Harvest Monday, August 17, 2015 – Figs + Harvests (Collard, Beets, Chinese Long Beans, Radicchio)

Harvested first figs this past week.

figs (08162)


Picked 10 figs, 5 did not make it into the photo, the above 5 disappeared as soon as photo was taken.

One of the fig question I am frequently asked is: How do I know when my fig is ready? The following photos should, hopefully, help.

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In the above photo the fig on the left is plump and starting to change color but still standing upright. Note all the green figs are standing upright.

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In the above photo the fig on the left is starting to droop, can be harvested at this stage but I usually wait another day or 2. The fig on the right is plump and should be changing color soon.

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The fig on the left is now a darker color soft to the touch and is sweet. Depending on how anxious I am to pop that baby into my mouth I may harvest at this stage or wait until it has drooped a bit more (the fruit neck will show signs of wilting) at which stage it is even sweeter (sometimes you can see nectar oozing out) but then the ants and other critters are also waiting so it becomes the battle of who gets there first.

NOTE: The above color reference pertains to the variety of fig I have. There are many varieties of figs with different color when ripe (from light green to black) so go by how the fig is hanging and not the color.

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As I mentioned in last Harvest Monday’s post, woodchuck ate my broccoli, kohlrabi and kale. However, it left the collard greens alone, I guess collard is not woodchuck’s favorite brassica.

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Collard Green

The above collard greens were very tender. I blanched both the leaves and the ribs and froze for making soup later.

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Not sure of the 2 beet varieties in the photo below. They are the “give away” seedlings for the volunteers after plantings are completed at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden (LGHVG).

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I microwaved the beet roots, peeled, cut into bit-sized pieces, tossed with rice vinegar, a bit of salt and sugar, made a lovely simple pickle.

Cut the greens into bite-sized lengths, stir-fried in a bit of oil, garlic, onion, S&P to taste and a dash of balsamic vinegar (would have preferred lemon juice but had none). A tasty and simple side.

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The Chinese Long Beans are producing well. Like the cowpeas (aka black eyed peas) they are related to, loves hot weather so I should be getting abundant harvest as high 80’s and 90’s are predicted for the next 10 days.

asparagus beans & radish (08179)

Chinese Long Beans also known as Yardlong Beans, Asparagus Beans, Snake Beans, Bora & Long Podded Cowpeas

To learn more about Chinese Long beans (aka yardlong beans, asparagus beans, snake beans, bora & long podded cowpeas) and recipe click here.

The radishes in the above photo were the ones interplanted among the napa cabbage in window box.

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Radicchio on the other hand does not like hot weather, fall planting will yield better result.

radicchio (08155)


Didn’t think the radicchio on the left will turn red as it was starting to show signs of bolting so I harvested it. Don’t know why the radicchio on the right is oblong instead of round.

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Due to the hot dry weather we are experiencing, the Forellenschluss Lettuce was showing sign of bolting so I harvest all.

forellenschluss lettuce (08185)

Forellenschluss Lettuce

In case you are wondering what happened to the 2 lettuces in the front, a rabbit had them for dinner.

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Also harvested but no photos are red noodle long beans, peppermint Swiss chard, sweet potato vines, tomatoes and herbs.

High temperature and dry conditions are predicted for the next 10 days. Sure could use some rain.

Last Saturday evening we had thunder and lightning and I was positive we would have a down pour, not a drop, but a friend living about 10 miles east recorded 1½ inches of rain, so not fair.

Happy gardening!

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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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52 Responses to Harvest Monday, August 17, 2015 – Figs + Harvests (Collard, Beets, Chinese Long Beans, Radicchio)

  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    Another great harvest week, Norma. Those figs are beautiful.

  2. Susie says:

    The figs are amazing. I tried to grow figs here, I actually have two fig trees (in containers), but they have never produced a fig. Nice collards.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Susie,
      How old are your fig trees? How do you winterize them? If you keep them as a house plant during the winter months they will not fruit that’s my experience.

  3. Kristy says:

    The figs look beautiful and they definitely made me hungry. This is the time of year I love to use them. It has been hot and dry here too. We’re returning today and I’m hoping Miss A’s tomatoes and my flowers are still alive. I had someone watering them, but we’ll see…Enjoy your week Norma. 🙂

  4. Margaret says:

    Wonderful tips on harvesting figs. I have no idea how long my trees will take to actually bear fruit; I’m just hoping that I can keep them alive and thriving so that I get a chance to use your tips at some point!

  5. Phuong says:

    Your beets and radicchio are so beautiful. Were your radishes super spicy from being grown in the summer?

    Your fig tree is so huge, it looks amazing. Baker Creek was selling a collection of rare figs which I’ve been eyeing for awhile.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Phuong,
      No the radishes were not super spicy I think it is because I have them in a window box on the east side of the house where they are exposed to morning sun only. Go for the fig trees, fun to grow and low maintenance. I would love to grow different varieties but lack over wintering space.

  6. wok with ray says:

    The figs are beautiful.

  7. Can’t wait for our figs Norma. Currently not one leaf to be spoken of on the tree. Can’t wait for Spring to see the beautiful leaves.
    Have a super day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  8. daphnegould says:

    Yum figs. We are waiting for rain too. It has been way too dry here this spring and summer. Only June gave us good rains.

  9. Ahhh fresh figs! I can’t seem to find good ones anywhere.. 😦

  10. dvelten says:

    The figs look wonderful and good tutorial on when to harvest them. Also interesting to hear that foot-long beans and cowpeas are related. I’m trying to see if I can grow some zipper cream peas for green peas. Now that it is hot and august, they seem to be growing but I’m not sure the season will be long enough.

  11. mac says:

    You got figs already? I’m still waiting for mine. The beans are beautiful, I didn’t grow any YL beans this year.

  12. Your figs looks amazing Ms. Norma. And I am so in love with your collard greens. You’re going to make me come to your garden and try some out with you :). You are just making my mouth water. I wish this was in my kitchen right now.

  13. so sorry that woodchucks and rabbits are raiding your garden. That lettuce looks really nice in a tub. you might put the tub up out of the reach of the rabbit. We are plagued by roof rats and opossums. Dave at Happy Acres contends with deer. And we all are at the mercy of the fickle weather.

  14. I wish we could grow figs, it’s one of my favorite! I’ll trade you for some watermelons! 😛 We just started picking beans, gotta pick more tonight for dinner!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Pamela,
      You are able to grow just about anything on your rooftop garden, why not fig especially since your winter is about 10-20 degrees warmer than where I am. I imagine you could leave the container outdoor the whole year?

  15. Wonderful harvest this week. The figs look so plump and juicy.

  16. Wow Norma, your garden is magical. I reckon figs are one of the fanciest fruits around, they cost a fortune here, even when they are in season. But worth it I guess, especially when you wrap them in prosciutto & stuff with a gooey blue cheese & drizzle with balsamic reduction…. Gahhhh!
    Wish I could raid your garden too. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Anna,
      Figs are expensive here also even when in season. I am guessing the reason is (even though easy to grow) because they are delicate and highly perishable. You are welcome to come and raid my garden, I have more than enough to share 🙂

  17. Eva Taylor says:

    That was a massive storm that blew through Ontario, so much rain and so heavy. I’d send some down your way if I could. I had to smile about the bunny eating the lettuce for dinner.😀 you’ve got a great harvest of figs, thank you for the ripeness tutorial, very helpful.

  18. Figs! If we had figs, I’d guess that they would have magical disappearing abilities, too 😉

    Wonderful harvests this week, as always! Enjoy every bite!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Melissa,
      Figs harvest for the past few days did not make it into the house so there will be no fig photos in future posts until I get a good crop.
      I have been enjoying every bite of all the crops.

  19. cheri says:

    Hi Norma, what a great harvest you had especially the figs. Wow! to have your own tree, that is very special.

  20. hotlyspiced says:

    We’re having very dry conditions too. I love your images of the figs as they head towards being ready for harvest. It does sound like a lot of your produce is being eaten by animals – they must love your backyard! xx

  21. I love Chinese long beans – are they hard to grow? PS. Those figs are nice!

  22. Sophie33 says:

    A good harvest, so versatile too! My figs are not ripe yet this year but there are many, many on the tree! 😦 x

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