Monday, June 30, 2008

Books on Vegetable Gardening 菜園參考書


Organic is good, organic is great,
bottom line: common sense rule.




Everything you want to know
about seeds is in these two books




Good reads for die hard gardeners




All you want to know how to grow
Asian (mostly Chinese) vegetables is here,
detail discussion.



Saturday, June 28, 2008

Japanese Maple Tree 日本楓樹


Bonfire

One of the two Japanese maple trees I purchased last month.
The new leaves are sprouting in red, and the
older leaves are slowly changing color from green to red.
It would be very pretty in autumn.

日本楓樹
樹葉慢慢轉紅了
秋天會美美囉



Friday, June 27, 2008

Eggplant Blossom 茄子花


Eggplant blossom




日本種小茄子

Japanese Ichiban eggplants

Bitter Melon Flowers 認識苦瓜花


青色錐型苦瓜花

Wide shoulder green bitter melon (male) blossom,
the petals are broader and overlapping each other.



白玉苦瓜花

White bitter melon (male) blossom,
the petals are narrower, irregular length,
and spread apart, the blossom color is
a shade lighter than the green variety.

Leaves and fruit size
Green melon: larger and broader
White melon: narrower and smaller

Judging from the leaves and blossoms,
the green melon will produce larger fruits,
the white melon will produce smaller fruits.






Creeping Thyme


Low maintenance, easy to grow,
not fuzzy about soil and nutrients,
happy with just water, creeps
over rocks and cracks, fills in color
at places where one cannot grow flowers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Would You Do This? 蠢材



沒腦的人(我啦)才會這樣播種

Only lazy dummie (yours truly) will broadcast seeds by the handful!
These seedlings will be plowed under for green manure.





Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ladybug?



What kind of bug is this?
I don't think it's ladybug.
The Lady's body is more round,
I am not sure about the white
spots on its head and shoulder.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spring Quarter Report 春季成績單


翼豆花
Asparagus Pea flowers
aka "Winged Bean"



初次認識翼豆,印象不錯
不知大家怎麼煮這豆豆呢?
它好象還有幾個不同名字,
看官你知道嗎?

First time I grow this bean for fun,
I don't know what to do with the crop yet,
but I read somewhere it says you can eat
the entire plant; beans, leaves, roots and all.



超迷你玫瑰花, 很會長喔

Micro mini rose Popcorn showing off
its flower power; a tiny plant with a big punch!




台灣小白菜,從播種到收割共30日

These bok choy were harvested for dinner tonight,
all together 13 plants in 2 sf EB.
It took 30 days from seed to harvest,
pretty good return on investment.



拉丁種墨西哥節瓜
覺得比深綠色意大利節瓜脆和好吃

Mexican Squash
The reliable performer



從舊屋剪來的枸杞插枝成功了
看到那些小小花蕾嗎?
那是未來杞子喔

Successful goji (wolfberry) propagation.
I took some cuttings from the old house
and root them in potting soil, that's it!
Do you see the tiny flower buds?
The berries are coming!
Hopefully I can get to them before the birds.



墨西哥辣椒
以前種地,今年試種盆
還好長得不錯

Jalapeno peppers are happy in EB,
first time I grow peppers in container,
I've been growing them in raised bed previous years.



日本種茄子

Japanese Ichiban Eggplants doing very well,
the fruits will be ready for harvest soon.



意大利種番茄
做番茄醬用

First heirloom paste tomato San Mazano.
My favorite paste tomato is San Remo, but I cannot
find the seeds anymore, so I settled for the second best.



我家喜歡的番茄
生吃或熟食都好

First heirloom Brandywine tomato of the season,
it is the best tasting tomato in my family's opinion.
I grow it every year. The black tomatoes
have not shown up yet, they are a little late this year.



小包心菜,天氣太熱了
包得不緊, 鬆鬆的沒看頭
秋天再試種

Brussels Sprouts are not doing well,
the heat is getting to them, the heads are
loosely wrap, I don't expect much from them.
Will try again in August to catch the cooler
growing season before frosty old man shows up.



爭氣的芥藍頭

Kohlrabi is still going strong,
I think I have about 10 plants left.



洋蔥

Yellow onions are forming bulbs,
they will be ready for harvest soon.



天氣熱,香菜罷工不玩
已經剪了很多次,該拔根做大海椒芫蒜醬了

End of cilantro season for now.
They have had many haircuts this Spring.
I'll be pulling the roots for Tahai's cilantro paste.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Garden Kimchi 韓國泡菜



Korean style pickles
kimchi from our garden.
Top left: sweet and sour kohlrabi
Front: squash & blossom kimchi
Right: kohlrabi kimchi

甜酸芥藍頭,節瓜(水)泡菜
辣芥藍頭泡菜




I have been harvesting squashes every other day.
This is the size my family enjoys,
we absolutely dislike market size summer squashes,
we like them small, tender, and crunchy.
I only have 2 plants, there won't be enough
for friends and neighbors, so no one has to worry
I would secretly drop off squashes at their doorsteps.

我家喜歡吃小節瓜,每隔一兩天收割幾個
剛好夠吃,鄰居和朋友都不用擔心
我會把大節瓜偷偷的丟在他們門口.




The accidental baby---pulled by mistake
didn't mean to do it!

唉,不小心拔掉小BB




They don't like to be squeezed!
That's why they grow upward instead of sideways,
talk about picky....... sheeeeeeeze!!!!!!

太擠了,不夠空間讓它們橫長
結果不爽,向空中發展
不過還是很嫩的





Friday, June 13, 2008

Some Greens in June


Short bok choy 短腳白菜 with thick flesh leaves,
I picked 8 of these for dinner. Simply flash fry them
in a wok with some oil and minced garlic is best.





See the lower right 白菜 is different from the rest?
It is a green stem Shanghai bai cai 上海小白菜 and
the lone surviving seedling
from last month's 50 mph gusty wind.
The rest are大白菜which I experimented with
growing them in a clay pot earlier in the Spring;
This time I'm experimenting with Earth Boxes.
Seeds were planted directly into the EB
about four weeks ago, they should be ready
for harvest in a few days. These babies are super
easy to grow; the seeds are from China
which I purchased in SF earlier this year.





Another variety of small bok choy 小白菜
they are getting crowded and need to be thinned out
soon or else they will bolt from overcrowding. A different
strain of BC from the top two pictures;
they are lighter in color, and the leaves
are thinner and more fragile.
I wish seed catalogs has more information and
description as to which variety of BC seeds they are selling.
When growing BCs I have to number the seed packages
so that I can differentiate BC1, BC2, BC3.......etc




I don't remember planting cabbage at all,
but there are four of them in my garden,
a pleasant surprise! We ate two of them already;
they were sweet and crunchy, the best I've
tasted so far (I am not a cabbage fan until now).
I'll have to dig out the seed packet to see the variety
and which seed company it came from;
I have too many seeds can you tell?

Some of you must be wondering
why don't I label my seedlings and plants.
I do! Here's the scoop:
Gardening in high desert is challenging,
Spring is windy season; the PMS weather
is unpredictable, it might be nice and sunny
one moment and be quite windy next;
whatever seedlings are not brought indoor
immediately will be blown away.
We are at mercy of the weather
as Chinese says 看天做人.






Tuesday, June 3, 2008

101 Fava Bean 原來是蠶豆





I started two fava seeds in March along with other beans,
unfortunately all the seedlings with labels were blown away
by strong wind, I picked up whatever was left lying on the ground,
and I have absolutely no idea which seedlings survived;
I've lost more seedlings than I care to remember.
Life goes on; I started more seeds and nurse
the wounded ones back to health
and transplanted them to a permanent location.
I have never seen a fava plant or its flowers before,
It was fascinating to watch the mystery plants grow.
At the beginning I was puzzled
by the black dots on the flowers,
I thought the black "spots" were some kind of disease or bugs,
I sprayed the flowers with strong streams of water hoping to
dislodge the "bugs" (stupid idea). D u u h h h h h h h h !
The plants didn't budge and grew more flowers with black "dots"
OK, I gave up~~~not gonna spray water on flowers anymore!
Well~well~~well~~~
Something caught my eyes today, what's this LONG BIG
"thing" hiding in my mystery plants? Got closer and
took a good look........O O O H H H~~~ (V-8 moments)
It's a fava bean~ it's a broad bean~ it's a 蠶豆~~~~ Stupid!

第一次見識新鮮蠶豆
標簽丟了,不知種啥
差點拔掉, 是唯一沒生病的豆豆
是否與香料種在一起有關呢?