. My gardening zone is either 5 or 6 (was 5 but I think the rezoning puts us in 6). Our grounds do freeze but somehow the carrots and parsnips manage to survive.

  25. juliana says:

    Oh Norma, you are sure collecting nice roots…and yes…Spring is here, although very windy in our area.
    Enjoy your week 🙂

  26. wok with ray says:

    Small but tasty is true on veggies and true on other things too. “Good things come in small packages” they say. 🙂 Gardening must be a very relaxing occupation and I envy you. I hope you are having a great week, Norma! 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Ray,
      Gardening is definitely a very relaxing activity. My gardens are where I go to chill out, sometimes I just walk around looking at the different plants and flowers, observing the birds and the bees, …..

  27. Norma, those parsnips look wonderful! We’ve never tried growing them, but I do love them in a soup. We’re not sure about carrots in our garden – we’ve grown them for years, but they always take forever and never taste as good as the ones we buy, not sure why. So we’re rethinking.. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Celia,
      If you love parsnips, then you would love home grown ones even more. They are really easy to grow though slow to germinate. Send me a note if you need info. As to the carrots, it could be the variety. Don’t know about the varieties that are available to you in Australia, perhaps one of your local gardening friend or your local garden center can give you some variety names suitable for your area.

  28. I love seeing the beautiful fruits of your labor. I quite fancy those red carrots, those are really nice. I would love to make some roasted carrots and parsnips with caramelized onions, a little garlic, olive oil, cumin, thyme and salt and pepper. Or maybe you will be making a lovely Chinese dish with the fruits of your labor, I guess I will just have to stay tuned and find out.

  29. Purely.. Kay says:

    I haven’t had parsnips or seen them in such a long time. Maybe I’m not paying attention when I’m at the grocery store lol. Your garden always inspires me. You grow such wonderful stuff

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kay,
      Thanks, gardening helps me to chill out and forget my worries. I am sure Wholefoods and Trader’s Joe would have parsnips, they are also available in my local supermarkets.

  30. Too bad the purple carrots didn’t do well. They are cute though. 🙂 I love the miniature daffodils and the scilla. Very pretty. You have great way with gardening. I’m lacking the green thumb myself. I kill everything I plant –indoor and outdoor plants.

  31. A shame to hear that the purple carrots didn’t develop as well but it’s now Spring and looking forward to seeing the new produce that will come out of your garden 😉

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daisy,
      That’s the fun part of gardening, one never knows how things are really going to turn out even under the same conditions, why did the orange carrots do well and not the purple? Mystery.

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