Friday, August 26, 2011

Ngo Om aka Rice Paddy Herb

Have you ever heard of Ngo Om?  I discovered this through my Mom, of course.... most of my cooking is based on what I grew up with.  But I have never been able to grow this herb.  And it has a ridiculously short shelf life in the fridge.  So every time I wanted to cook with it I would have to make a special trip to the Asian market. And while there is a new one approx 8 miles away, the good one is 17 miles away (I know because it is pretty near the hubs office). So each and every trip to the Asian grocery is a "special" trip.

So I am trying one more time to try and grow this herb.  My Mom looked at me like I was wacky when I told her I had trouble growing it.  She said she just sticks it in the ground and viola... growing. So I hopped on the Internet and figured out why it's voila for her and grumble for me.... humidity.  We have heat out the wazoo here, but dry, dry, dry.....

After reading the article, I emulated the author and potted up my ngo om  I had been rooting.  Ngo om is commonly called Rice Paddy herb, since I guess it grows best in the moist soil of a rice paddy. The fragrance is a mix of citrus/cilantro and just something I cannot describe. I have heard that some describe it as a sweet cumin in taste.

So I had purchased some right before our trip to SF a  couple of weeks ago and plonked some of the hardier looking stems in a full cup of water before leaving. A leap of faith that it would be OK during the week we were away and wouldn't attract bugs. And as you can see, it rooted well.  This part of the growing process usually goes pretty well. It's the part when I put it in soil that they just give up.

So I selected a few of the better rooted ones and put two in each container of soil. Bagged it all up, poked holes for ventilation and now I'm hoping for the best.

My finished product.  I hope this works! According to the author of the website above, you never have to water the plant again. I hope I have to re-pot to bigger pots in a few weeks!

Happy gardening!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What in the world?

Yesterday I finally managed to get off my duff and start some fall (or second summer) seeds.  I diligently planted out some tatsoi, bok choy, beets, swiss chard, Thai basil, cilantro, and even some cucumbers and winter melon - hey, you never know, we don't get frost until December or January.... if at all.  Then I started the Fava seeds soaking and planted those out today.  It's hard to start a fall or second summer garden when I am still waiting for most of my summer crops.

But when I went to go and check on the seeds started yesterday, I noticed that there were a lot of winter melon seeds on top of the soil.  I at first thought I was a really sloppy planter. Then I noticed that the cucumber seeds were also on top of the soil. A closer inspection showed this:

What pest ate the insides of the seeds and left the rest there?  Grrrrr..... I'm ticked.

They also ate the one Fava seed I popped in the soil before I remembered I wanted to soak them and add the inoculate when planting out. Now I am concerned for my tender Fava seeds I planted out today.

Not so happy gardening today....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Harvest Monday(s)

 Welcome to Harvest Monday, a lovely idea hosted by Daphne.  Head on over and see what others are growing.

We've been a little hodge-podge on recording our harvests lately.  This past week we were out of town  exploring wonderful San Francisco. One of my absolute favorite places to visit.  The hubs needed to be there all week for work, and the rest of the family decided it was a good time for a little vacation.  But living in a hotel room for a week with two rambunctious boys, no matter how luxurious, is TOUGH!

Last Sunday morning was a flurry of activity as I put away things I had been planning on using during the week.  We had 2 small bell peppers that I julienned and tossed in the fridge.

 Some beans and cukes were made into fridge pickles.

Some nearly ripe cherry tomatoes were picked and left for my friend who would come by to feed the fishies.

2 enormous zucchini were shredded and tossed in the freezer.

And of course we had to pick more stuff... some Cherokee Purples, a Green Zebra, more cherry tomatoes, cukes and some beans.

A week of garden neglect produced some figs (so delicious!), some Roma and yellow wax beans,  a jalapeno, a big cuke.....and...

2 pounds 9 oz of tomatoes.

We also finally had some fruit set on our Yellow Brandywine tomato.  It has been shooting up to the sky, but we have had all blossom drop. And I came home to find 5 little green tomatoes.

And that's all for now, but stay tuned to see what we managed to do in San Francisco last week!  Happy Gardening.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Harvest Monday August 8, 2011

Well, we missed Harvest Monday last week again, but we have been utilizing the garden! And of course I have no recollection of where I recorded the weights.  We had a nice variety of things from the garden.

Scarlett Runner Beans
 Favas were a last minute addition to our al fresco dinner one night, it is so nice to be able to step out the door and pick what I need to get some vegetables for dinner.
Fava Beans - I can't believe they are still going strong.

 I think I did a bad, bad thing.  I enjoyed our stuffed zucchini dinner last month, but the giant zucchini was from my girl friend's garden, so i decided to try my hand at growing a "big boy". We have 2, from 2 plants, but now the plants are pretty sad looking. And we haven't had a single additional zucchini from either plant in a while. Good thing we have 1 more plant!  One came in at 4 pounds 15 oz and the other at 3 pounds 13 oz.

Pickles, Japanese eggplant, Super Sweet 100's, Cherokee Purple tomatoes, and 2 mammoth zucchinis

We also harvested some pickle fixings.  All from the garden. Now I have to try and get a recipe that I like. Trial and error period starts.

Home grown cukes, grape leaves (pilfered from neighbor, but growing on my
side of the fence!), dill, jalapeno, and garlic = YUM.

Finished product.
 And some more yummy yummy goodness.
More Scarlett Runner Beans, SS 100's, cukes, and my first Yellow Pear tomatoes.... and my first FIG of the year!

So visit Daphne's Dandelions to see what people are harvesting!  Happy gardening all!