The birds were getting blamed for my damaged figs until I saw the following sight.
The bees discovered my ripened figs and decided they really, really like figs. Now I must pick my figs as soon as they are ready, no more waiting another day or 2 for them to get sweeter.
The good thing is it appears the same bees will return to and stay with the same fig for days until it disappears and not take bites out of multiple figs so I don’t mind sharing with them. But because there are so many bees I have lost many figs. Wonder what the honey taste like?????
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Planted a fall crop of Hon Tsai Tai in foam ice chest and they certainly are doing well. Cut in all the flowered stems. Below photo is showing a portion of the harvest.
Leaves, stems and flowers are all edible.
Cooked Hon Tsai Tai loses some of its color (photo right), but add vinegar, lemon juice or white wine and observe the magical transformation (photo left).
Look closely at the plant at the lower right in the above photo, you can see where I cut the stems. The central stem was quite stout, ½+ inch in diameter, the side stems were thinner. All were tender. The plant will continue to produce more flower stems. These will all be about pencil-size but still tender and delicious.
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Hip and back are much improved. Just in time for me to be able to bend and harvest my first crop of Black Summer Pac Choi from the garden.
Above are 2 of the 6 I harvested. They were planted in partial shade and I believe that is why they are doing well despite the heat and drought. There are 12 remaining in the garden hope they continue to do well.
Also harvested more Win-Win Choi and more Green Lance Gailan.
Despite the heat and drought, all my fall planting of Asian greens are doing extremely well, from now on I will concentrate on fall planting of Asian greens and forget about spring planting.
With so much greens coming in at once decided to freeze most for winter enjoyment. The frozen greens are great in soup, stews and braising, not that wonderful for stir-frying, but acceptable.
The traditional method to freeze vegetables is to blanch then shock in ice water, drain and freeze. With all the blanching, cooling and draining I always felt I was pouring the nutrients down the drain.
Last year I decided to think outside-the-box and experiment with a different method and was happy with the results so am doing the same this year.
Freezing Asian Greens:
♦ Cut vegetables into desired lengths after cleaning and washing.
♦ Add prepared vegetables and a few tablespoons of water (see NOTE) to pot or frying pan.
♦ Turn heat to high and stir and mix vegetables until they turn bright green, lower heat to medium and continue stirring and mixing for another 3-5 minutes, adding water as needed to prevent pot from drying out.
♦ Remove from heat and spread on a sheet pan to cool (vegetables are partially cooked at this point).
♦ Once cooled, place in freezer bag, date, label and freeze.
NOTE: The amount of water needed will depend on the water content of the vegetable. Bok Choi and Napa Cabbage are high-water-content vegetable so the residual water from washing may be sufficient, Hon Tsai Tai, Choy Sum (aka Yu Choy) and Gailan on the other hand are low-water-content vegetable and will need more water.
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Also brought in some sweet potato vines. I cut about 8-12 inches of the tender tips from the vines of the different varieties of sweet potatoes I grow. Leaves from all varieties (both the cut leaves and the heart-shaped leaves) are edible.
Sweet potato leaves are highly nutritious. Use as substitute for spinach, kale, collard or Swiss chard, as a side, in soups, stir-fries, toss with noodles/pasta, quiche, combine with curry and coconut milk …
Cooking sweet potato leaves:
1. Harvest about 8 – 12 inches of the young tender section of the sweet potato vine.
2. Cut the leaves (including leaf stems), and the tender tip from the vine, discard the vine.
3. Separate the leaf-stem from the leaf. Cut leaf-stems and leaves 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 or 2. Add leaves, continue sautéing until reached desired doneness. (I like mine crisp-tender, see NOTE). Adding liquid, if needed, to prevent burning.
6. Stir in 1 – 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil if desired. Enjoy!
Keep in mind sweet potato leaves reduces in volume by more than ½ when cooked.
NOTE: I like the contrasting texture of the soft melt-in-your-mouth texture of the leaves and the crunchy, a bit chewy texture, of the leaf stems and frequently toss the leaves and leaf-stems into the wok at the same time.
(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, not sure how true that is.)
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Other harvests for the week included: more Figs, Peppermint Swiss Chard, Amaranth, Long Beans and Lettuces.
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Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday