Fall Gardening - Preparing for 'KimJang'

in gardening •  19 days ago 

My garden is still going strong even though it is well into fall. Kimchi making season, or #KimJang [김장], is another 3 weeks away, and my crops are still growing. This is my October entry for #gardenjournal2019.

Garden Journal October 2019.jpg
This is what my garden looked like a couple days ago. These are my two rows looking North and then looking South.

October Garden Journal 2019

I'm only really growing Korean white radish and Napa Cabbage right now, so the garden is really low maintenance. I had a ghost pepper plant still producing until last week and I've also got mint, a few lettuce plants, and cilantro. The nice thing is since the weather isn't hot, I only need to water around once a week. Now that the plants are established, they can do fine without much care.

It's my favorite gardening time of year. There isn't much work to do, harvesting these crops are easy. I don't need to weed or water. Life is good.

Well, I've only got one more month of outdoor gardening left for the 2019 season, so let's get into what I've been up to during October.

Finishing up my Ghost Peppers

I wrote about my ghost peppers in my Garden Journal for September 2019. That is also when I planted a lot of the crops you now see. Well, I got a lot more peppers during October. I easily got 100 from the single plant that managed to fruit.

Ghost Pepper Products.jpg
As you can see, I froze some, dried some, preserved some in oil and harvested some seeds.

Even though I only had 1 plant, since it was so productive, I don't care.

  • I have hundreds of seeds to try for next year
  • It is spicy enough (really spicy)
  • I have frozen puree
  • I have a lot of dried ghostpeppers
  • I preserved some in oil
  • I preserved some in alcohol (soju)
  • I have dried pieces and frozen pieces

Overall I was busy doing ghost pepper stuff. Finally, the smell of ghost peppers is gone from my balcony.

Ghost Peppers Collage.jpg
I'm going to do a MeokBang (Eating show) with my friend with some of my ghost pepper products. We are particularly excited about ghost pepper oil with black bread and ghost pepper soju.

I've tried everything except the frozen peppers and the soju. The oil is actually quite nice. I left it out for awhile and put in a mix of fresh and dried ones to get a musky taste. Some people call that mould, but meh. I'll report back on how some of the more unusual ideas, especially the liquor later.

Napa 'Kimchi' Cabbage

I've got about 15 Napa cabbage plants growing in my garden. The success of this is very important. Actually, I'll admit they are not 'organic'. I must use pesticides because all my neighbors will flip out if they see bugs on my plants. Kimchi is too important to feed to the caterpillars.

The amount of pesticides I use is minuscule and less than the recommended amount. I only put on 2 applications which is less than the necessary amount, and it will be out there a few weeks after. In any case, it's impossible to get organic food when you don't own the land and all your neighbors are not growing organically. One day I plan to buy land, then I can do what I want because my neighbors won't be able to pester me and comment.

Nappa Cabbage.jpg
My two biggest napa cabbage plants are in the foreground.

I like to brag about how big my cabbage is. My neighbours cabbage is two weeks older and a little smaller. That's what you get for crowding. I think they are selling it anyway. Since it is sold by the head, it only needs to be a certain size.

If I fail to grow cabbages, my family will be very disappointed. We have a Saturday of Kimchi Making planned next month. I need to bring at least 10 pogi (heads of cabbage) or I will be forced to admit defeat and buy it. This will cost like 40 dollars, too. Fortunately, they are all doing well and I have about 12 (I only lost 2).

White Korean Radish

Know as daikon in Japan or Mu in Korea, Korean radish is quite large. Actually, people don't believe me when I say they can get nearly as large as a football (at least the NFL ones...CFL balls are bigger ;). Don't worry, I plan on showing you with evidence and have at least one or two that will easily get that big.

Korean Radish.jpg
This is my largest radish. I would say the diameter at ground level is easily 10 cm now. Yes size matters!

I'm growing around 20 white radishes. The Korean ones grow up out of the ground and the tops turn green. It's okay and adds a beautiful color. I will make gakduki or radish kimchi with some, give away others and maybe even sell a few just so I can say I made some money.

Mint, Cilantro, and Lettuce

I wrote about my mint liquor and peanuts here, and I wrote about making mint tea, here. I'm not going to bore you with mint stories. I did take a few clippings of each to save and a large peppermint plant, as well because I like that more than spearmint.

Compost and Cilantro.jpg
Here is my cilantro and a nasty compost heap.

I actually didn't plant any cilantro since the spring. I let the plant get out of hand so it would drop seeds. Guess what? Nature did its thing! I have many. I'm out of seeds though because they are hard to keep. I'll just buy some more from the co-op. In any case, I got a lot more than I needed and ended up freezing some. I still have more.

I'm also getting fresh romaine lettuce for salads, sandwiches, and wrapping meat (sam bap). I'm not going to bore you with the details. If you have a garden, grow lettuce, end of story.


As Always, I want to thank @simplymike for doing the #gardenjournal2019. This will be my second last garden journal of the year. I'll update in November and probably again for KimJang. I usually take a break in December, then I'll be back in 2020 with an indoor edition or two.

Here is the link to the event contest: https://steemit.com/gardenjournal2019/@simplymike/garden-journal-challenge-october

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Awesome post. i love kimchi...especially the cucumber kind. Korean food and culture are a favorite of mine.

The cucumber stuff is great. It's a popular summer kimchi.

I made it last year: https://steemit.com/food/@abitcoinskeptic/stuffed-cucumber-kimchi-oi-sobagi

I'm gonna try your recipe. I have made this a few times myself and i do it very similar. My business partner is Korean and several friends are Korean as well so i get a good dose of Korean food around here. We have about 6 restaurants in the city i live in but only one of them is superb. I could eat Korean food at least 3-4 days a week for sure. I support a few Korean related blogs here, glad i found yours.

Interesting that you have also made it before. If you try mine, I recommend slicing it sobagi style (stuffed by leaving the ends on).

It's nice that you have some good Korean restaurants in your area. I bet they are a little more expensive than here, but the same goes for good American food in Korea.

I follow and support quite a few of the Korean blogs on Steem that regularly post in 'Korea'. There are less than there used to be, but I imagine they will come back.

One of the things I like about the Korean '-kr' community is most of them have invested $$$ in Steem and don't just beg or scheme. They may stick together and do their own thing more than some people would like, but I expect eventually they will start some very successful SMTs and Tribes.

Koreans stick together on most things in life in my experience. The resturants here are around 18.00 for a dinner sized bulgogi with ab out 8-10 side dishes. Galbi is around 25. There are no buffets here, might be one or two in Denver. I have tried several in LA Korea Town...there were super Legit!

I've been to some Korean restaurants in Toronto, Canada. They are also very good. The prices are better in America than Canada, but more than Korea.

Glad you have good Korean food there.

Thanks for sharing!


Ha... in Italy they have the sauce making day... in Korea they have the Kimchi making day!!!... is it a big family event, or just a single person job?

Usually it is a big family event. Similar to sauce making day or pickling day in other countries. We have a kimchi tub which looks like a kiddy pool and is about 1.5 methers in diameter to mix things up in. Usually around 4 to 6 people join. No work, no kimchi.

You have A LOT of cabbages!!! Your radish I can imagine is bigger than my head! Hahaha

I'm not sure I have enough cabbages frankly. A lot of those pictured are my neighbors.

I hope my radishes grow bigger and bigger. I'll wait a few more weeks.

Wow, still growing!! That's fantastic!

Yeah, we can grow until late November in most of South Korea.

Looks like Kimchi making is a very serious business!

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I've made kimchi alome, I've made it in large groups while volunteering, and I've made it with my family.

At my last company we got a day off work to make kimchi if necessary. Now I just wait for the weekend. The day is marked on my calendar like a doctor's appointment.

Your cabbage looks fantastic! I bet that's a fun day to spend with family making kimchi. I would like to add that to my list of things to try to make. I've done plenty of sauerkraut with regular green and red cabbage now, but the napa would be fun to work with next. I've had a daikon radish as big as my forearm from the market, so I can't wait to see yours! Those are fun to work with in different recipes, too. It's raining today, so not sure if I'll get any photos to do my garden post this month or not. We don't have a whole lot going on anyway, but at least we did pull up some turmeric this week so better than nothing. :)

Kimchi isn't hard to make. If you can get decent napa cabbage and red pepper paste (most asian supermarkets or Amazon has that), the rest is easy. I'll post my 2019 recipe in a few weeks.

I never tried growing tumeric. I wonder if it works here. I plan on doing more seeds and experimenting kext season, so we will see.

The Korean daikon is not as long, but it is fatter than the Japanese variety.

Cool, I'll keep an eye out for your version. I would imagine the turmeric might do well since you seem to be able to grow a lot of the same things as we do here. It's pretty easy in that if you get some of the fresh root you can break it up a bit to replant and it grows straight from there, so you don't need to save seeds or anything. I'll have to try ginger, as well, to see how that does. Always fun to try out some new things and see what works.

I'm not sure how ginger works, but I imagine it is the same. I've never seen fresh tumeric here, maybe I'll have to order it from the Asia Mart.
I can't grow garlic or onions because they grow over winter and I don't own my land so during the winter, I have no control over what goes on there.

Ahh, makes sense. We haven't tried onions and garlic yet, either. I think the turmeric is supposed to be put in the ground early spring? I'll have to look it up again, but I believe that's what my boyfriend said. Apparently it will just stay dormant over winter even if you do leave it in the ground during the cold weather.

That makes sense. The ground here doesn't really freeze during winter. Maybe the first 1cm or something.

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That's a great looking garden! I wouldn't worry too much about the use of pesticides; besides, if your neighbours are using them, it's on your produce as well. Good luck!

The issue I have with pesticides is not a concern for my health, they are safe for humans if used in proper quantities and food is washed and prepared properly. I ise less because I know my neighbors use it too.

Modern pesticides are applied like vaccines, heard immunity. The idea isn't to make your crop toxic, it is to get the pests down to a level where organic and non chemical solutions can handle things.

The concern is for the ecosystem. It may harm other animals like frogs and birds. Also, even if it doesn't kill them or adversely affect them, it definitely kills the insects, their food supply.

That looks great, @abitcoinskeptic. I love your creativity with those peppers! Can't wait to hear how that liquor turned out :0)

Those Korean radishes look awesome. I did hear of daikon before, just didn't realize they grew that big. Maybe worth checking out if I can grow them here.

Thanks for joining!

Always a pleasure and thanks.

They grow in lower temperatures. I've seen youtube videos of people growing them in Canada, UK, US, and Germany. You may have to start them earlier where you are, but as long as there isn't severe frost they should do fine. Also if the weather goes bad, you can always pull them out earlier.

Great garden!) So well maintained !!

Thanks. It always looks nice in spring and fall, but summer looks like a mess.

Wow, I can't wait to see your Kimchi making post. I have made it one time with my daughter and it was fun. At the time I didn't eat it but she loved it. Your produce looks amazing, so healthy and huge! lol Lovely garden @abitcoinskeptic

I'll be posting it late November. I'm looking forward to it, but it's not easy when you are making as much as we plan on making.

Beautiful garden!
Really your neighbors complain about bugs on YOUR plants? Would that make them more difficult to control with pesticides on theirs?
I hope you do own your own land someday so that you can garden the way you want to.

I also want to garden how I want. Owning my own land is key.

If people see pests on my plants they will ask me if I'm raising food or bugs. They don't mind the good ones that only attack other insects, but slugs and caterpillars are bad. They won't invite me back if I don't take care of my garden because it will contaminate theirs, weeds, pests, flooding and mould are a huge no-no. You gotta get rid of the plant or the problem. They are fine with pesticide contamination.

People often think of killing bugs as similar to WW1 era gas attacks. That's not how they work. The way modern pesticides work is similar to immunization. If you are feeding the bugs there will be more bugs around to try and eat their plants too.

This is why good organic farms are often clustered together and an entire area will go organic with buffer zones, etc. There is no such thing as going organic when someone 1m away from you isn't being organic.

I'd love a garden like that, everything I grow, even the simpliest pot of plant like basil dies in my hand :-(

Injust rent the land by the season.

Growing in pots isn't so easy. It's like trying to keep a human happy in tiny prison cell.

Most of the times I tried to grow basil in pots it would never produce more than enough for a few lleaves at a time, in the garden it turns into a large bush after 6 weeks.

Lovely to see all that lush growth this time of year and it seems you are getting to enjoy lots of fruit of your labor! I can't believe the size of that radish! The one radish should make a lot of kumuchi!
Thanks for sharing your garden with us and happy kimchi making!

Thank you. I can't wait to pull out the radishes and see how big they get. I've actually never grew them before so I'm extra excited.

You are indeed a very good gardener my friend.
That garden looks fantastic.

Thanks. The fall look in the garden is always my favorite. I'm going to head out there in a few minutes just to enjoy it.

I mean it when I say that your garden looks great my friend.
Something to be proud of!

Oh my god - is that radish for real?? Is it edible like that? Will you put it in with teh kimchi?

Everything looks amazing - your garden is always something to totally ogle over!! You are so much more organised than me.

I will make this radish into kimchi. There are a few other things I want to try (stay tuned). Some people just eat it raw or with a little vinegar and sugar, but I don't like it that way.

If I had a larger place to garden, I would probably make it look more natural, too. I like the idea of a food forest and chaos. However, it does look pretty.