Monday, August 29, 2011

Harvest Monday

This weeks Harvest Monday includes the following:
  • Two Roman Candle tomatoes, grown from seed shared by EG
  • Two Feuerwerk tomato
  • Two Mortgage Lifter tomatoes (Excellent tomato, the one is the size of two hands!)
  • A bunch of Japanese Black Trifele tomatoes
  • Two Cherokee Purple tomatoes
  • One Pink Berkley Tie Dye tomato
  • A bunch of Velvet Red cherry tomatoes
  • Three small heads of my funny looking broccoli
  • Three Adam's Gherkin cucumbers
  • A couple handfuls of Dragon Tongue beans
The garden has really started coming into its prime now. It has been a long wait but at least it is starting to pay off. Next week should bring some potatoes, peppers & green pole beans. The pole beans have taken ages, I planted them at the end of May and they are just starting to set now! Good thing gardening teaches patience.....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Harvest Monday

I am getting my Harvest Monday post in quite late today. As you will see below I am finally harvesting tomatoes. It has been a painful wait this year. I should really learn to not grow all late producing heirloom tomatoes one of these years....

Here we have Feuerwerk, Pink Berkley Tie Dye and Japanese
Black Trifele tomatoes. There also is a group of Adam Gherkin
cucumbers. I am really not fond of the cucumbers. They taste
good but they are really prickly to pick, like a cactus.

This basket-o-maters includes Giant Belgium, Cherokee Purple,
Japanese Black Trifele and Pink Berkley Tie Dye tomatoes.

Now for the prized piece, A Hillbilly Potato Loaf tomato.
These truly are the best tomato ever made and the first one
of the season! Even though the yield is very low I keep growing
them because they taste so good.

Lastly a couple heads of my strange broccoli. They are all
growing heads like this this year. It is almost like it wants
to turn to cauliflower. Tastes fine at least.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Harvest Monday

Here goes another addition of Harvest Monday. It has been a slow garden this year but things are picking up now.

These are the first tomatoes of the season, a handful of
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes. Looks like by next Monday I
should have actual full sized heirloom tomatoes.

A full basket of Dragon Tongue beans. These always do well
in the garden. Looks like my Blue Lake pole beans are still
taking their sweet ass time.

Two quarts of cucumbers were ready for harvest. This basket includes
Adam Gherkin F1 and Rocky F1, both are Parthenocarpic varieties.

This evening I harvested my Cascade Hops. This is their
second year and they are doing very well. They will be dried
and used to make beer. I am still waiting on the Nugget
and Goldings hops to mature.

Lastly the first head of Broccoli. These took ages this year
and are coming in kind of strange. It would appear broccoli
does not like cold springs followed by hot humid summers.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I've Gone Pickle Mad!

This past long weekend I turned 2 bushes of cucumbers into 81 jars of pickles. Needless to say I don't want to see another cucumber for a while... I made a few different kinds for the whole family which I will show below. This year I opted for an outdoor propane burner, 60,000 BTU of raw power :-) It boils the canner in minutes and does not heat up the house.

6 jars of Old Fashion Bread & Butter Pickles, recipe follows
in the post below.

15 jars of Baby Dill Pickles. I tried out some 2L jars for this batch.
They fill much faster and their larger size speeds up the
processing. I think I will use more of them next time.

Now for the big job, 50 1L jars of Halved Dill Pickles.

Charlie helped out too by filling boxes.

Old Fashion Bread and Butter PIckles


Yields 6 500ml jars

4lbs small pickling cucumbers
1 package pearl onions
2 tbsp pickling salt
4 cups cider vinegar
3 cups white sugar
2 tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground clove

1. Remove stem & blossom end from the cucumbers and slice into 3/16 inch rounds. Blanch & skin pearl onions. Place prepared cucumbers and onions in a large bowl, mix in salt and let stand 3 hours. Now drain & rinsed the vegetables.

2. Combine vinegar, sugar and spices in a large pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Then add the vegetables to the brine and boil until they are no longer bright green, about 30 seconds.

3. Remove the vegetables from the brine with a slotted spoon and pack into hot sterilized jars. Pour liquid over the vegetable to within 1/2 inch of the jar rim. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.