The week of July 15 was a major heatwave week in the Hudson Valley. Thursday, 7/18, was so HOT, Locust Grove, where I am a garden volunteer, cancelled the usual veggie garden work day. Fast forward to this past Thursday, 7/25, a week later, woke up to autumn-like weather, needed a jacket to work in the LG garden.
Took advantage of having the help of 2 neighbourhood kids plus cooler weather to tackle the neglected and overgrown areas of the gardens. Pruned shrubs, pruned trees, divided perennials, weeded, mulched….., was very pleased with the progress. Still a lot more to do, but a gardeners work is never done and if everything had gotten done, what will I do the rest of the summer?????
Vegetable garden is coming along nicely even though it was put on the back burner this past week.
So far there are only 2 squashes on the plants. Many male flowers but no female flowers, hopefully some female flowers will appear soon.
Black soy beans
Last year critters ate all my soy beans before I got to harvest any. This time I am keeping an eye on the beans. Will harvest as soon as they are ready and hopefully before the critters.
Look closely at the pods and you will see they are very fuzzy (hairy). The Chinese name for soy beans is mao dou. Mao means hair, dou means beans. Hairy beans, so original.
Left to right – golden, rhubarb red & fordhook giant
Decided to experiment with freezing, but instead of blanching, am trying partially cooked. (Forgot to take photo before freezing.)
Not sure if I am correct, but I feel blanching then cooling in ice bath would rob the chard of some of it flavor (also involved extra work, I am a lazy cook).
Last year, we, volunteers at Locust Grove, reinforced the fence surrounding the Heritage Vegetable Gardens to prevent woodchucks from entering and feasting. As a result, the garden is looking its best this year. Must bring my camera to LG with me on Thursday and write a post to show case the gardens.
Sweet potatoes vines at LG are growing extremely well so I cut a big bunch to take home for cooking. Hope the tubers underground are also doing as well.
Sweet potato vines
Vine (photo lower left) is not edible
Leaf as well as the leaf-stem and the tender vine tip (photo lower right) are edible
Cooking sweet potato vines:
1. Harvest about 8 – 12 inches of the young tender section of the sweet potato vine.
2. Cut the leaf (including leaf stem), and the tender tip from the vine, discard the vine.
3. Separate the leaf-stem from the leaf. Cut leaf-stem and leaf to desired lengths, I cut to about 1½ inch lengths.
4. Add a bit of oil, garlic, ginger slices and salt to wok or frying pan.
5. Add leaf-stems, sauté a minute of 2. Add leaf, continue sautéing until reached desired doneness. (I like mine crisp-tender). Adding liquid, if needed, to prevent burning.
6. Stir in 1 – 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil if desired. Enjoy!
(NOTE: I only eat vines grown from edible sweet potatoes tubers. I was told not all sweet potato vines are edible and not to eat ornamental sweet potato vines.)
Japanese anemone along one side of my garden shed
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