Harvest Monday, August 19, 2013 – Black Soy Beans Update + First Tomatoes & White Chinese Celery + Chinese Long Beans

Black soy bean pods have filled out and the shells are starting to have a yellow tint. Since my purpose for growing soy beans is to enjoy the young bean, it was time to pull up the plants and harvest the pods.

Transplanted some of the sugar snap peas seedlings (started in cell packs click on link and scroll down) and some of the choy sum seedlings (received as a gift) in the vacated space.

Black soy beans (5597)

Young Black Soy Beans

Black soy beans (5603)

Black soy beans (5606)The photo above shows the different stages of the freshly harvest young black soy beans. The pod on the left is green and the beans are also green. The pod in the center has a lighter green color and the beans are starting to get some reddish color. The pod on the right has a yellow green color and the beans are reddish brown. The photo on the right shows the cooked beans, all turned gray.

I enjoyed some of the cooked beans in the pods as an appetizer (like edamame served at Japanese restaurant). Shelled and froze the rest for future use. It was time consuming to shell, did not enjoy the  process, but I am running out of freezer space, no room for whole pods.

Is there a difference in taste and texture between the young black soy beans and the young yellow soy beans?

To find out, will plant both varieties next year and do a side-be-side comparison.

Left 8 plants in the garden to continue to grow for further observations of the different stages and also for seed saving. Will post one more update.


Finally had vine ripened slicing tomatoes

Tomatoes (5599)

Tomatoes, slicing & cherries
Not sure of the slicing tomato variety, plant label went for a walk and did not return

Tomatoes (5612)

Purchased the plant for the above tomato at a local nursery and it was labeled yellow pear
These sure do not look like yellow pear

As you can see from the 2 photos above, all the tomatoes developed cracks, not sure of the reason. Shared the tomatoes and other crops I harvested with friends.


Both the red noodles beans and the green Chinese yardlong beans are producing well. Also had my first harvest of white Chinese celery.

Chinese beand & Chinese white celery (5604)

Red Noodles Beans, Chinese Yardlong Beans & White Chinese Celery

Cut the beans into about 2-inch lengths, blanched and froze for future use. The celery went into a stir-fry. Remembered to take photo after I ate all.

The stalks of Chinese celery, green or white, are skinny (pencil-like). Has a stronger celery flavor and is also a bit chewier compared to celery in the food markets.


Brought in all my kohlrabi and sowed carrots in the vacant space. May be a bit late with the carrots sowing, but had the space and the seeds. Nothing to lose something to gain, may be.

Kohlrabi (5593)


Kohlrabi were small and not good looking. Was away for 10 days during their critical growing period. The weather was hot and dry while I was away and I believe that stunted their growth. Amazingly, they still tasted tender and delicious.


Perennial hibiscus (5590)

Perennial Hibiscus

Got back into the gardening groove and much was accomplished. Definitely a productive gardening week compared to the previous one. I was, am, a happy gardener!

Not happy when I spotted a woodchuck in my neighbor’s backyard. Hope it does not cross the property line.

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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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72 Responses to Harvest Monday, August 19, 2013 – Black Soy Beans Update + First Tomatoes & White Chinese Celery + Chinese Long Beans

  1. great harvest, shame about the cracked toms though. Stay away woodchuck! Damn those critters

  2. Karen says:

    What a good harvest. I have my fingers crossed for you with the woodchuck. Saw one the other day on the hill behind our cottage. Time to get out the Havahart trap.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      Thanks. I have a havahart trap but am not using it. Was told it is illegal to transport and release woodchuck so would not know what to do with the critter if it was trapped.

  3. Liz says:

    A seed company here just sent me some free seeds and one of the packets was Edamame. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they do in our climate. Yours look fabulous.

  4. jenny says:

    Thank you for detailed info on edamame, we had some planted but harvested way too early so now i know to look for color changes. Your “yellow pear” looks more like Mr Stripey to me – it cracks from flactuating heat/water and it tends to do get mushy very fast.

  5. Patsy says:

    How wonderful you got slicing tomatoes at last! I’m still waiting for mine, they are a few days out yet. Beautiful long beans! I hope that woodchuck stays far away from your garden!

  6. Fantastic harvest Norma – pity though about the woodchuck.
    🙂 Mandy xio

  7. Love your look at your soy beans! We have some we’re waiting for in the garden this year too. It’s our first year and there aren’t too many planted, but I’m happy for the process 🙂 Maybe next year I’ll plant some more!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Melissa,
      Thanks. Glad your soy beans growing experience was a positive one. This was my first time growing black soy beans, no idea what to expect. Very happy with the results and will be growing more next year.

  8. My father-in-law is watching my pot garden quite closely. I don’t think any critters – footed or winged – will dare get close.

    I don’t know what he’s do with your woodchuck. He’s pretty fierce about wombats. 🙂

  9. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

    Though not a gardener myself, I learn so much from your blog about produce. It’s really inspiring.

  10. Eva Taylor says:

    Those tomatoes look like they even taste like tomatoes, even from way over here. You’re doing we’ll with your crop even though you were away. You can get a very basic water timer to hook up onto your hose and it will water even when you’re away. We had a system in our first house, and it wasn’t an in ground system, just a simple hose and timer!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Yes, those tomatoes were delicious and tasted like real tomatoes.
      I have vision of burst water pipe while I am away and return to find my house floated away, for ease of mind I shut off the water even if it is only an overnight trip. Blessed with overactive imagination.

  11. A great harvest, Norma. Love those black soya beans!

  12. Kristy says:

    The hibiscus is gorgeous! And the tomatoes look so tasty. I think I will have to find some today. 🙂

  13. Sophie33 says:

    Your kohlrabis are looking lovely!!! I have had more then 100 cherry tomatoes!!! I love your garden produce: yummy yummy too!

  14. You make me so excited to pick our soybeans! I always spend a entire afternoon going through them.. can’t wait for that day to come soon! 🙂

  15. Juliana says:

    Awesome harvest Norma…I never seen black soy bean…cool!
    Have a great week ahead my dear 😀

  16. Daphne says:

    Beautiful harvests. Those red noodle beans look wonderful. I keep thinking I might have to try to grow them again. I’ve tried in the distant past with no success.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      Red noodles beans seedlings do not like cool soil, because of our short growing season, I start my seeds in containers and transplant to the garden when soil is warm. Hope you give it another try, they are pretty on the trellis in the garden.

  17. Eha says:

    Have never tried growing soybeans: yours look great – another matter to think about! Tomatoes: could that be a watering ‘problem’ during the growth period: seem to remember someone saying so? And love your hibiscus: amazed it will grow: you are quite a bit colder than I and I have tried and tried because of my love for them in the tropics: simply no go – tips get frozen brown even if there has been no frost!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eha,
      Yes, I believe my cracked tomatoes are due to watering problem.
      Was the hibiscus you grew the perennial variety? The ones you see in the tropics are not hardy.

      • Eha says:

        No, mostly the ‘fancy’ tropical: a neighbour managed by covering the shrub every time it was 2 C or less . . . I guess I did not learn in time . . .

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Eha,
        Perhaps you could switch to the perennial hibiscus. Are they available where you are?

  18. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love what’s happening in your garden. It is time-consuming to shell pods but sometimes I find it quite relaxing (as long as I don’t have to rush, it’s okay). xx

  19. ChgoJohn says:

    Your harvest is wonderful, Norma, Such a variety! I’ve yet to pick any slicing tomatoes but should be shortly — if the squirrel doesn’t get to them first. Sorry to hear about the woodchuck. I love to see wildlife, just not anywhere near my garden. Your hibiscus is beautiful, too. On my way to the farmers market, a house has one with giant red blooms on the lot’s corner. It’s very striking, as I bet yours is, too.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Hope you are picking slicing tomato this week. I am going to try my best to see that the woodchuck does not cross the property line. Yes the red hibiscus is very striking. I have a pink one also, did not do well this year, need to give it some TLC.

  20. It was lovely to catch up with your delicious garden produce 😀


  21. Barbie says:

    Stay away woodchuck! Love that celery. Much better for cooking at my house. We like the flavor but not hte texture of celery unless it’s cooked to mush. LOL. Beautiful harvests.

  22. leduesorelle says:

    Have been wanting to grow edamame, look forward to your comparison update! We do a late planting of carrots, and imagine yours will do fine — they actually improve in flavor with some cold!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello leduesorelle,
      You will have to wait another year. Perhaps you could grow some next year also. I do hope my carrots will germinate and grow, but with September just around the corner, frost is not too far behind.

  23. I can just taste those slicing tomatoes.! What a pretty and diverse harvest, in spite of woodchucks lurking about. 😉

  24. Mac says:

    Congrats on your first tomato! The green black soybeans are beautiful and nice harvest.
    BTW have you ever come across Indian aster aka Kalermaris Indica? I’m looking for the seeds or seedlings, or cuttings, anyway I can get it.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      Thanks, you have no idea what a thrill it was to finally pick that first tomato.
      I will ask my garden friends if any one has Indian aster and let you know if I locate any.

  25. benczajkowski says:

    I know nothing about Kohlrabi. This might be my first time seeing it. I’m going to have to check them out and learn 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Ben,
      Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked, I personally prefer it cooked. The skin color can be green or purple but the flesh is the same pale green color. I peel before using.

  26. Look at all those soy beans! I would enjoy them as an appetizer like you suggest. Hope the woodchuck is ok with being a neighbor 🙂

  27. Delicious looking tomatoes!

  28. Purely.. Kay says:

    Ms. Norma your tomatoes look absolutely wonderful. And the white Chinese celery looks amazing. i would love to include that in some recipes I have 🙂

  29. Beautiful young black soy beans and they are so yummy as an appetizer, too! Wow this hibiscus looks gorgeous, is it edible, too?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Veganmiam,
      Welcome and thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. This is my first time growing black soy beans and I am very pleased with the results. I do not know if this perennial hibiscus is edible, should look into this.

  30. I’m absolutely in love with the concept of your blog. Can’t believe I hadn’t found it earlier! Oh the things I could do with my own fresh crop of black soy beans… 🙂 My grandmother would be proud.

  31. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Lucky you, enjoying soy beans fresh from your own garden Norma. That’s one of the few veggies I can only ever buy frozen. Wish I could send my boys over there to help with the podding. That’s a task they love (thank goodness)!

  32. what a great garden and fun to see the long beans my hubby is Indian and they also eat those

  33. Oh, how I long for summer so I can grow snake beans again! Seeing your photos made me realise how much I’ve missed them! And the black soy beans are intriguing – I’ve only ever seen the endamame version..I’m going to look out for these, thanks Norma!

  34. When you’re a happy gardener, we’re happy readers, Norma! I am always so impressed with how much you grow and can just magically bring into your kitchen and cook up. One day I might have a garden like yours! xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbara,
      So glad to learn you were a happy reader. No magic needed to cook freshly harvested crops from the garden to the pot, actually the simpler the better.

  35. Pingback: Harvest Monday, August 18, 2014 + A Few Frist + Maximizing Garden Space | Garden to Wok

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