Harvest Monday, June 3, 2013 – Chinese long Beans, Black Soy Beans + Purple Sweet Potato in Container

It was HOT and humid this past week, 90’s for 3 days in a row. Of course when it is HOT salad is the preferred meals. Harvested a variety of greens, herbs and edible flowers from the garden for salad. Below are samples.

Mixed greens

Greens (L to R) – baby beet green, lettuce cimmaron, red rib dandelion, red leaf lettuce  Herbs – dill and cilantro Edible flowers: sage flowers (has a sweet flavor) and cilantro flowers (taste like cilantro)

All the above were combined with cooked chickpeas sprouts (from the freezer) to make a delicious and healthy salad meal that was simply dressed with balsamic vinegar, EVOE, salt and pepper to taste. (Oops, forgot to take a photo.) No cooking required. By Saturday, most of greens bolted from the extended high heat, harvested all. Bolted greens

Bolted greens (L to R): Shanghai bok choy, red giant mustard, green mustard and spinach (Look closely and you can see the flower in the center of each plant) The birds did not get this lone tiny strawberry as it was hidden under some leaves

Strawberry plantThere were strawberries at the end of each of those stems (right photo). I was so looking forward to a good strawberry harvest. As your can see  for the photo, others were also eyeing those strawberries. Tried netting the plants but that did not work. Despite the heat last week, by getting into the garden at 6 a.m., I managed to get many of my seedlings into the ground. This week promises to be very pleasant, in the 70’s, hoping to complete the planting and get to the other outdoor chores.

Chinese long beans (green and red noodles), okra & baby bok choy

Front bed: okra and baby bok choy Middle bed: Green Chinese long beans and red noodles beans Back bed: garlic, blackberry and raspberry

The okra seedlings are surplus from Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden where I volunteer. None of the other volunteers wanted what was left so I took them. Interplanted baby bok choy among the okras. They should be ready for harvest before the okras need the space. It is hard to see, but I left a few of the flowering Asian green among the Chinese beans. The tiny yellow flowers are so pretty. The 2 green plants at the upper right corner of the bean bed are lettuce. Decided to leave them for now since they are not bolting yet.

Black soy beans

Black soy beans (front), garlic (back)

My son-in-law built a seed starting stand for me when he and my daughter visited end of April. This enabled me to start my Chinese long beans and soy beans indoor thus avoided the problem with birds and chipmunks eating my bean seeds before they get a chance to germinate. How well will these transplant do and is there any advantage? Will observe and write an update later. Will also write a post about my seed starting stand. It is really very nice. If the photo below looks familiar it is because I posted it last Monday but without the plant in the upper left corner. That plant was a mystery plant (lost its label) among the give away (surplus) at LGHVG that nobody wanted.

Artichoke

Mystery plant (upper left corner), artichoke (upper right corner) and Chinese celery (front)

I took a chance on the mystery plant hoping it is an artichoke. But it could be a cardoon. Hard to tell at this young stage, should be able to identify it as it grows. If it is an artichoke, I will be very pleased with me. If it is a cardoon, out it goes from the vegetable garden and into the flower garden. Cardoon is one of the few vegetables I have problem cultivating a taste for but it makes a dramatic statement in the flower garden. Purple sweet in containerBecause of critters eating all of my sweet potatoes last year, decided to grow them in container this year. I have one plant in an 18-inch diameter container, hope it is large enough. Due to limited garden space I can have only 2 containers. Growing only purple as I can purchase the other varieties from the food market but not the purple Herbaceous peonies

Herbaceous peonies

…   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …  …   … 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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70 Responses to Harvest Monday, June 3, 2013 – Chinese long Beans, Black Soy Beans + Purple Sweet Potato in Container

  1. Kim says:

    You’ve been busy! I hope the storms moving in don’t damage anything. Isn’t it amazing that it is so much hotter there than down here in coastal N.C.? I am missing my beautiful peonies I left behind in my yard and seeing them bloom in mass at Morse too.

    But I already have tomatoes on the plants and I am harvesting my basil grown from seed.

    One strawberry for you, how many pounds for the animals?

    Happy Gardening Norma

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kim,
      The storm last night damaged many of the peonies flowers, you remember how huge they are, but there are many buds so more blooms to come. Will peonies grow where you are?
      Cannot believe you already have tomatoes on your plant. Do you have your tomatoes in container? I just put my plants in the ground. You have a much longer growing season. Can you garden year long?

  2. Damn those strawberry loving birds!! Hope you get a wonderful crop next season

  3. Shawn Ann says:

    Very nice. I know how ya feel about the strawberries. The bunnies and chipmunks ate a bunch of mine. I have net over them as well but it isn’t helping much.

  4. kitsapfg says:

    Looks like you got quite a nice harvest of the greens before the heat settled in and started them bolting. Your garden is looking wonderful with all the new starts growing so well. It really is a time of both abundance and optimism in the garden in early summer.

  5. Barbie says:

    MMM… Purple sweets. I planted mine out this week, too. I can’t wait! It was SO hard not to eat that ‘tater instead of sprouting it. LOL. Ihave 4 slips in and 6 in water now getting better roots.

  6. tokyohamster says:

    Wow just reading your post makes my body tired. You’ve been so productive! Your peonies are so beautiful. I’ve never had a lot of the greens and edible flowers you put into your salad. What an interesting variety! I’ll have to add some flowers into my salad next time too!

  7. A very productive week, Norma. Can’t wait to see the harvest of black soy beans.

  8. Cathy says:

    I am continually fascinated with your ability to produce true sized meals from your grown-in containers vegetables!Long ago I had a quite large vegetable garden that afforded us lovely vegetables and fruit with enough to share with neighbors and winter freezing but arthritis and general laziness put an end to that. I might try my hand at container gardening after following your blog!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Cathy,
      I find container gardening to be easier and less “buggy” as long as one chooses the right varieties suitable for containers. My biggest issue is keeping the containers from drying out. Guess one could setup some kind of drip watering system.

  9. jenny says:

    Very nice harvest of greens.

  10. Michelle says:

    I know how you feel about the strawberries. I had to quit growing them because I was just feeding the rats. I really miss homegrown strawberries. Those peonies are gorgeous!

  11. I totally understand about strawberries, when my grandparents planted them, we barely got 2 the whole season 😛
    Hope you are combatting the heat my friend!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  12. Eva Taylor says:

    That’s such a bummer regarding the strawberry, I can just imagine how disappointing it was. We had a warm front but now it’s freezing cold and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better. Nice harverst. We were in DC last weekend and it was brutally hot there with high humidity. I checked our herbs yesterday and they looked pretty good. I’ll have to check the fig tree too.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Well, the wild life need to be fed also. I have tiny figs on my tree now, so looking forward to my very first tree ripen fig, will have to keep an eye on the plant and get to the fruit before anything else does. Glad your herbs are doing well.

  13. Daphne says:

    Hope your container sweet potatoes work out. And I love your peonies. I had some at my last house, but I don’t here. I miss them.

  14. What a cute little strawberry!

  15. Those pesky little birds always get to the strawberries and sunflower seeds before we are able to enjoy the harvest. Have you tried a scarecrow or many a bird feeder on the other side of your house to distract them away from the garden? I hope they don’t like vegetables as I can’t wait to see the fruits of your labour.

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    My, Norma, how your garden grows! You’ve gotten so much planted, even though it was so hot. Good for you. If all goes well, you’ll have quite a harvest to reap. Wow!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      I hope I have good harvests. Having gorgeous weather this week so hoping to get most of my planting and seeding completed before the week ends. Over all, I am actually a bit late this year.

  17. Eha says:

    Thank God that in my part of rural Australia the birds seem to be large, very noisy, flying in territorial groups up high and not the least bit interested in my strawberry pots 🙂 ! Love how much greens you are getting for the table . . . OK, my time to be greeneyed for the next few months . . . 🙂 !

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eha,
      It may be chipmunks and not birds that got my berries. Did you pot up some of your scallions to bring indoors?

      • Eha says:

        😉 ! Nope: they all got eaten during one biggish and unexpected gathering!!! No chipmunks [or squirrels or other pretty critters which seemingly can do quite some damage!] that I have heard of in Oz: am probably wrong . . .

  18. Liz says:

    I think your container should be big enough. I grew sweet potatoes in containers this year. I grew two plants in a 55cm diameter container so 1 in a 45cm diameter pot should be more than adequate I would have thought.

  19. Daves's SFG says:

    Your peonies are beautiful. I have some but they are now shaded out by the Kousa dogwood. I need to move them but have no place to put them. For strawberries, I’m lazy, I just go to one of the local pick your own farms. Let them worry about animals, etc. I can just go down the row picking only perfect berries and get a big bowl in less than an hour for a couple of dollars.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      Thanks, they are gorgeous and fragrant too. I was contemplating giving up growing strawberries, but changed my mind, will give it another year.

  20. Kristy says:

    A cardoon? What is the taste like? And texture? I’ve never heard of that before. Oh, my peonies finally bloomed! So fragrant. 🙂

  21. Young Wifey says:

    It looks like you have a great start to your garden and already a wonderful harvest!

  22. Okay, I don’t know what happened here but neither my like from Monday nor my comment are showing up…will try again. Your garden looks so great and well organized. I’ll bet you have a great crop of goodies this year. A question, is there a difference between a regular peony and an herbaceous one? Yours are gorgeous.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Betsy,
      Not sure what happened.
      I hope I have a good crop, the weather has been very unpredictable and the poor plants are confused.
      I think herbaceous peony and regular peony is the same. The other is tree peony.

  23. Norma what a lovely looking variety of greens to brighten up even the hottest of days. I’d love to try the lettuce cimmaron.

  24. Norma, I hope you long beans do as well as ours did last season! They’re my favourite vegetable of all time, I never get sick of them! 🙂

  25. I hope your garden is nicer to you this year and doesn’t want to share so much with the bugs and the deer. 🙂 Everything looks pretty good so far!

  26. Karen says:

    Critters give you such a hard time in your garden. I can’t believe the birds got all your strawberries but one…greedy little things aren’t they. I’m not planting cilantro this year, it bolted almost instantly last year.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      I find cilantro do not like the heat. Perhaps if you have it in a container in the shade.
      One of my neighbours used to have bird feeders but discontinued recently. The birds still return and I guess they discovered my garden.

      • Karen says:

        I like your idea about trying the cilantro in the shade. I have moved tarragon and oregano into my shade garden to fill empty spaces and see how it does as I think the textures will look nice. I think I’ll put some cilantro there as well. See…I’m starting to experiment like you. 🙂

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Karen,
        Isn’t fun to experiment? If you have space and your shade garden gets some filtered sun, try growing leaf lettuce also.

      • Karen says:

        I did that last year and it worked great…I think better than if it was in full sun. Your experiments are rubbing off on me…we will both be mad scientists. The worst that can happen is we will have a few failures but I’m looking forward to the successes.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Karen,
        Good, now I have another “mad scientist” to bounce off my ideas. I find growing lettuce in the shade during the summer months allows me to have home grown lettuce nearly year round.

  27. Juliana says:

    Oh Norma, you sure keep yourself very busy with your garden…I just had all my strawberry bushes removed, they were all over and the fruits were tiny…just left one and will see if it will grow nice.
    Love your greens, and yes salad is perfect for the Summer.
    Hope you are enjoying your week 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Juliana,
      Oh yes, my gardens keep me busy, but it is good busy. I find peace and inspiration in my gardens and exercise at the same time. A good week to you too.

  28. mac says:

    You have lots going on in your garden, never grown black soybean before, should give it a go someday.

  29. I am so curious to see how the sweet potatoes do. We are growing some this year, but I haven’t got purple ones. I remember reading a while back that you cooked the leaves — I’m looking forward to trying them.

  30. I’ve try to seed some black soybean too several times,
    unfortunately the ants ruined it when it started to sprouted….

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dedy,
      Sorry to learn about the ants ruining your black soybean sprouts. May be you can try starting them in container like I do and transfer the seedlings to the garden.

  31. Lrong says:

    Beautiful picture of your harvest… your salad sounds very appetizing…

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