Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Chinese style vegetable gardening


abcdefg
 Share

Recommended Posts

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

On 7/14/2022 at 5:21 AM, abcdefg said:

Have been enjoying the detailed and intelligent YouTube gardening channel of a Chinese Grandma who seems to be a master of organic gardening.  Speaks very clearly. Lao Cai, 老蔡田园、

 

Post-COVID, the Asian grocery near me doesn’t always have Chinese Chives, aka Garlic Chives. So, it’s been in the back of my mind to try to grow it again. It’s supposedly easy to grow, but it wasn’t for a brown-thumbed person like me. When I tried over a decade ago, it was a miserable failure. Maybe with a good video, I can see, learn, and have some chance of success.

 

Lao Cai’s Garden has many videos on Chinese Chives. Some of the videos have English subtitles, and some don’t. In the case of Chinese Chives, they don’t. But, they do have soft-embedded Chinese subtitles that are convenient for me to download and translate electronically. I’ve translated the video, “How to grow Chives from seeds / Mars Hydros” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M8OrgMNGTs&list=PLJu-RcJCVJWCCjP7z9BpkNyxQ3SRvMlSZ&index=3). The English subtitle file is attached, if anyone else is interested.

 

My favorite way to cook Chinese Chives is in dumplings. I have my mom’s great pot-sticker recipe, which I may write up and post someday. I’ve never seen it in a restaurant, even in Asia. Boiled dumplings with Chinese Chives are everywhere in Taipei. They’re great too, but I don’t have a recipe for it… yet…

如何用種子種韭菜,種一次吃多年 How to grow Chives from seeds _ Mars Hydros.srt

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lao Cai’s Garden has many videos on Goji Berries, aka Wolfberries. If I didn’t have a brown thumb, I’d be very interested in trying to grow them. Goji berries are “super nutrients.” There aren’t all that many of those. Goji berries are cheap in Taiwan, but really expensive in the U. S. I just assumed the difference was because of the tropical-type climate in Taiwan without putting any real thought into it. But, if Ms. Cai can grow them in Toronto, then they can be grown in the U. S. too. (I’m assuming she’s growing everything in Toronto.)

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/14/2022 at 3:20 PM, MTH123 said:

Lao Cai’s Garden has many videos on Goji Berries, aka Wolfberries.

In mainland China the most prized ones are from Ningxia. I visited several goji 枸杞 farms or plantations there one year the way one might tour wineries in Napa or Sonoma. Each had a special approach or slant on how to grow the best ones.

 

We walked into the fields where they were grown on low bushes, between knee and waist high. The soil was sandy and the climate was dry. Some farms grew taller ones that were trellised like grapes. Some actually made wine from them as well as the usual hot "tea" or infusion. Some had methods for brewing the leaves of the plants. (Not very tasty, in my opinion.)

 

They all had tasting rooms and a staff member assigned to give visitors an explanatory sales pitch. One could buy different grades, ranging from "trophy sized" beauties nearly the size of a grape, to smaller irregular "seconds." They offered all of them in heat-sealed foil pouches that each had only an ounce or so of the dried berries, making it easy to open and use them without a large jar or tin of them going bad. 

 

In Yinchuan 银川 the capital city, it was interesting to see that the common people 老百姓 consumed lots of them. I remember that taxi drivers often had a jar with a lid that was a third full of 枸杞 berries, water on top, that they sipped in lieu of tea. 

 

I wound up buying lots of them and gifting all my Kunming friends. Customs regulations prevented shipping them to the US, so my family missed out. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Goji berries became quite popular here years ago, they were supposed to be easy to grow. Not in my garden, they were a 😔 failure. I may be luckier with Chinese chives

HERB GARLIC / CHINESE CHIVES 1500 FINEST SEEDS : Amazon.co.uk: Garden & Outdoors

 

Is there anything Amazon doesn't sell???

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/15/2022 at 7:44 AM, Luxi said:

Amazon

 

Amazon is a great idea! It'll save me from potentially having to hunt through many Asian grocery stores. With Amazon, I can also choose one that has high customer ratings. Then, if I fail again, I can be pretty sure it's me again and not the seeds.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

韭菜 sounds doable. 枸杞 not so much. 

 

@MTH123 -- Am I right in assuming that 韭菜 is what you mean by "Chinese Chives?" I always stumble on the English names of Chinese vegetables. 

 

I grow spring onions 葱 from their roots. Buy them in the supermarket, use the green tops in cooking, then root the white bottom parts in water. Transplant into potting soil in a week or 2 when there are white rootlets. Easy to do. Many online videos about it. Once or twice have done the same with shallots. 

 

Would be tempted to try the same method for propagating jiucai 韭菜 from the roots of existing plants. 

 

Garlic 大蒜 is a whole different ballgame. Requires a different approach. Here in the west, I would go for "Elephant garlic." Larger and milder. I've grown it in years past (different climate; not where I live now.) 

 

The long green tops of garlic, 蒜苔 suantai, were very popular in Kunming. "Garlic scapes." Not sure I've ever seen them here in Texas. Should not be difficult to grow. Distinctive and excellent, full flavor. They are crunchy and have a little bite. 

 

902661883_garlicscapessmall.thumb.PNG.235790174ed979015fb68acd3bfb2e07.PNG 2037380279_scapes2small.thumb.PNG.d81e7cdc9baedd9f8bf2c62b7746c818.PNG

 

 

 

  • Helpful 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@abcdefg Yes, it's 韭菜. I actually think of it as jiu cai. Chinese Chives does sound a little funny to me too. This is a good example where I should find a way to cut-and-paste Chinese.

 

Actually, the one time I tried to grow Chinese Chives (韭菜), it wasn’t from seeds. It was from grown plants, including their roots. A couple that owned a great Chinese restaurant was retiring to Florida. They surprised me with a bucket full of Chinese Chives and their roots. They explained how to transplant them and grow them. It sure did sound easy. But, I messed it up somehow.

 

If you can get ahold of Chinese Chives with their roots, Lao Cai’s Garden has a video about transplanting them. The link is below. I plan to watch it carefully too.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKouCvOuk7k&list=PLJu-RcJCVJWCCjP7z9BpkNyxQ3SRvMlSZ&index=29

 

Your post hit on many things I’m interested in. I go through a lot of spring onions and garlic. Post-COVID, my local grocery has had odd looking spring onions. I’m not even picky, so that’s saying something. Garlic sometimes doesn’t look quite right either. So, I will definitely be saving a link to your post. You’re making me want to start my gardening project a lot earlier than I had planned. I do mostly have my arms around my new-ish Chinese projects and could probably set them down for a while without losing too much efficiency.

 

I’m pretty sure that part of my problem with my brown thumb is the fundamental concept of watering. Do you know of a good resource for this, like Watering for Dummies or Idiot’s Guide to Watering?

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/15/2022 at 9:43 AM, abcdefg said:

The long green tops of garlic, 蒜苔 were very popular in Kunming. "Garlic scapes." Not sure I've ever seen them here in Texas. Should not be difficult to grow. Distinctive and excellent, full flavor. They have a little bite. 

 

Those look great! I think I'll try to grow it one day, just to see what it tastes like. It seems like even I might be able to do it.

 

This reminds me of what I mentioned in the other thread. Americans throw away so much great stuff, like yam leaves, carrot leaves, beef tendons, etc. I tried getting beef tendons from a butcher once for a cow that my friends and I had bought. But, I just got a blank stare, followed by a response like, "we don't do that here."

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/15/2022 at 11:33 AM, MTH123 said:

This reminds me of what I mentioned in the other thread. Americans throw away so much great stuff, like yam leaves, carrot leaves, beef tendons, etc.

 

I grow sweet potatoes and routinely stir fry the tender young leaves. Very tasty sliced thin and quickly fried up with tofu and appropriate seasonings. That and steamed rice 米饭 makes me a simple meal.  Sometimes I add a few mushrooms. Sometimes a hot pepper. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • New Members

 

On 7/14/2022 at 12:21 PM, abcdefg said:

莴笋

Like the picture showing the 莴笋 you've grown. Not surprisingly, it looks much fresher than all the specimens I encountered in China, even on a farmers market in Yangshuo, Guilin. By the way, how do you prepare the leaves? In German, the European variants of Latuca sativa generally simply are called "Salat", called after the dish that is prepared from it. I guess most Germans don't even know it's a Lattich (lettuce).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/24/2022 at 6:49 AM, Baihande said:

By the way, how do you prepare the leaves?

 

The most common way that I do it is to cut the leaves into small pieces, wash them and set aside in a bowl. Prep the stalks by peeling away the thick fibrous surface, then slice them into small matchstick pieces ("julienne") 2 or 3 inches long. Stir-fry these about half way, then add the leaves to the same wok. The leaves require less cooking time, so everything finishes together at about the same time. Add seasonings and sauces as required by your recipe. 

 

Here's another way to cook it that I posted a long time ago (2017.) It includes red bell pepper and tofu. It's a very pleasant combination. 

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/54904-chinese-stem-lettuce-莴笋炒豆腐/#comment-423525 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...