Harvest Monday, May 8, 2017 – Container Fig, Lettuce & Kale

The weather prediction for the week of April 24 was pretty warm for that time of year so I decided to take a chance and wheeled the container fig tree out of the garage and onto the driveway on April 24, one whole week earlier than last year. Glad I did. Check out the photo below!

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Container Fig Tree

Container Fig tree is happy to be outdoors. The leaves are filling out nicely.

To keep the fig tree as a single trunk tree I am going to remove all the new shoots at the base of the tree and use the shoots to start new fig trees to give away.

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The lettuces in the below photo were transplanted into the window boxes at the end of March, and left outdoors unprotected.

Early we had some very cold nights (teens and low 20’s). All 3 varieties suffered set back. Needless to say I was worried and hoped that at least one of the variety or maybe all 3 varieties would bounce back.

Well, once the weather got warmer they bounced right back and are now making up for lost time. Just look at those beauties in the window boxes!

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Top to Bottom – Lettuce: Forellenschluss, Schweitzer Mescher & Bronze Mignonette

I had given some of the seedlings to Susan McCavery. She too bumped them up into larger container but was harvesting lettuce around Easter.

Reason: she kept them in a sunny location indoors put them outdoors on nice days and brought them indoors for the night. They did not suffer set back from the cold nights.

Lesson learned: OK to start lettuce seedlings in January in the Hudson Valley and transplant into larger container when ready, place outdoor on nice days during the day but must bring indoor for the night.

Of course what worked this year may not apply next year but at least I now have a base to work from.

Harvested the outer leaves of each lettuce plant and continued to harvest the outer leaves every few days, was, and still is, a treat at every meal.

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That’s a lot of lettuce in the basket. Made the tastiest salad, so fresh, tender and sweet. A simple dressing of lemon juice, EVOO and S & P to taste was all that’s needed.

A friend stop by and went home with half of the above harvest.

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Last fall I planted my garlic cloves closer than recommended. Now I dig up every other  garlic plant to use as garlic green.

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Top – Garlic Green aka Green Garlic. Bottom – Walking Onion aka Egyptian Onion

The entire garlic green plant is edible, very tender with a mild garlic flavor.

The Walking Onion is bolting early this year, not sure why, maybe weather related. The entire plant is edible, use as you would scallion or green onions. I also freeze for later use when making broth.

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Harvest the outer leaves of each of the container grown Red Winter Kale plant and made a stir fry with the garlic green.

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Red Winter Kale

Stir-fry Kale with Garlic Green

Ingredients
Kale, thinly sliced or coarsely chopped (the stems were so tender I used the stems/ribs and leaves)
Garlic Green (green garlic), white and green parts, slant cut or thinly sliced (or substitute 1-2 cloves garlic, minced)
1 – 2 tablespoons Oil
2 – 4 tablespoons broth or water as needed
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
1. Heat oil in wok or frying pan, add garlic green, stir-fry about 1 minute.
2. Add kale, stir-fry about 1 minute, add broth or water as needed.
3. Cover and steam 3 – 5 minutes or until reached desired doneness.

Variations
Add lemon juice and/or lemon zest or vinegar at the end
Add minced ginger during step 1.
Substitute soy sauce for the salt
Brown 1 – 2 strips bacon and use the bacon fat instead of oil
Add chopped nuts, seeds and/or dried fruits

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First tree peony to bloom. There are more than than a dozen flower buds on the plant.

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Tree Peony

The photo above and the photo below were taken a day apart. What a difference a day makes.

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Tree Peony

Today and tomorrow more of the buds will open, going to be just gorgeous!

Behind the tree peony is a deciduous peony, it will be in bloom right after the tree peony finishes blooming. Can you see the tiny pink buds at the top of the photo?

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

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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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30 Responses to Harvest Monday, May 8, 2017 – Container Fig, Lettuce & Kale

  1. I think of you every week when I am in the garden and look at our potted fig Norma. It’s thanks to you I popped one and now subsequently another 3. Never knew before that you could grow a fig tree in a pot.
    Have a beautiful and happy week.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mandy,
      Are you harvesting figs from your potted fig trees? What varieties are you growing? Because of our short growing season I can only grow the brown figs. A beautiful and happy week to you too.

      • I Norma. I haven’t harvest any figs from the potted trees yet. I am hoping we will this next season at the end of the year. I have the green skinned figs. xo

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Mandy,
        I hope you have a fig harvest this season. A friend of mine tried to grow a green skinned variety in our area and was not successful, fruit failed to mature before the cold weather sets in.

  2. Lea says:

    Beautiful Peony!
    Lovely lettuces!
    I am hoping to have figs on my trees this year.
    Have a wonderful week-end!

  3. Those winter kale leaves look almost giant wild arugula! It always amazes me to see your fig tree doing so well in a container. Great job, Norma.

  4. Those lettuce plants are absolutely beautiful Norma! I am imagine how tasty the salads are when made with them. The tree peony is pretty too. We have the regular ones planted but not any of the tree type. I think we have a spot they would be ideal for.

  5. Julie says:

    Lovely lettuce! Planting early and bringing them in on cold nights sounds like a great way to get some veggies early. Although I know I would be terrible at remembering to bring them in! Your fig tree is looking very happy.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Julie,
      Great idea if one has the sunny indoor space, think I will plant multiple varieties in one window box next year, one window box I can find room.

  6. Margaret says:

    Wow you are much further ahead than we are – it’s still very cool today but tomorrow we are supposed to warm up to “normal” temperatures for this time of year so hopefully I will see a big jump in growth in the garden. Your fig tree is looking amazing! Mine has also leafed out but it also was battered a few times by heavy winds and many of the leaves were damaged.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Margaret,
      Winds can sure do lots of damage, it is still early in the season and I am sure your fig tree will put out many more leaves also the damaged leaves will recover.

  7. Michelle says:

    I can’t believe how beautiful your fig tree is. Mine is growing in the ground and doesn’t look that good. You really do have a talent for container gardening.

  8. Phuong says:

    Look at your giant healthy fig tree! Love it. Your container lettuces are gorgeous. Pretty amazing they did so well even with the really cold temps.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Phuong,
      I am surprised at how hardy those lettuces are. Should have taken a photo of the set back from the cold for comparison, 20/20 hindsight 🙂

  9. You are looking very spring-like over here. Love your potted fig!

  10. Eva Taylor says:

    Your fig looks awesome, Norma. We have been pulling figgy out of the garage on warm sunny days and it’s paid off, although, his canopy is not nearly as thick as yours. I am hoping this year we will have more than the three figs we had before. The garden is progressing, albeit a little slower as spring has not been nearly as warm as other years. The lilac will be amazing as will my crab apple tree that I see as I’m typing this comment sitting at my little kitchen office.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Glad to know that Figgy is doing well I am sure you will be getting more than 3 figs this year. We are having below normal temperature recently, night time temp in the 30’s, and my seedlings are not doing well.

  11. Balvinder says:

    All your plants looks so healthy! I am really amazed at your fig plant in container. Mine still haven’t shown any growth this year which I planted in ground. I guess it died..

  12. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says:

    Every time I see you wheeling your pots in and out I’m reminded how lucky I am to be able to garden every month of the year. The drawback of course, is that I never see snow and the change of seasons is shoes or no shoes. 🙂

    Your lettuce is gorgeous!

  13. TastyTravels says:

    Beautiful lettuce!! I love that container for tree as well!

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