Harvest Monday, August 21, 2017 – All Firsts

Had many first these past 2 weeks. The stars are Container Figs and Blackberries.

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The above is one day’s harvest from my one container plant.

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Figs are extra large this year.

At the end of last year my kids helped me to transplant the fig tree into a larger container and added lobster compost to fill the container. Guessing that’s the reason for the larger figs and was worth the expense.

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The above photo shows figs at various stages of maturity. Unripe, each fig stands up tall and straight, as it ripens it bends at the stem. Fig is ready will fully bent and soft to the touch. The fig on the left should be ready in a day or two.

Unfortunately critter/s have discovered the ripened figs and many are missing I also see partially eaten figs strewn on the driveway. Now I must pick before each fig is fully ripen to the stage I like.

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Lost the first crop of ripened blackberries as they were sitting at the top of the plant in plain sight of the birds.

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Thornless Blackberries

The above blackberries were hidden among the branches making them harder for the birds to get to.

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Sweet potatoes are growing very well now and I feel comfortable cutting some of the leaves for cooking without worrying about affecting the tubers.

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Sweet Potato Leaves

There 2 kinds of sweet potato leaves – most varieties have heart-shaped leaves while a few varieties have deep-cut leaves, both are edible.

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Sweet Potato Leaves

Using Sweet Potato Leaves
Sweet potato leaves are highly nutritious. Both the leaf and leaf stem are edible, and like spinach shrinks a lot after cooking:
Saute like you would spinach, leave whole or cut into bite-sized pieces or thin strips.
Spinach substitute in soups, e.g. Italian Stracciatella soup, Wonton soup, Bean soup, …..
Vegetable in pot sticker dumplings,
Combine with other vegetables in frittata, quiche
Combine with other vegetables in ravioli, lasagna, …..
In curry sauce with coconut milk
Sauteed leaves as pizza topping, bruschetta or lettuce substitute in sandwiches, …..

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Both Red Noodles Beans and Green Chinese Long Beans are starting to produce.

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Red Noodles Beans

The Red Noodles are very pretty hanging on the vines in the garden.

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Green Chinese Long Beans

The Long Greens were a bit later than the Red Noodles but are catching up.

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Top, Red Noodles Beans. Bottom, Chinese Long Beans.

Click here to learn about Chinese Long Beans.

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Container Bok Choys are doing well. There are 6 plants in the container below, way too crowded.

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Bok Choy, White Stem

Just noticed the water droplets on the bok choy leaves in above photo look like spider mites infestation.

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Bok Choy, White Stem

Pulled 3 of the larger White Stem Bok Choy to give the other 3 smaller ones room to grow.

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Due to their sizes Mei Qing Choi are well suited for growing in window box.

I harvested the outer leaves from each plant, then sprinkled granular fertilizer around each plant and watered well. Should be harvesting more outer leaves soon.

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Mei Qing Choi

My family of rabbits are multiplying but veggies are safe since I elevated the window boxes.

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New family members

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Where is Mama Deer?

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Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

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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
This entry was posted in Container gardening, Fruits, Garden pests, Gardening, Growing sweet potatoes, Harvest Monday, Uncategorized, Vegetables and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Harvest Monday, August 21, 2017 – All Firsts

  1. I would be so excited to see deer in the garden! How wonderful Norma! As always, all your harvested goodies are amazing.
    Have a glorious day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  2. Judy Killmer says:

    Hi Norma,
    Your figs look incredible!! Are they still quite tasty being that size? Also – your blackberries look so wonderful! I love your blog!!! Judy

  3. DDD says:

    I am happy that your figs are larger and you veggies are pretty and delicious.
    There was a fig tree near my work Trenton NJ. It was not protected in the winter and died back each year. It produced hundreds of small figs however. I used to enjoy fresh figs at my lunch hour.
    The figs I got from trader Joe had no flavor at all.

  4. An amazing harvest, Norma. Those figs are just sensational and the long beans are just awesome.

  5. Mama deer knows your yard is a safe place to leave her babies while she is off foraging elsewhere.

  6. Eva Taylor says:

    The figs look amazing, ours are nowhere near as mature as your figs. I’m hoping the critters won’t find them this year, so far, so good. Your other crops look wonderful and fresh too.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Thanks. Unfortunately the critter/s discovered my ripened figs. Are you netting your fig tree?

      • Eva Taylor says:

        Hi Norma, I haven’t needed to net it just yet and now I am concerned that I have not seen much growth for a while. I have given it organic fertilizer (I used a Jobes generic 4-4-4) and at first it was going crazy with fruit growth (leaves have stopped growing) and now the fruit have totally stopped growing. My understanding is that the nitrogen should not be too high so I went with the lower count, I sure hope I haven’t done poor old figgy in.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Eva,
        The fruits will swell when they start to ripen. Some critters stole all the figs on my small multi-trunk experimental tree 😦

  7. Those figs are beautiful Norma! Too bad the critters have discovered them. I’ll have to cut some of my SP leaves too since the vines are really growing. They would make a good spinach substitute for stuffed pasta or the rollatini I made.

  8. Phuong says:

    Your long bean look very productive, and your container bok choy are doing amazingly well. It’s great seeing that basket full of figs, I’m very tempted to order a plant.

  9. Sue Garrett says:

    You make our three figs this week seem meagre pickings. We are trying to grow sweet potatoes but they are not doing very well. As for pak choy something has eaten the young plants.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Sue,
      What do you mean when you say your sweet potatoes are not doing very well? Because of our short summer I can only grow the early varieties sweet potatoes.

  10. Bill says:

    It all looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing how to cook sweet potato tops. We grow lots of sweet potatoes every year but have still never tried the greens! This year we’re growing the “maple leaf” variety (on the left in your picture).

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bill,
      You are welcomed. The texture of the 2 kinds of cooked leaves are different. I find the heart-shaped leaves have a softer texture than the “maple leaf”, both are delicious, so it is a matter of preference.

  11. This post makes my heart happy. Figs and deer…. BEST!
    Id be squealing with delight to find deer in the garden, very cool Norma!
    Your harvest is exceptional. Our garden is in that awkward mid season phase, need to do a replant I think. I miss seeing my fridge overflow with goodness like this.

  12. Margaret says:

    Well, I’m SO envious of those figs!! I only have a handful on my trees and I’m not sure if they will end up ripening in time. I’m actually thinking that I may need to repot them and that the pots I have them in may be the problem. They are black and with our very hot summers, I’m wondering if they get too hot as the trees really didn’t grow as well as I would have expected over the summer, even with regular watering.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Margaret,
      Why not just repot one to see if the black pot is the issue? Figs like alkaline soil, next year give it some lime or a chunk of cinder block. I don’t just water my container fig, I actually soak the container every day.

      • Margaret says:

        Maybe I should be using some garden soil in the potting mix – our soil is quite alkaline at around 7.5. Good idea to repot only one – why go to all that extra work of doing 2 when it may not make a difference.

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