Harvest Monday, October 13, 2014 – Bok Choy in Window Boxes + Oven Drying Bok Choy & Mustard

This past week I continued with fall clean up. Most of the flower and perennial beds are in good shape, weeded, mulched and ready for winter. Also pruned and shaped my fig tree (not sure if it is the right time) before wheeling it into the garage for the winter.

Today’s post I am focusing on bok choy I transplanted into window box on September 1.

I had thickly sown some very old bok choy seeds in the garden early August hoping some of the seeds will germinate. Will you believe most germinated and needless to say needed thinning. Transplanted the thinning into window boxes. Below is one of them.

bok choy (06886)

Bok Choy

As you can see from the above photo, something is obviously enjoying my Bok Choy. May be I should give in and use a spray.

bok choy (06891)

Definitely overcrowded

Pulled every other bok choy plant and harvested some of the outer leaves of the remaining plants. Got 2+ pounds. Anxious to see how large the remaining plants will grow in the box now that they have more space and light.

bok choy (06892)

Bok Choy After Thinning

bok choy & red giant mustard (06897)

Left: Red Giant Mustard. Right: Bok Choy

The Red Giant Mustard (all volunteers), about 1½ pounds, were harvested from the garden.

Still have lots of greens in the fridge that needed to be used so decided to experiment with oven drying the bok choy and mustard.

In Chinese cuisine, dried bok choy and dried mustard are used in soup.

blanched bok choy (06902)

Blanched Bok Choy ready for the oven

blanched mustard

  Blanched Red Giant Mustard ready for the oven

 Placed the blanched bok choy and mustard in a 200°F oven (with oven door slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape) for 4 hours. Below photos show the results.

oven dried bok choy (06908)

Bok Choy after 4 hours in the oven

Bok choy after 4 hours in the oven at 200°F. The leafy part was dry and crispy but the stem part still had a bit of moisture, decided to leave the tray on the counter. After 2 days of air drying the stems were also dry and crispy.

oven dried red giant mustard (06906)

Red Giant Mustard after 4 hours in the oven

Red giant mustard after 4 hours in the oven at 200°F. Both the leafy part and the stems were dry and crispy. It appears given the same length of time and oven temperature the mustard dries faster.

After drying, 2 pounds of bok choy yielded about 4 ounces, 1½ pounds of mustard yielded about 3 ounces. Worth the time and effort not to mention electricity? Not sure. Packaged both in airtight container for later use in soup.

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overturned window box (06853)

Animals creating havoc

Some animals are digging into and overturning a few of my window boxes. The above is Shanghai Bok Choy.

Shanghaia bok choy (06863)

Repositioned Shanghai Bok Choy

After repositioning the Shanghai bok choy I moved the window box to a shaded location for a few days and gave the plants some liquid fertilizer to minimize the shock and help them to recover.

◊ ◊ ◊

fall blooming daisoes (06859)

Fall Blooming Daisies

Does anyone know the name of the above Fall Blooming Daisy? A friend gave me a plant some years ago but she never knew the name.

◊ ◊ ◊

HELP!!!! Photo #4, titled “Left: Red Giant Mustard. Right: Bok Choy” and photo #6 titled “Blanched Red Giant Mustard ready for the oven” have extra space (wider band) after the caption. Can anyone tell me how to get rid of the extra space? Thanks.

…   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …  …   … 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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59 Responses to Harvest Monday, October 13, 2014 – Bok Choy in Window Boxes + Oven Drying Bok Choy & Mustard

  1. Your bok choy looks so fresh! I am jealous because it is definitely on of my favourite vegetables, but not used often enough in my mums cooking 😛
    Beautiful photos!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Karen says:

    You definitely have a green thumb…your bok choy has certainly done great.

  3. pooks says:

    My seeds were very hit and miss. Beans grew and greens didn’t. Not sure why. I was using older seeds, but my current seeds–spinach–didn’t come up at all!

  4. daphnegould says:

    Lovely choys. And I’m guessing that your daisies are chrysanthemums. They are what blooms now and they can have a daisy form.

  5. Eva Taylor says:

    Great harvest Norma. I guess I’ll have to wrap up Figgy for the winter too. Poor thing had about 8 figs on again and then dropped them before they ripened. It’s definitely well watered so that’s not the problem. Maybe the pot is too big? I was trying to avoid having to transplant it so the pot was a little more than twice the size it came in. The leaves are also looking bad. Your Bok Choy looks great, it’s strange that you dry them though. Is the flavour intensified that way? I just dried a couple of batches of tomatoes, can’t wait to have them.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I am sure Figgy will do better next year and reward you with ripe figs. Yes, the flavor of dried bok choy is quite intense and a little can go a long way. You can buy dried bok choy and dried mustard at the Asian markets.

  6. That’s some great looking bok choy. Too bad about the critter digging in the window box. Squirrels do that a lot here, especially when they are burying nuts for the winter.

  7. Diana says:

    I enjoy your blogs very much. Your sprouting method is the best IMHO. I sprout every week using your method

  8. dvelten says:

    Interesting technique drying bok choy and mustard. I have dried kale but never considered drying a green with as much moisture as bok choy. May try next year when I have some mustard.

  9. Margaret says:

    Can’t get over that overflowing box of bok choy – just fabulous! Sorry to see that overturned window box – such a sad sight…hopefully they recover without too much of a setback. I’m hoping to get some fig trees in the future & like you I will need to grow them in pots and then bring them indoors for the winter. Initially I was thinking that I would place them in the cold cellar in the basement but using the garage would be so much easier with stairs to deal with. How cold would you say it got in your garage?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Margaret,
      My overturned Shanghai bok choy have recovered and are growing well, will show a photo at a later post. I don’t know how cold my garage gets, it is attached to the house and there is a room above it. I place my fig tree by the outside wall.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Impressive bok choy! And what rascals would tip over your window boxes. I’ve also got a fig tree that I keep in a pot and am not sure when I should bring it in. Our daily highs are in the mid to high 60s and lows are starting to dip into the low 40s, but the fig tree shows no sign of being too cold.

  11. Those bok choy look fantastic, but what did you want to dry them?

  12. cheri says:

    Hi Norma, your garden must be amazing, love bok choy!

  13. Michelle says:

    I am continually amazed by what you are able to grow in window boxes. It is interesting what you’ve done with the dried greens. I’ve never tried drying greens but have had great success oven drying zucchini. Do let us know how they are in soup.

  14. lovin the imperfect leaves, symbol of organic plants!!!
    lovin the green chips too, the store brought green chips is a very pricey healthy snack Norma

  15. ChgoJohn says:

    Your garden continues to amaze me, Norma. That bok choy looks so incredibly good. I harvested the last of my tomatoes, all green, on Saturday and made relish with them. Loved seeing your daisies, too. It looks like the last of my rose buds are blooming now. It’s raining pretty heavily and I think that will knock off most of the remaining petals. Winter is definitely coming.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      I am going to get rid of my roses, the deer and the Japanese beetles will not leave them alone. Oh yes, winter is definitely coming, hope it is not a repeat of last winter.

  16. hotlyspiced says:

    Sorry but I can’t help with anything technical – I’m very challenged! I love the daisies and are they flowering now? Is that late? Something is definitely chewing on your harvest and my bet is that it’s the pesky caterpillars. Good luck! xx

  17. wok with ray says:

    That is very frustrating when you plant beautiful vegetables and fruits and these critters will just ruin it. I guess that is whey they are branded pests, right? Same thing is happening with my young orange and lemon trees. These guys are eating up the leaves. Your garden is just beautiful, Norma. Love those bok choys. 🙂

  18. Hooray for volunteers. I just love when that happens. Last year, we had these huge neon green worms destroy most of our tomatoes so I can understand but somehow you always manage to have such a pretty harvest, Norma =)

  19. I love Bok Choy so much – I would take it all even with those little holes!

  20. Linda says:

    It looks very nice, Norma! 🙂

  21. Your Bok Choy sure did well, even if those little pests decided to take a few bites. Great instructions on drying it too!

  22. Your bok choy looks absolutely amazing. I wish I could grow it.

  23. I was inundated with little pests in my garden this year, so I totally understand the frustration that can bring. And the decisions of how to handle next time around. I absolutely love the drying of the bok choy and mustard to use later in soups!!!!! Definitely trying this.

  24. Sophie33 says:

    Choc Chip Uru says:
    October 13, 2014 at 7:07 am
    Your bok choy looks so fresh! I love bok choy a lot! Yum Yum Yummm!,😋

  25. Juliana says:

    I wish I could grow bok choy…yours sure look awesome…the crispy mustard and bok choy leaves sound very interesting…look forward to see it in soups.
    I love the daisies pictures…a mood enhancer!
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Norma 😀

  26. Sharing bok choy with a few bugs still left some wonderful veggies!

    I looked at your code through firebug and under the double wide captions you have two s and on the others you only have one.

    Blanched Red Giant Mustard ready for the oven

    You don’t need the empty one 🙂

    This is what the skinny ones look like:


    Bok Choy

  27. woops… the cut and paste didn’t work. anyway, you have an extra space and if you want me to email it I’d be happy to.

  28. shenANNAgans says:

    Oooo… gorgeous bok choy, it looks so fresh and yummy! My bok choy never seems to grow the best, I am a bit jealous, but least the farmers markets have a solid supply. 🙂

  29. Norma, our bok choy looks like that as well! We don’t spray, we’ve just learnt to ignore the holes and eat the leaves anyway.. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Celia,
      That’s what I have been doing, but still think if I spray, the plants will grow so much larger, difficult decision. Going to see if there are “friendly sprays” at the garden center.

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