Harvest Monday, May 20 2013 – Heirloom Goji Berry

This past Thursday I received, in the mail, a very special gift from Mac (High Dessert Garden) – 7 goji berry root stock plants.

Goji berry plants

Heirloom goji berry plants
Decided to plant them in containers (instead of directly into the ground), in potting mix, so I can nurse them until they have recovered from their trip and start to grow. Then I will transplant them into the garden. They are perennials.

These goji berry plants are heirlooms given to Mac by a 5th generation Chinese American friend whose family has been growing this variety of goji berries (from China) since the Gold Rush days.

These are indeed very special goji berry plants. Thank you Mac. I will treasure and am looking forward to harvesting the leaves as well as the berries to use in cooking.

Goji berries are also known as wolfberry

Mac has a fabulous vegetable garden. Check out her blog, High Dessert Garden, Her photos are beautiful. Besides the normal spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. she also grows a fantastic array of Asian vegetables and explains how to use them as well.

To date, there is still not much activities in my garden. Trying to catch up, slowly getting there. Hopefully this week I will go at a faster pace (I think I said that in previous posts). Many seedlings need to get into the ground.

New veggies harvested from the garden this past week (photo below) were all volunteers.

mustard

Red giant mustard, green mustard and a bok choy in there somewhere
Many more seedlings popping up in the garden, with the rain we had and are expecting, should get great harvest this week.

Washed all, cut into about 1½ inch length and stir-fried (everything together) briefly with ginger, garlic in a bit of oil, salt and pepper to taste. (Very boring, but this time of year this is how I prepare most of  my fresh-from-the-garden greens, especially when they are so young and tender.)

Also harvested the last of the garlic green and the last of the spinach from the window box. No more window box gardening until fall.

My fig tree suffered minor damage from the widespread frost and freezing nighttime temp on the 13th even though I covered the plant. It will recover, and hopefully produce a bountiful harvest.

Bloomerang lilacs

Bloomerang lilacs, very fragrant
(click on photo to enlarge)

Blue iris

Blue iris
Bearded iris
Bearded iris

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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

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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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77 Responses to Harvest Monday, May 20 2013 – Heirloom Goji Berry

  1. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Have never seen living goji berry plants Norma – only dried berries. Looking forward to your recipes when they’re ripe for plucking. Bloomerang lilacs – another fabulously-named plant Norma!

  2. Will goji berrys be winter-hardy around here? I spotted some plants yesterday in the herb section at work.

  3. Eha says:

    Lilac is one of my favourite flowers: atavistic feelings from childhood I guess. I only have one – a blue-purple with white edges . . . love it! Yours has such vibrant colour 🙂 ! Dying to find out how the goji berry plants will go! Fascinated that these come from such old stock [and I’ll visit the link given as soon as I leave you!]: in Australia dried goji berries and powder surely are the proverbial flavour-of-the month as a ‘superfood’ and cost a veritable fortune! Would be great to grow them in one’s own garden – good luck!!

  4. Eva Taylor says:

    This is the week I buy my tomato plants and I get to do a bit of gardening; I’m very excited! Your lilacs are gorgeous.
    I’m looking forward to your Goji berry recipes Norma; what a beautiful gift, I’ll definitely check out her blog.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I am now hardening off my tomatoes and eggplants will probably hold off putting them in the ground until after Memorial Day. Night time temp from the 24 – 27 will be in the 40’s according to the weather forecast, so I will have to bring them indoors for those nights.
      Hoping to get the other seedlings into the ground.

  5. sybaritica says:

    Do you suppose the goji plants would grow indoors?

  6. Daves's SFG says:

    I’m envious of your mustard greens. I am trying Red Giant this year along with the usual Green Wave, but the seeds didn’t germinate, not a one. I replanted them last week and hoping that does it.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      After your red giant mustard grows, allow 1 or more plants to go to seed and scatter itself in the garden. Come next spring the seeds will germinate and grow well, leave them where they are or transplant to a more desirable location.
      However, after seeing photos of your garden, you are obviously an organized gardener and like things very orderly so this may not appeal to you.

  7. Those goji berries are so great – love that it has been in the family for so long! I didn’t know goji berry leaves can be eaten. So very cool.

  8. kitsapfg says:

    Lovely gift from Mac. 😀

    Your mustard greens look healthy and beautiful. The pictures of your spring flowers are real eye candy too.

  9. Pat says:

    Hi Norma!
    Your pictures of the lilac and iris are lovely.

  10. Kristy says:

    Lilac bushes are among my favorites. I just love how they spread their aroma through the air. You know I actually am thinking about buying some flowers to plant this year. I’ll keep you posted. Your flowers are always such an inspiration. And I’m looking forward to your goji berry recipes. I’ve heard of goji berries, but never had one before. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      If it is available in your plant nursery, plant a bloomerang lilac, it is a low shrub and oh so fragrant. I am trying to propagate new plants from some of the branches so I can have one by the garage door and another by my garden gate.
      Growing goji berries is new for me will be posting my experience.

  11. Kim says:

    Oh finally some beautiful spring flowers to enjoy.
    How big will these goji plants get? Maybe you’ll be able to propagate them in time.
    Oh you’ll have to keep us posted on how they do.

    Happy Gardening

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kim,
      My herbaceous peonies (heirlooms from LG, remember them?) are full of buds, will send you photos.
      From what I understand, goji berry plants can grow to 6-8 feet but can be controlled, will be posting my experience.

  12. cecilia says:

    Wonderful plants, i shall look them up, I am desperately trying to grow berries out here .. c

  13. Never seen ‘real’ Goji berries! Only the dried up shrivelled ones in packets!

  14. I want to get myself a goji plant too! Beautiful spring flowers, Norma.

  15. Beautiful photos! Looking forward to seeing your Goji berry plants!

  16. I’m curious what these berries taste like.

    How lucky you are to have such a special heirloom plant!

  17. I would love to eat freshly picked goji berries as opposed to the wrinkled dried packaged ones in shops 🙂

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  18. Wow! I can’t believe you are growing Goji berries Norma – how cool!

  19. Daphne says:

    Lovely lilac. It is one of my favorite flowers because of its scent. And lovely volunteer harvest. I love all the plants that volunteer here. I’m still getting lettuce volunteers even though it has been a couple of years since I let them go to seed.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      I will let some of my lettuce go to seeds so I can get volunteers. Not sure why, but my volunteers do better than my direct sowed seeds.

  20. What a great present. Can’t wait to see how your goji plants grow.

  21. What a phenomenal gift! I look forward to watching them grow 🙂

  22. Hotly Spiced says:

    That’s a lovely gift and I’ll look forward to watching them grow. Your flowers are gorgeous xx

  23. ChgoJohn says:

    I googled goji berries to get a look at them. Can’t wait to read how your plants do. Your flowers are beautiful, Norma. Those iris are amazing! I’ve always loved lilacs and yours is a real beauty. Mine has just passed its peak. It’s on one side of my yard and I’ve a wisteria in full bloom on the other. I wish the blooms of both lasted far longer than a couple weeks.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      I will post updates of the Goji berry plants.
      The bloomerang lilac is a heavy bloomer and will re-bloom in July. The summer panicles will not be as large but I am not complaining.

  24. Your iris and that boomerang lilac are stunning! I’m interested to see how the goji berries come along and what you do with them. I know they are supposed to be high in antioxidants. What a great gift!

  25. Theresa says:

    Help Norma! The one bamboo shoot you gave me has grown so well that it has outgrown the space, and I am afraid it is going to expand even more. Q: How can I keep it better contained? An
    easier way to take some of them out. Thanks. Theresa

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Theresa,
      I forgot where you plant your bamboo. It is a clump bamboo so it is not invasive.
      Sounds like your bamboo is very happy with its growing location. You can do one of 2 things:
      1. Divide the plant. An easy way to take some of them out is with a shovel and a lopper.
      2. Replant it to a location where you do not mind it getting big.
      Let me know if you need more help. Norma

  26. Heirloom goji berries is a real treat. I can’t wait to see them harvested. (I won’t even bother asking you how it got through customs..lol) However, I am so happy that you have them. They are perennials, right? Beautiful flowers and I hope you enjoy them while they are in bloom.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bam,
      It was interstate so customs was not involved. Yes, goji berries are perennials. Can you buy fresh goji berries and goji berries leaves in Hong Kong? Oh yes, I am enjoying my flowers, one of the reasons garden chores are not getting done.

  27. I think I miss lilacs most. None of those up here. I could close my eyes and remember my mother’s lilac bushes and the heady scent just walking by. I think it’s cool that you’re growing goji berries!

  28. Liz says:

    I love that you know the provenance of the goji plants. I hope they do really well for you. I love Macs blog too.

  29. leduesorelle says:

    Looking forward to following your wolf berry adventure!

  30. wok with ray says:

    I’ve never seen Goji berries before. I can’t wait to see the berries when they come out. Those are beautiful flowers you have and a good indication that you are finally having good weather. Thank you, Norma and I hope you are having a wonderful week. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Ray,
      I will be posting update. I am sure you are familiar with the dried form of goji berries available in all Asian markets.
      Yes, our weather is finally warming up.

  31. Juliana says:

    What a great gift…goji berry, I never seen it before…I look forward to see it grow.
    Have a lovely week Norma 🙂

  32. Norma, you’re going to grow your own goji berries? That’s so cool! 🙂

  33. Karen says:

    How lucky to have the heirloom goji berry plants…they are in good and loving hands.

  34. Hi Norma, I was thinking of you this Monday when I picked my first tomato of the season. 🙂 Good luck with your goji berry plant. Please do tell us how is it growing. I’ve learned so much from your blog! Miss you!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Marina,
      I am so jealous of your first picked home grown tomato of the season. Expecting night time temp in the low 40, so cannot plant out my tomato plants until later next week.

  35. mac says:

    Lovely irises you have there. Glad the plants got there alive, birds love goji berries as soon as the fruits turn red, good luck!

  36. Your garden is so far ahead of mine, I’m envious of your lilacs and flowers.. they’re gorgeous! What a precious gift those heirloom goji plants are, just imagine how long they’ve been around, it’s amazing really! xx

  37. Beautifull shoots..
    are those flower edible???

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