Monday, June 11, 2012

Early winter harvest

Its officially winter here and we are still lucky to harvest some warm-loving vegetables at this early week of winter. The warm-loving vegetables does take such a long time ripening but the vegetables taste excellent. I guess things that have to wait for, sometime worth the wait. Its fun to see other gardeners harvest basket around the world, so come and join in Daphne's Dandelions Harvest Monday.
We had some eggplants and enjoy it as eggplant fritters. I grew several variety of eggplants each year as I found that each year some does well and some does not, most importantly the weather effects the flavour of certain variety. This year the best performer in our garden was Bonica eggplant. I did not like the flavour of Bonica eggplant very much last year but this year it tasted much better and was the most prolific as well. The bonica eggplant is growing in partial shade and the fruit is protected from the harsh sun. The bonica eggplant tasted good not bitter at all and the flesh was nicely soft. This is the 3rd year we grow eggplants, the first year our eggplant award goes to Early Long Purple, 2nd year best performer was Lebanese eggplants and this year Bonica. This year I grow Early Long Purple and Lebanese eggplants in a location which they received full sun almost the whole day, so the fruit could not grow well and it tasted somewhat bitter when previous years it tasted good. We also harvested some rainbow chards, carrots, golden calwonder capsicum and a yellow crookneck squash.
Snail and slugs are getting active at night now and attacking our Da Cheong Chae green leaves as seen in the photo. Harvest the first biggest watermelon radish in our garden. I wanted to let it grow bigger but was worried that it will become hotter. But surprisingly, it was sweet and no hotness like other radish sometime if you let them grow older. The watermelon radish goes into the chicken tom yum my husband made. Fresh chillies and cherrytime capsicums freshly available in the garden at the moment for picking. We finally cleaned up and disposed end of season cucumber plants today. Only a few cucumbers were left on the plant to harvest. I will sorely miss cucumbers until the next season come again for us.
We harvested our first broccoli for cool season this year, rather small head. Its the first time we managed to harvest broccoli this early, we usually start to harvest broccoli for cool season at the end of July. After 3 times re-sowing 'Jack Be Little' pumpkin seeds because the heat wave kill the plants, we finally harvested  2 pumpkins today. The first sowing was mid-spring, second sowing early summer and the third desperate attempt was end summer. There was no problem with seeds germination. The problem was that the adult plants from the first and second adult plant batch were not able to survive the extreme heat. By the time the female pumpkin flower from the third sowing start to bloom, the weather was getting to cold. The first week when the female pumpkin flower bud bloom it managed to open and be manually pollinated. However, the week after that because of the cold weather none of the female flower bud bloom. It was risky sowing the seeds at the end of summer and we were just lucky to get some pumpkins. For the cucurbits family perhaps the last sowing batch will probably be mid-summer in our garden. I was trying to extend the cucurbit family season this year but I think I extend it too much by sowing seeds until end summer.

32 comments:

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

We are trying aubergnes (eggplants) again this year as in the past we haven't had much success with them. Ours have to stay in the greenhouse.

Liz said...

We grew exactly the same eggplant varieties. This year I found early long purple a rel disappointment - I got 3 I think. The Lebanese was good but the Bonica was best of all. Interesting that your experience was similar.

Sunray Gardens said...

Very nice harvest. Hey do what I do in the spring through Summer to kill Slugs and Snails. Around 11 PM or later I go out with a bottle of ammonia water. 1 part ammonia with 9 parts water and look for them and squirt them. I've killed off most of mine already since Spring to keep them off my Hosta.

Cher Sunray Gardens

kitsapFG said...

Amazing harvests for being "winter"! I have the opposite problem with eggplants int hat our summers never really get truly warm enough for them and they don't thrive. Since I am the only one in our household that will eat them, I just quit fussing with them altogether. I do miss them once in a while though.

rainfield61 said...

Good tip to kill off the slugs and snails by Cher.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

MKG dear,
I love the variety you always manage to harvest from your garden. I know that my Mama is sooooo jealous. purrr...meow!

shafirul suffian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shafirul suffian said...

cantik labu kecik2 tu.. boleh buat hiasan, boleh makan... 2 in 1

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully colorful harvest!

Mark Willis said...

Is the watermelon radish the one sometimes called "Mahantong" or some such? Does it have a deep pink / purple interior inside a greenish skin?

hernyhafiz ^_^ said...

Your harvest realy give me motivation. Semuanya nampak bagus betul. Bertuah ya saya kalau boleh dapat hasil macam ni.

becky3086 said...

Very nice harvest. I need to plant eggplant again, it does quite well here in the Georgia heat.

Daphne said...

Such a beautiful and colorful harvest. It all looks so delicious.

Joyfulhomemaker said...

would love your husband chicken tom yum soup recipe please...and hows your little cutie with his basket:)

mat jon said...

alolololoh tomeynye 'Jack Be Little' pumpkin tu.. ada pertambahan stok benih yang boleh dijual ke?

TK said...

Hi diana dear...hope u r doing fine always..
Hmmm...eggplant fritters..yummy!

Stephanie said...

You have best vegetables! All your greens look so wonderful. Btw I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. Check out my latest post when you have the time. Happy gardening!

Mary Hysong said...

you always have the most amazing harvests. I like your observation that the eggplants really like a little shade when it is so hot. My best ones have been grown in large pots on my patio where it is warm but they get shade in the afternoon.

Sean L said...

Love the watermelon radish. Now that Mark Wilis has mentioned it, Mantanghong is also called a watermelon radish,has white skin with green shoulders. There are many bred lines of mantanghong though, some of which the interior is a strong red whilst some are magenta.

~Holly~ said...

I'm amazing at how productive your garden is even in winter!! Congrats!!

James Missier said...

It must be very heart warming to be able to harvest and cook these healthy juicy looking vegetables.

Garden center Fremont said...

There was no problem with seeds germination. The problem was that the adult plants from the first and second adult plant batch were not able to survive the extreme heat.
Thank you for post..

lena said...

eggplant fritters sound delicious. i find myself learning different names and varieties of vegetables each time i come to your blog :)

shaz said...

Beautiful photos of the harvest. Glad to see you back and bloggin again, hope you're feeling better :)

kitchen flavours said...

Diana, Your harvest always makes me drool...inspires me not to be lazy..!

catmint said...

I just love that photo of Rayyan holding the basket and looking at the produce. Brilliant. I would miss cucumbers too but it is wonderful to be so much in touch with what grows seasonally. Are they purple carrots? interesting ...

James Missier said...

I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. Check it out in my latest post. You have a great day!

Autumn Belle said...

Everytime I visit you here, I feel happy and hungry!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Sue~Good Luck with the aubergines looking forward to hear its growing progress. Our aubergines plants does survive close to 2 degree celsius but we don't have frost. I wonder if you can keep them over-wintered as perennial in the greenhouse.

Liz~Yeah, its really interesting we share the same experience with the eggplants. 2 years ago our early long purple did very well. But this year not good.

Cher~Thank you for sharing good tips with us for preventing slugs and snails.

KitsapFG~Eggplants really love warm weather. Very heat-tolerant plant although the bloom can't produce devent fruits when its over 40 degree celsius. Maybe the early producing type does much better in your place.

rainfield61~Very good tip by Cher.

Cat-from-Sydney~Syukur rezeki kami murah tapi hasil tak lumayan macam tahun lepas sebab tinggal kami bertiga je di rumah.

Shafirul~Hehehe...rasa sayang nak makan tapi dah masuk dalam perut dah.

Anonymous~Thank you ;).

Mark Willis~Yes I think the watermelon radish originate from China and has a pinkish~purplish interior inside.

Hernyhafiz~Yang nampak bagus tu sebenarnya dah kena tutup selit-selit sikit...hehehe...jangan tertipu.

Becky3086~Yes it loves the heat. I found eggplant easier to take care than its relatives like chili and tomatoes.

Daphne~I am dreaming of your beautiful Asian greens. I am imagining that mine must have plenty of holes now since we been away for more than a week.

Joyfulhomemaker~My little monkey just had open heart surgery last Friday and he is recovering really well. I foresee he will soon be a troublemaker once again. Oh my husband did not made the tom yum paste from scratch (bought the paste from the Asian grocery shop). He just added the tom yum paste, bruised lemon grass stalks, bruised ginger, lemon juice, some kaffir lime leaves, bruised chillies in the boiling water. Then some chopped chickens and vegetables in the soup. Nice hot soup for the cold weather.

Mat Jon~hehehe..tak pasti lagi. Nak bagi surprise kemudian nanti tengok ada rezeki benih apa dari kebun.

TK~Eggplant fritters letak cheese dan bahan lain recipe from Australia Women's Weekly.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Stephanie~Thank you for the award. I will come and visit. At the moment I am far-away from home, and don't have much internet access.

Mary~When it is too hot the eggplants in full sun tasted bitter but in partial shade was ok.Its great that we can compare notes.

Sean L~Yes the watermelon radish does have several names I think in Chinese too and one of it is Mantanghong. I thought that the green shoulders roots are due to being exposed in the sun which happened to carrot and daikon too on the top part of the root.

Holly~Thank you, the plants grow better in our mild winter. But summer heat we have problem getting decent harvest.

James Missier~a gardener satisfaction with the rewards given from own garden. Thank you so much for the award. I am away from home at the moment will visit when I have more access with internet.

Garden Center Freemont~You are most welcome.

Lena~Its getting fun for us growing many home-grown vegetables which is new to us and we don't even eaten it before.

Shaz~Thank you I feel much better compare to last week.

Kitchen flavours~Your gardening project has inspired many gardeners in malaysia whenever I blogwalking. Many are following your footstep growing their own daun bawang and daun bawang putih.

Catmint~He was actually screaming in my ears before the photo were taken. He was impatient to eat the freshly harvested carrot roots. Yes they are purple carrots (Afghanistan carrot variety). Yes it is more interesting to eat food which is in season.

Autumn Belle~I am glad the photo makes you happy :).

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

No chance of overwintering in the greenhouse as we don't heat it and it gets below freezing in there.

Wendy said...

gorgeous stuff! i love the carrots.