beginning of the end

Coming to the end of the main summer growing season; and that means the end of the harvest also.  Bush beans are still producing, but VERY slowly.  Getting about this much each day, not enough for two people. Have discovered that sitting in a bowl of water in the fridge keep the beans crisp and fresh for several days.  Change the water if necessary after three.  BTW, this is from a combination of the second, third and fourth plantings, plus the pole beans.  The first planting of bush beans gave me LOTS of beans, so many and so fast it was like you could stand there and watch them grow

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Nothing much left after this picking of the Roma tomatoes.  this is about a pint once seeded, roasted and peeled.  The few that are left will either go into salads or just get chopped up over pasta, and the green ones will be collected for a green tomato something when all the other tomatoes are done.

Lots of still green peppers on the biggest pepper plants I’ve ever had, but they are not ripening.

Eggplant did well for a change.  not too much, but a few meals with eggplant included.

Yellow pear tomatoes are starting to ripen, getting about 5 every two or three days. and the orange tomatoes are still very green, so may end up in the green tomato something.

one winter squash, small, came off the vine so I brought it inside.  Another one had started, but some critter got at it and its gone.  There is one growing up in a tree.  So from 7 plants that may be it for winter squash (Nagua)

pole beans got snipped at ground level.  What did grow never got taller than waist high, and then, one by one, they got clipped and are just hanging there brow and dead.

Haven’t even looked at what the potatoes are doing, although one pot has a couple of little red things popping up at the surface.

for the fall, the seedlings put in the main bed have done terribly, although the peas are coming up.  The Kale planted in the big container facing east, that gets afternoon shade, are doing very well.  The grow bag in the shady area under the tree has healthy mesculan salad greens doing well, as is the broccoli, broccali raab, and the kale.  The self seeded lettuce are doing okay too.

Oh yeah, a volunteer melon coming up next to the lavender. No idea what it is, and if it will be good.  If it is, though, will save the seeds

Posted in container gardening, gardening, homesteading, legumes, organic, peppers, potatoes, preserving, recipes, self-reliance, squash, tomatoes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LUFFA

started these plants back in April.  they have just started to produce fruit.  and a month later comes FROST!  Last year, they didn’t even make it to frost, they got to this stage and critters ate the fruit right away.   Supposedly, when young, these can be eaten like zucchini.  But when mature, and dry, the produce Luffa/Loofa~Am hoping that being in the greenhouse, they will get through the frost portion of our program and then get the Indian Summer to finish developing.  They last a long time, even used as a daily scrubby in the kitchen!

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more socks

 

IMG_0399 (1024x739)This is the same Cascade Cherub Aran yarn as the last pair; so did a scalloped cuff rather than a rib knit

IMG_0400 (974x1024)Knitting from top down, cuff pattern is:

knit cast on (in this case 40 stitches which is why this pattern worked), purl first row, knit second row.  Third row:  k2, yo, k2, ssk, k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, ssk, k2tog, k2, yo, k1.  fourth row knit. fifth row: k1, yo, k2, ssk, k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, ssk, k2tog, k2, yo, k2 sixth and seventh rows knit, then repeat from third

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cast iron cookware update

thanks to a friend and neighbor (thank you Sunday!), plus a fortuitous purchase at the thrift shop, have been able to return to cast iron from that non-stick stuff. Even though it was “ceramic”, it was still soft, pots were thin, the stuff chipped and scratched, and mostly the pots were aluminum, thin, and did not distribute heat evenly. Eventually, am sure the ceramic finish would wear off and become useless too.
Why and how did Lodge become THE name in cast iron cookware? At least its the one I hear the most. My recent acquirements, and my best old time stuff, has either no name on the bottom; only the initials SK and a number. OR, they say Griswald. It is all lighter weight than the Lodge, all has the smooth polished interior, and is all heavier in weight than that Chinese crap that’s coming around. Although, to be honest, do have a couple of 4 or 5″ Lodge pans that are pretty smooth finish and perfect for that fried egg or two for breakfast.
anyway, we had pancakes this morning on my “new to me” griddle, and what a delight. Unlike my old Lodge griddle they were easy to pick up and flip. They griddle cleaned beautifully, the pancakes were perfect!
I know cast iron is soft, when its really thin like the Chinese stuff, it is also fragile and could actually break if dropped on a tile or concrete. The iron can chip and if it does, that stop will never be “non stick”, because what ever you are cooking will dip down into that divet and hangs one. Although it will always be better than trying to fry something on stainless or aluminum! and we know what iron is! We know what it does to our system. and best off all, we know the stuff will last, and last, and last. No need to replace it every few years.

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garden update: zucchini

starting off the season with 8 zucchini plants had me awash with the stuff at the beginning of the season. froze several gallons (filled so called gallon freezer bags), canned 7 quarts, gave some away and ate some. Those larger than life ones I found awhile back did not make good chips, as hard as they were before drying, they were rocks afterwards! And it was a good thing that I made use of that harvest as the plants did not come back after the summer “stasis” period. One single fruit is all. There is new growth showing now, but as its the beginning of September, see a very rare possibility for more zucchini from these plants this year. So have begun pulling them. Since I’m working with barrel composters, have to cut a plant up, let it sit for a few days to shrink down about 75%, then I can cut back the next plant. Need the bed to be ready for planting garlic and onions by mid/late October or after when ever we have had our first frost.
What I have learned is to plant my zucchini, harvest and then pull the plants when the heat clamps down on the production. BUT, be sure to have plants ready to plant new once the rains and cooler weather comes in August, so we can have another harvest at the end of the month. Did do that one year and it worked very well. So that will be the new plan for the future with zucchini.

Posted in canning, compost, container gardening, dehydrating, gardening, homesteading, organic, prepping, preserving, self-reliance, squash | Leave a comment

more socks!

 

This has become my favorite sock yarn, Cascade’s Cherub Aran.  it is heavier than a regular sock yarn, but I like my socks heavier as I’m on my feet a lot.  Obviously, also like my socks in flashy colors Smile!  This yarn is 55% nylon, 45% acrylic so the ease is minimal; just the stretch of the stitch, the yarn itself doesn’t stretch much (and if you’ve ever knit a sock out of regular yarn you know what I mean! BUT you have to start somewhere and that’s a great way, with cheap yarn, to learn about the stitches, ease, fit, gauge, etc).  They are also not going to shrink!  Found this stuff in the children’s section at the yarn store cause its nice and soft!!  have another skein and that will go on the needles today!

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Roma Tomatoes

 

IMG_0396 (1024x672) Getting near the end of the harvest.  Usually I grow heirlooms, but this year, also did a hybrid called HEINZ. Yes, Heinz. supposedly the hybrid grown by the Heinz company.  Look at the size of those tomatoes!

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