Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Plots at the end of September

I can't believe that September is almost over! Boy, time sure does fly! Today I spent 8 hours at the plots cleaning up. All of the tomato plants were pulled and all of the beds were tidied up.

A view from the front

Bed #1
This is where the potatoes were planted this year. I dumped a bag of composted manure on the bed. I will work it in and plant the garlic in this bed next weekend.

Bed #2
a/k/a Tomato Bed 1
All tidied up and ready for winter. I left the marigolds and basil in the bed.

Bed #3
The 3 Sisters planting was at this end of the bed. The hot & spice peppers and eggplants are still going strong at the other end of the bed.

Bed #4
a/k/a Tomato Bed 2
All tidied up and ready for winter

Bed #5
There are still some leeks left in this bed and also the sweet peppers at the far end.

Bed #6
This is not a good picture. I couldn't get a good angle to show the bed. The blackberries are at this end and the raspberries at the far end. As you can see the berries all survived the transplant and are thriving. I'm going to build supports for them next weekend.

Bed #7
The strawberry bed. This bed still needs some attention before winter sets in.

Bed #8
This bed has asparagus at each end and another section in the middle where the onions were planted this year.

The asparagus also survived the transplant and is thriving.

A view of the garden from the back.

The gate is locked and most things are in order for the winter.....but, not everything is done!

So, how's your Fall Clean-Up coming along???

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard..........09/27/2012

The canning has been a lot more fun the past couple of weeks. I canned the balance of the peaches that "The Italian" and I got at the orchard.

They turned out perfect!
I can my peaches in a mixture of juice and light syrup. First I make some juice from the seconds. I just mash them up and strain the mash through a jelly bag. Then I make a very light syrup (recipe from the Ball Blue Book), combine the two and simmer. We really enjoy the peaches canned this way.

My fun jam of the year is this Carrot Cake Jam.
Sophia and I made it on Saturday. You can find the recipe here. I'm not sure if it tastes like carrot cake ....but it sure is tasty! With the combination of spices, we think it tastes like fall.

The small batch of sauerkraut was canned....

and for the first time I canned some Pimento Peppers!
Last year the groundhog ate each and every ripe pepper at the plots. We found how to can them here.

When I was finished canning the peaches, I made peach syrup with the leftover juice and light syrup mixture. I added a little more sugar and let it cook down. Of course "The Italian" had to make a nice drink using the syrup!!

Peach Martini

Peach Martini for two
5 oz. Vodka
4 oz. Peach Syrup
3 tsp. Sugar
Squirt of Lemon Juice
1 oz. Seltzer Float

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a shaker with some crushed ice, shake, pour into martini glasses, add seltzer or club soda, garnish with a slice of peach and enjoy!

What's been going in or out of you Kitchen Cupboard lately???

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Harvest Monday................... 09/24/2012

I weighed the Kennebec potatoes that I dug last week figuring that would be about it for the harvests this week. Then I went to the plots to start Fall Clean-Up! I always take my harvesting containers just in case. It's a good thing I did!

Here are the Kennebec Potatoes that I harvest last week

They were a nice size and the yield was OK

These are the ones we will eat first. 
They are the tiny potatoes and the potatoes that have some type of damage.

I pulled all of the tomato plants from the one bed and managed to get some nice tomatoes

and some pretty tomatoes

and some more green tomatoes for Green Tomato Salsa. Since some of the other green tomatoes turned red.

Sweet Peppers

A few more yummy Raspberries

The last of the Sugar Pie Pumpkins and biggest leek I have ever grown! This baby is at least 2" across at the bottom!

The nicest Jalapenos so far this year and the Habaneros are finally getting ripe! 

More Eggplant
I have no idea what I'm going to do with these! 

The first Lima Beans of the year. 
The vines were so dense that I couldn't find them until I trimmed them back.

Total weighed harvest: 50.92 lbs.

Beans,Lima - 12.8 oz
Eggplant - 34.15 oz
Leek - 8 oz
Onions (not pictured) 38 oz
    Hot & Spice - 30 oz
    Sweet - 24.52 oz
Potatoes, Kennebec - 450 oz 28.13 lbs
Pumpkin, Sugar Pie - 47.5 oz
Raspberries - 3.2 oz
    Red - 138.55 oz
    Green - 28 oz

Hop on over to Daphne's Dandelions, our host of Harvest Monday to see what's going on in gardens around the globe!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard...........09/20/2012

There's been a lot of canning going on around here this past week! Since the tomatoes finally slowed down, I managed to get some other stuff done!

The first thing I did was pickle some Hot Banana, Hot Hungarian Wax and Sweet Banana Peppers!

Of course there was some Tomato Puree canned this week.

I made two batches of Hot Pepper Jelly
Isn't it beautiful???

Tuesday after work, I made a batch of Peach Jam
I ended up with 8 Half Pints and Two 4 oz. jars even after I spilled some!

Last but not least...."The Italian" made the best martini ever!! Yes, it was even better then Granny's Tomatotini! It was a Chocolate Raspberry Martini! Oh boy was it good!!!
He even said I could share the recipe!!

Chocolate Raspberry Martini for 2
4 oz. Homemade Raspberry Vodka
2 oz. Godiva Chocolate Liquer
1 oz. Chambord Liquer
Pour all ingredients in to a shaker with a little crushed ice
Shake and serve with a few raspberries

Monday, September 17, 2012

Harvest Monday.....................09/17/2012

Believe it or not, I didn't harvest any tomatoes this week! There are some over at the plots, which I may pick today after work. If not, I will pick them tomorrow or Wednesday when we have our Garden Committee meeting.

I did harvest some nice peppers and eggplants this week.

Hot & Spice Peppers

A nice bowl of eggplant

Sweet Peppers
The dark peppers are Purple Beauty

The last of the Spaghetti Squash from the home garden.

I dug the rest of the Kennebec Potatoes on Saturday. But, have yet to weigh them. They will be counted in next week. There were also some dry beans, the balance of the popcorn and peas harvested this week.

Total weighed harvest - 21.45 lbs.

Eggplant - 58.25 oz
    Hot & Spice - 43.5 oz
    Sweet - 40 oz
Spaghetti Squash - 192.55 oz.

Hop on over to Daphne's Dandelions, our host of Harvest Monday, to see what's going on in Veggie Gardens around the globe!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard............09/13/2012

There's been a lot of preserving going on around our place lately. I'm a little behind on a few things. But, I'm gradually getting things done. As usual, I didn't dry as many herbs in the beginning of the season like I should have.

Right now there's Oregano and also Tarragon hanging in the kitchen drying .
I also need to dry a little more basil. That will be done in the microwave.

And of course, Tomatoes and a little more Tomato Puree have been canned.
Hopefully the tomato canning will be done this week since I have other things that need to be canned!

The beautiful Strawberry Popcorn adorns the pot rack.
It's so pretty, I think I will leave it there!

I've also started shelling some of the dry beans. These are Kidney Beans.
The raspberries I picked are being made into some Raspberry Infused Vodka. I can't wait until "The Italian" makes us some nice Adult Beverages with it this weekend! I wonder what he will come up with this time???

So, What's hanging around your place or going in or out of your Kitchen Cupboard lately???

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Harvest Monday.............09/10/2012

What a very strange gardening year it has been. It's September and I'm still harvesting tomatoes! Last week was my biggest tomato week, harvesting 75 lbs of tomatoes. My biggest tomato week is usually in July. This week I harvested a little over 30 lbs. and also pulled some plants. How strange is that? It all seems so weird to be doing the bulk of my tomato canning at the same time I'm harvesting winter squash and shelling my dry beans.

The beans are still going strong. I basically stopped harvesting the Chinese Red Noodle and are leaving them for seed We have plenty in the freezer. As you can see, some green tomatoes were harvested. The green tomatoes will be used for Green Tomato Salsa.

The tomatoes aren't nearly as nice as they were last week.....

but, they still are pretty!

I just love looking at pictures of them!

It seems like the peppers are finally September!

I also harvested my first successful fall garden peas. There would have been a lot more....but, some Bunny thinks they are on the menu art the bunny buffet! There were a ton on Wednesday that were almost ready and yesterday most of them were gone :(

These are really the first raspberries I have picked this year. They are going to be made into something special! The plants are really looking great since the move this year. I hope next year will be a good year for the raspberries!

This basket of eggplant was dropped off to my in-laws on the way home from the plots. I think there are about 20 more beauties that will be harvested within the next week or so. How weird is that for September???

I also harvested the last of Butternut Squash. This one is small in comparison to the others. Two more Sugar Baby Pumpkins and the first and smallest of the Spaghetti Squash of the year. The Spaghetti Squash are planted at the house and are doing very well for being ignored this year.

Another crop that is doing very well is the Popcorn. The red is Strawberry Popcorn. It's absolutely beautiful! I picked about 22 ears of it. The white is Japanese Hulless. These are the first three harvested and are about three times the size of the ones I picked last year. They are just starting to get dry and will be harvested within the next couple of weeks. 

Total weighed harvest:47.3 lbs.

    Asparagus - 11 oz.
    Chinese Red Noodle - 4 oz.
Eggplant - 78 oz,
Peas - 4 oz
     Hot & Spice - 42.55 oz.
     Sweet - 6.5 oz
Popcorn - Not weighed
Pumpkin, Sugar Baby - 48.3 oz.
Raspberries - 4.3 oz.
Spaghetti Squash - 26.65 oz.
Squash, Butternut - 43.5 oz.
     Green - 71.15 oz.
     Red - 416.05

Hop on over to Daphne's Dandelions, our host of Harvest Monday to see what's going on in gardens around the globe!!