Harvest Monday, September 2, 2013 – Container Peas Shoots & ‘A’ Choy + A Garden Salad

In an earlier post I mentioned growing peas in windowbox for pea shoots. All the peas germinated and were growing well.

My mistake was waiting too long to harvest the shoots.

Pea shoots (5660)

Peas plants
At this stage, only the tips were tender

Peas (5679)

After harvesting the tips, I cut down each plant to about 1/3 its height and hope they will send out tender side shoots (tips).

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The ‘A’ choy I planted in windowbox also grew well.

A choy (5673)

‘A’ Choy

My friend’s garden friend gave me more ‘A’ choy seedlings which I planted in the garden. They are growing very well and I should have good harvest.

I had planned to harvest the outer leaves of each plant in the windowbox, thus allowing the plants to continue to produce, but since I now have many more plants in the garden, decided to indulge and cut in the entire plant.

Stir-fried the outer leaves in a bit of garlic infused oil just until wilted. Was crunchy and tasty with a hint of sweetness, similar to stir-fry Romaine lettuce. Next time I am going to add fresh ginger and fermented black beans, that should be flavorful.

Used the tender inner leaves in the salad below.

Liked both the stir-fry and the salad, definitely planting again next year.

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Harvested more heirloom slicing tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes (5665)

Heirloom Tomatoes
The yellow tomato and the larger red one each weighed 1¼+ pounds

I think the yellow tomato is Marvel Stripe and the red one is Black Krim. Well that’s what I had purchased from the nursery.

Heirloom tomatoes (5671)

Cross section of the above tomatoes

Both tomatoes were very meaty and flavorful (real tomato flavor and aroma). Keepers.

◊ ◊ ◊

Summer salad (5677)Garden Salad
For each serving, arrange on a plate
‘A’ Choy, cut into about 2-inch lengths
2 thick slices of tomatoes
Pea shoots
Cooked young black or green soy beans
 2 figs, halved
1 hard boiled egg, quartered
Salt and pepper to taste
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil (or your favorite salad dressing).

Had planned to top with crumbled blue cheese, but came home from my shopping trip without it, yes, blue cheese was on my shopping list.

NOTE: All the ingredients, except the eggs, came from my garden.

◊ ◊ ◊

Last Monday’s post I was bragging about winning the critters’ battle with my figs. Well, did not take long for the critters to learn that the figs are ripening, they also recognize the ones that are the biggest, juiciest and sweetest.

Figs (5657)

The critters love figs as much as I do
Will have to pick them earlier if I want wholesome fruits

◊ ◊ ◊

Hydrangea (5641)Hydrangea paniculata ‘Tardiva’

A very handsome hydrangea. Unfortunately I have to fence it in as the deer love the plant also.

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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, September 2, 2013 – Container Peas Shoots & ‘A’ Choy + A Garden Salad

  1. It seems we all have to share our gardens with animals of sorts Norma. The Indian miner birds come in huge numbers and eat my figs and there are snails forever in y herb garden. You still manage a great harvest every week though.
    Have a super week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  2. Daphne says:

    Lovely harvests. And the salad looks so pretty.

  3. Judy Killmer says:

    Hi Norma, I just love reading your blog. The info you share is sooooo helpful and interesting and I LOVE all the great recipes. Thanks!

  4. Love those heirloom tomatoes! So JUICY!

  5. Dave says:

    That is too bad about the figs. Ants usually get on mine. And the deer love our oakleaf hydrangea too. Those are some lovely heirloom tomatoes!

  6. The yellow of your heirloom tom is absolutely gorgeous!

  7. wok with ray says:

    I love the salad made from fresh harvest from the garden and you can’t that because that’s the best. Gorgeous salad, Norma. 🙂

  8. Maybe try netting your fig, like Daphne netted her apple tree. They look too good to loose. Or maybe a big ‘bag’ made from tulle like I did against the Japanese beetles in the EL.

  9. What a fresh and delicious homemade salad 😀
    I bet the fresh scent of the garden is in it!


  10. Norma, what a perfect meal, harvested from your own garden! Love the tomatoes!

  11. Dave's SFG says:

    The tomatoes are beautiful. I have a fondness for the yellow ones. I have a Pineapple this year and already got one good slicer. There’s another big one I’m patiently waiting for.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      I also bought a yellow pear tomato but guess it was mislabeled as to date I do not have a yellow pear. Does the pineapple have a hint of pineapple? Due to the weather, many of us have/had to wait patiently for the big slicing tom to ripen.

  12. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Gorgeous salad Norma. Impressed it’s from your own garden. Those yellow tomatoes look beautiful. Wow, those critters are pretty dainty with their pecking – or did you surprise them mid-feast? What kind of critters are they? Our new cat is keeping the critters away from here (ie. possums) – first day of Spring here 2 days ago and it’s the first time we’ve ever had a full garden, with all the plant tops intact! Very exciting.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Saskia,
      Thanks. Wish I knew what kind of critters are visiting. Could be birds, insects, …
      Happy spring, beginning of spring is always an exciting time, what do have in your garden?

      • Saskia (1=2) says:

        Norma the only things in my garden are in pots; basically mountains of different herbs and cherry tomatoes. Our garden is the size of a postage stamp! This is why I love living vicariously through your blog.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Saskia,
        You can plant the following in large pot (only one plant to a pot please) – eggplant, peppers and determinate tomato.
        The following will also do well in pots – potatoes (I think the fingerlings will do better), lettuce, beets, carrots …
        As you can see from the example one can plant a whole garden in pots in a postage stamp size garden.

  13. Cathy says:

    Norma, I did not realize you could grow figs in your climate! What growing zone are you in ? I have always been envious of my relatives in California for their luscious sweet figs!
    A long time ago , I used to grow Black Krim tomatoes from seeds , and I remember them to be flavorsome , early bearing and thicker skinned.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Cathy,
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I have to bring my fig tree into the garage to overwinter, reason it is grown in a huge container. I am zone 5 but may be zone 6 with the new zoning. What zone are you in? Write again if you have any questions or need information.

  14. Wow, that’s a huge tomato in regular home gardening Norma,
    i guess your garden salad us the REAL garden salad since mine usually store brought,
    shame on me,
    You make me want to gardening even more, i just plant 3 kinds of pepper in my side garden, wish me luck!

  15. Hannah says:

    Your tomatoes look great, I grew Marvel Stripe before, but not this year, I have some large heirlooms and a yellow heart called Verna’s Orange Oxheart. I haven’t actually had much bird damage on my figs, mainly ants. They can really wreck fruit too. I also have deer, voles, moles, and rabbits. The deer realized they could reach in the top of one wire circle and ate most of my Salix Nishiki.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Hannah,
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Orange Oxheart sound very pretty, I am imagining a lovely orange color. Oh yes, I have all those wild life too, need to fence in many plants which makes for unattractive landscape.

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    Another great harvest, Norma. Those tomatoes look fantastic. I finally picked an heirloom Brandywine and enjoyed it with tonight’s dinner. Never thought it would ripen. Too bad about your pea shoots and I hope you’ll be able to salvage some sort of harvest by cutting them back. That hydrangea in your last photo is a real beauty. I didn’t realize there were varieties that bloomed this late in the season. If only the deer didn’t find it so appealing. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Bet that Brandywine was best tasting. Did not plant Brandywine this year.
      I am OK with the pea shoots. That’s how I learn, through mistakes. Who knows, the plants may send out many side shoots and I will have a super harvest.
      That hydrangea and a tree hydrangea I have are blooming white flowers now, they will turn pink and then brown and stay on through the winter unless I prune them away.

  17. Gorgeous heirloom tomatoes! They are so plump and juicy. And the hydrangea is just beautiful Norma. Thanks for sharing!

  18. How sad that your fruit got pecked! I’m swooning over those tomatoes.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Maureen,
      Did not lose too many fruits, may be a couple dozens, wild life need to have treats and enjoy life too. Those tomatoes were good, you would enjoy them immensely.

  19. Graziana says:

    It’s so satisfying to prepare salads where everything comes from your garden! I called them ‘rooftop salad’ because I grow all my vegetables on my rooftop

  20. Michelle says:

    Beautiful tomatoes! I’m still waiting for my first beefsteaks to ripen so I’m envious. I had the same experience with my pea shoots, you have to be quick to harvest them, but the do generally send out new shoots.

  21. mac says:

    I made the same mistakes about harvesting pea shoots, haven’t been able to get the timing right yet. Umm one of these days…
    Your salad looks yummy, haven’t grown a yellow slicing tomato, Sungold is the closest yellow mater I’ve grown.

  22. So sorry about your figs but on the bright side, your tomatoes look super-model quality! Heirlooms are my favorite and just one look at yours and I remember why. Perfect salad too, Norma! I hope you enjoyed your weekend/Labor Day =)

  23. Eva Taylor says:

    Your tomatoes look wonderful, I can only imagine how great they tasted…that salad also looks delicious! I just checked my lovely little fig tree and discovered that someone (birds likely) ate the three little figs that were still growing…not even ripe yet! That is very infuriating so now I can honestly say that I feel your pain! Thanks for your email and suggestion for planing the garlic at the cottage, we’re up again in a couple of weeks so I’m going to buy some organic Ontario garlic to plant up there. I’m hoping the wild life doesn’t eat garlic!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      The tomatoes were slow and late to ripen, but boy they were delicious, worth the waiting, I could just eat a whole one for a meal. The photo did not show how thick the slices were.
      Sorry about your figs, next year you will have to net the plant. But on the brighter side, you know your tree will bear fruit and that’s exciting.
      No, wild life does not eat garlic, well so far they have not in my garden.

  24. Juliana says:

    The heirloom tomatoes look amazing Norma….so juicy. What a great salad…
    So funny about the figs…yes, You have to be faster 🙂
    Have a lovely week Norma!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Juliana,
      Heirloom tomatoes are really, really tasty and aromatic. I still got a few quarts of figs from the one tree so I should not complain. A lovely week to you too.

  25. I have a Hydrangea paniculata ‘Tardiva’ and I don’t know where I purchased it but its beautiful and I haven’t seen it for sale anywhere else.

  26. Sophie33 says:

    I love heirloom tomatoes too & especially the yellow ones also! 🙂 Your pea shoots must have tasted very tasty!! I have had alraedy 35 big ripe juicy figs!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Sophie,
      The pea shoots were very fresh and yes, tasty. I need to be more observant and learn what is the best stage for harvesting. Did not count my figs, but already have 3 quarts in the freezer and not counting what I ate plus shared.

  27. Kim says:

    Everything looks so delicious………nicely done Norma!
    How were the figs in the salad?

  28. Purely.. Kay says:

    Your harvest is most definitely coming along. And look at those tomatoes. If I wasn’t allergic to the acid in them I would want some right now 🙂

  29. hotlyspiced says:

    I can’t believe you have deer eating your hydrangea and what a beautiful plant it is too. I love the look of your salad and how satisfying that everything bar the eggs came from your own garden. Shame about the blue cheese – I love blue cheese in salads xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      I wish I could fence in my whole property. There are now new fawns and they are testing and tasting all the flowers and shrubs, even the lower branches of the gingko tree and pulling up many of the not quite established plants, creating quite a mess.

  30. A beautiful harvest salad. Heirloom tomatoes are just gorgeous and love the colors. I also like that you have plated your salad with figs too as it would be beautiful with the balsamic glaze. You just have to be quicker than the critters to get the freshest pick!

  31. Your garden salad looks fantastic! Beautiful heirloom tomatoes.

  32. Karen says:

    Your window box gardening is working out well. Your tomatoes look wonderful…Black Krim is one of my favorites.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      Thanks. How are your tomatoes doing so far? Hope you got to enjoy some. Can you believe the weatherman is already mentioning frost? It is only Sept 6. Was in the low 40’s last night.

      • Karen says:

        We have had the smallest crop of tomatoes ever. The warm water of the lake will protect us from frosts for awhile but the feather comforter is on the bed. 🙂

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Karen,
        Oh I so hope, wishing, we will have a few more weeks of warm weather so that our green tomatoes will ripen.

  33. Oh what a lovely harvest. Peas are one of the few things I’ve had some kind of experience in growing! One little guy germinated on accident in a produce bag inside our fridge and my roommate planted and nursed it on his windowsill.
    I just put up a post about heirlooms, and now I wish I had yours to work with! Did you find that there was a big difference in flavour/quality of the Marvel Stripe and the Black Krim?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Irina,
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. There was not a big difference in the 2 types of tomatoes (well my palate is not sophisticated enough to describe the differences), the Marvel Stripe is less acidic.

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