I've been waiting until Monday to blog about my week's harvest, but I'm going to talk about what I picked today, as it led to a day of canning.
Tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries are really beginning to get their second wind. Not that the cucumbers ever stopped for even a second! I found three huge cucumbers that had previously hidden from me, and I was afraid they would have to be composted. I'm not a cucumber lover, I won't even eat them unless they're pickled, but I made myself taste one of the large ones and I was pleasantly surprised! It as so sweet, with no trace of bitterness, that I might actually develop a like (not a love) for them. All three of these monsters were sweet and crisp, perfect for pickle relish. After removing the seeds from just two of them, I had enough chopped cucumber for a whole batch of dill relish. That the large cukes tasted so good is reason to grow these again next year. The variety is Spacemaster, and I have them growing in waste basket sized containers (they are actually dollar store plastic waste baskets), two plants to each of three containers. They have given me more than 75 pounds of cucumbers this year, and are still blooming like mad. I have no idea what I'll do with the rest of the cucumbers. I have already made more pickles than we can eat in a year, and given several jars to my kids. I really don't need any more relish....I think I have a lifetime supply by now! I think I might just put them out by the street with a "free" sign!
There were quite a few strawberries today. I froze the last picking to save for making jam, and today's harvest gave me enough to do just that.
My son has been begging for green beans and crookneck squash, so I know where these will go.
I picked quite a few bell peppers, but a few of them found their way to my neighbor's before they were weighed or photographed. Most of them were real small and had some sun scald.
I hope I picked enough tomatoes for another batch of Annie's Salsa, as we are eating it as fast as I can make it! I still don't have any hot jalapenos, so will have to go to the store to buy some tomorrow.
And more beets!
These were planted on June 28, and they are much nicer than the spring beets. They are larger, and the greens are in perfect condition, not bothered by leaf miners like the spring beets. I pulled twenty-four of them for pickled beets, and gave the greens to my neighbor.
A day's work took care of some of the harvest. Nine jars of strawberry jam, four jars of dill relish (I lacked about a tablespoon of having enough for five jars, so that went into the fridge), and four pints of pickled beets.
Tomorrow I'll make salsa, and probably....more pickles.
Granny, That's fantastic! I just sit here every day in awe of what you get from the garden. I can't wait for next summer so I can get some more yummy goodness, myself!ReplyDelete
Too bad I don't live close to you. I'd take those extra pickles and relish jars off our hands. I confess if I had that much I wouldn't be doing anymore canning. It is too much work for something I'm not going to use.ReplyDelete
Going down to the 80's? I've been lucky to get weather in the 80's this summer. It is 62 right now and I have the heat on to pull the dampness out from last nights storm, erg!ReplyDelete
Your harvest looks lovely, particularly the beets. I have found my late planted beets did much better then the spring ones. Next year I am going to just plant late beets, probably plant them after spring lettuce.
I'm a big cucumber fan, probably my favorite vegetable. I like tomatoes & cucumbers with feta and vinaigrette,yum.
I have beets to do today. I think I will pressure can some of them and make a batch of pickled beets as well. Just depends on how many I pull from the bed. There appears to be a goodly emount of them!ReplyDelete
I am going to have to remember that variety of cucumber. I assume it was a slicing variety and not an all purpose or pickler?
I'm coming to visit you and taste some of those delish jars of wonderfulness. The strawberries look so good. I have never been a fan of beets, but my husband sure does love them.ReplyDelete
Now you live half the year at this home and half at another place? Please tell me you continue to blog when you move.
mmmm! the strawberry jam looks so yummy! my peach jam was delicious. i can't wait to get my own canning equipment to can peach pepper jam. every try it? i did for the first time when i learned how to do the peach jam and it was amazing!ReplyDelete
don't you like beet greens? i eat them sauteed - i think i like them better than spinach.
Ribbit, I think my garden will be less productive next year. I planted WAY too much, just so I could beat out old EG ;-)ReplyDelete
Daphne, my kids will eat anything. I'll probably take a few jars south with me, to gift some friends in AZ.
Dan, I spoke too soon. Today's paper now says two days in the 80s, then back up in the 90s again.
Mr. H loves his cucumber/shallot/tomato salad with ranch dressing. He wants that every night for dinner.
KitsapFG, that variety is supposed to be an all purpose, for slicing or pickling. It's a "bush", but it does vine out probably 6 feet. I have it growing on a short fence, but the end one has just put out new growth that is encroaching on the pathway. I planted some for my neighbor, and hers are doing beautifully sprawling on the ground.
MissyM, Yes, I live 5 months of the year in AZ. I do blog, but not as often. Check out my blog archives from Nov 2008 through Feb 2009 to see how I live my life in the winter.
Kelli, I haven't tried peach-pepper. I get just a few little bruised peaches from my neighbor (her kids come and pick all the good ones), so I did get two batches of jam. I had to add some crushed pineapple to one batch to get enough fruit.ReplyDelete
I tried sauteed beet greens last year, and I didn't like them much. I much prefer spinach. I do save some of the beet tops for the rabbit.
Hmm....really....just so you could beat ol' EG, huh? Well, thanks to you, I'm gonna have to do more "building" on my big garden box. My harvest for the year should end up somewhere between 300-350 lbs. I just hope we can eat it all! BTW, just got through baking the pumpkin halves, and letting them cool. Boy, I wish I had some strawberry jam. I'll be squeezing juice from the grapes next week. Yay!ReplyDelete
Hey, once I beat you I'm the champ! All bets are off for next year. Well, maybe not...you know I'll still fill up every square inch of that garden, don't you?ReplyDelete
Hey, have you been watching me?
Oh yes, definitely the champ! I'm actually doing pretty well per sqft, though.ReplyDelete
Granny, I have a question. After you puree'd your pumpkin, then let it drain very well - did you add cinnamon or anything to it before freezing? Mine is a jack-o-lantern pumpkin, and I read somewhere that when adding the spices to it, you have to add more than the recipe states (it will taste bland if not done this way) Have you heard this?
Wow, I am so impressed. It is so great to take your harvest and preerve for the winter!!ReplyDelete
Basil Becky, this is the first year I have canned in ages! I had forgotten how much satisfaction I could get just from looking at all the jars of food.ReplyDelete
Hmmm, Spacemaster, huh? Sounds like you need to get someone to cultivate a taste for Greek salad. It uses nearly everything you've got -- cukes, tomatoes, green peppers, and then top with some feta cheese, red vinegar, and olive oil? And maybe some nice Kalamata olives? Oh my goodness, I want some myself!ReplyDelete
The beets are so pretty! I'm trying again and just planted a few to see if I could get them to grow as a fall crop since they did nada for me in the spring.ReplyDelete
Stefaneener, Mr. H "lives" on diced cucumber, shallot and tomato salad with ranch dressing. That's the only salad he wants every night. Last night the granddaughter was here for dinne, and I gave them plain cucumber stix with ranch for dipping. Got rid of the third giant cucumber! Now I have a gallon bag of them in the fridge, with more to pick today :-(ReplyDelete
Jenn, I wish I'd skipped the spring planting and planted twice as many in June/July!
EG, I just put mine into the freezer naked. Spices tend to change flavor in storage, so I prefer to add them when I make the pie. I thought the problem with Jack 'o Lantern pumpkins was that they were stringier, but the flavor might be blander too...wouldn't hurt to up the sugar and spices when you make the pie.ReplyDelete