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I grew sprouts at one time, may try again. As for tomatoes, I've always loved them. I make a stew of sorts with two cans of the best canned tomatoes I can find, a can of kidney beans (rinsed) a can of regular beans, and a pound of hamburger (cooked and rinsed to get rid of the grease), with a touch of black pepper. Good by itself, or on top of pasta. And it's ready in a pinch. Anytime I make pizza (not often) I add a sliced tomato.
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Beets. I had distant cousins who had a farm in the Shakespeare area, and when I was young we'd visit and take home some surplus from the garden. I remember the beets in particular, and how the pickled ones tasted best after sitting in jar for a couple of years.
I planted a store bought garlic bulb years ago, and still have feral garlic growing in what has become a very neglected herb garden.
Never plant thyme.....
We had an accidental tomato plant come up in the flower garden this year. I left it alone to grow. Now we have a daily supply of cherry tomatoes. For those who like those sorts of things. I'm not a fan of raw tomatoes. Texture is all wrong. Wrong I tell you! Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Speaking of wrong, brussel sprouts are very easy to cook wrong. There seems to be a narrow window between under and over done. I suspect the enemies of brussel sprouts have probably never had them cooked just right. My wife--Morgan Fairchild-- was treated to bug infested brussel sprouts as a child, and no amount of cajouling, pestering, nagging, or promises to be fullfilled later in the boudouir can convince her to try them in her adulthood.
So we are a sproutless household.
I miss them.
Well, I made a pail of borscht for supper tonight. The others in the fambly are bigoted against the beet, so they ate Campbell's canned swill instead.
There is sand. Lines are being drawn.
I went out to the allotment today and pulled my onions. They are prety small this year, compared to last year. I think they got watered more last year (by the neighbours).
Ever since Diazinon was taken off the market I've been looking for ways to stop onion maggots. My organic gardening experiment this year included planting marigolds and nasturtiums with the onions. I had five onions with maggots in an area without flowers, while the rows that had the flowers had no maggots. One problem was that the nasturtiums grew too well. Some made five-foot vines. They were so big they crowded out the onions. I think I'll stick to marigolds next year, as they're more compact.
My corn is still the freak show of the allotments. Everyone else's corn stalks are 4.5 feet high, brown and full of big ears. My corn is still green, 7-8 feet high, and the cobs are about three weeks of warm, sunny weather away from being ready. There's no way they'll beat the frost.
I've got loads of scarlet runner beans. I'm blanching and freezing them in bags, there are so many. There are still quite a few red flowers yet. My bean poles weren't quite long enough, and the stalks are growing around back down toward the ground.
Oh... and if you are going to get a hard frost and still have green tomatoes, tear up the whole plant and hang it upside-down in the basement. My parents swear by that method to enable the rest of the tomatoes to ripen.
I always pick my tomatoes green and leave them in boxes. I process them as they ripen.
There's no way I could find room to hang 50-60 plants in the basement anyway.
I was just out in the garden, to enjoy some patches of sunshine between the remnants of hurricanes Hannah and Ike, and I was treated to an explosion of bumble and carpenter bees who were making honey while the sun shone. They were all over the seedum, and the climbing, ornamental peas I have.
Been quite a year for insects. I've seen types I rarely see and a few I have never seen before. And the insect predators are having a ball. I have pet orb spiders, and I'm tempted to steal the egg sac of a black and yellow argipore I saw at my niece's place a few weeks ago. I know, I know, I should probably just leave it alone... but they are sooo cool looking....
The weather people insist that we are going to have lots more rain starting this evening. I thought Hannah had tracked east of the Appalachians, and up toward Nova Scotia, but I guess it got over the mountains.
I suspect that Boom Boom is going to be getting a lot of rain later this week.
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:I always pick my tomatoes green and leave them in boxes. I process them as they ripen.
Where do you place the box of green tomatoes? In the basement, or near sunlight?
I picked my tomatoes a few days ago - all green - and none of them are ripening on the shelf by the window facing the sun. [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]
Light and warmth Boom Boom. Where ever you can get both is best. If that doesn't work place them around you in bed at night, they may not ripen but it is the cheapest way to make green tomato chutney. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine: I suspect that Boom Boom is going to be getting a lot of rain later this week.
Geez, I hope not, as I just got started on outdoor painting at the church and my home. I spent a full day scraping the old paint off the church bridge, and another day painting it, and I have at least another full day of painting at the church to go - and no one's helping. Sometime this week I have to get started on painting all the trim on my woodshed and garage, and then the bridge on the house.
My beets are finally a decent size - I made the mistake of planting my beets (and carrots) too close together, so I had to go in and thin them all out a few weeks ago. I must have at least 50 beets and 60 carrots to pull up, not to mention I still have 20 rutabagas and 20 heads of green lettuce to harvest.
Next year I'm to be more careful about spacing everything out more.
Oh - it's raining and windy out here today, more rain tomorrow, but the rest of the week looks good for painting and harvesting my crops: [url=http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/pages/qc-125_metric_e.html#detailsf]... Boom's weather[/url]
Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian: ...they may not ripen but it is the cheapest way to make green tomato chutney.
My mother made the best green tomato chutney ever, but she died in 1989 and I didn't think to get her recipe before she passed on. [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]
ETA: [url=http://southernfood.about.com/od/picklesrelishes/r/bl90718j.htm]This[/url] is close to her green tomato chutney recipe, I believe.
And this [url=http://southernfood.about.com/od/greentomatoes/r/bl10712a.htm]classic Fried Green Tomatoes[/url] recipe looks fantastic!
ETA: I love southern cookin', from my days in Virginia, Florida, Georgia, and New Mexico. Here's a page of [url=http://southernfood.about.com/od/greentomatoes/Green_Tomato_Recipes.htm]... Tomato Recipes[/url] from the glorious south!
[ 14 September 2008: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]
Where do you place the box of green tomatoes? In the basement, or near sunlight?
I keep mine in the basement. We used to keep them in the upstairs crawl spaces on the farm.
I don't need 120 lbs of tomatoes ripening all at once.
Finally all the vegetables are ready enough to make a regular salad, although the lettuce is at the end of its usefulness.
Tonight the salad consisted of Cos and Buttercrunch lettuces, red onions, the sole green (although it was black) pepper I grew, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic and Italian parsley.
The only non-garden ingredients were olive oil from Lebanon and lemon juice from Iran that I bought from the Pakistani Halal store in town.
We also had home made ravioli, with garden Swiss chard plus store-bought ingredients. My 11-year old made Alfredo sauce.
Strangest darn thing just happened - a hummingbird was hovering in the air right beside me as I filled the birdbath!
Question: is it really necessary to pull up all my veggies before the first frost hits? I'd like to leave my carrots, beets, rutabagas and lettuce in the garden until at least October. Can't they all survive the occasional frost?
[ 17 September 2008: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]
Originally posted by Boom Boom:[b]Question: is it really necessary to pull up all my veggies before the first frost hits? I'd like to leave my carrots, beets, rutabagas and lettuce in the garden until at least October. Can't they all survive the occasional frost?
[ 17 September 2008: Message edited by: Boom Boom ][/b]
[ 17 September 2008: Message edited by: Boom Boom ][/b]
Root veggies can. Heck you can leave carrots in the ground all winter and pick them as you go if they won't sit in standing water and you cover them with straw to keep them from freezing. Lettuce, no not so much. It's pretty tender. If it's just light frost you can cover it with something over night like plastic or even a sheet and remove it in the morning. That works until you get a really heavy frost or freeze. If it rains though and the leaves are sopping and it dips below zero at night you could get freeze damage. Had that happen to me once even when it was covered.
Thanks! [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]
I think I've mentioned before that I accumulate the plastic tops sold with cakes and such to use as cloche's in the winter and spring to protect plants. They may do well to preserve root vegetables in the ground, too.
Rutabagas are a sneaky word for turnip, isn't it? [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img] I think they grow turnips in England all through their "winter", and a number of other vegetables under cold frames.
Hmm. I seem to remember watching this or that show, which made me think that 19th century gardners knew a lot more about this kind of stuff than we do today.
I wonder if researching more from an historical angle might offer up more cold weather/vegetable preservation tips than more modern sources?
I remember there was a gardening thread where 'cold frames' were discussed. I'll look for it. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]
A nieghbor across the road used to start his tomatoes in early April by putting a saw horse over them, then drapping vapour barrier over the saw horse. He'd then run an extention cord to the contraption to power a 60 watt light bulb. In our climate that was enough to protect the plants from the frost-- but not the aesthetics police if there were such a thing.
I've tried using a plain plastic jug filled with water as a kind of "battery"-- the water would keep the enclosure warm during the night, but I found it didn't work too well. But that kind of heat storage might work if you tweeked it a bit: aluminum cans instead of plastic? Paint them black?
Hmm. I'm not working five days a week anymore, maybe I'll have time to fart around with stuff to see how much I can mitigate the cold weather in the garden.
....but then, I started posting here again, so I doubt I'll find the time..... [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]
I've got a couple of old texts and they do talk a lot about these techniques. I've found Mother Earth News a great web source. They have all of there mags online from the beginning.
We didn't get it down this year but have plans to put in a proper root cellar. I've got a bumper crop of squash this year. One vine has 27 squash on it right now and I'm going to try out some makeshift root cellars to keep them. It's been interesting to re-learn a lot of these older techniques.
Remembering more now, I think the show was probably on PBS. It seems your Victorian era English gardeners had a lot of time, money and cheap labour at their disposal so they could obsess and experiment.
A few things I remember... I think the south face of a brick wall will give the soil within a yard of it the same climate as the unsheltered ground 300 miles south. Often they'd train exotic fruit trees to grow against the wall-- I think the term for that is called 'spillating'.
There was also the social pressure-- in the age before mechanical refrigeration-- to have a table with fresh food all year round. Not so much from a nutrition aspect, but from an outdoing the Jones' perspective. Well, maybe not the Jones'-- Jones is a Welsh name, and all yer Welshmen were easy to lord over because they were stuck at the bottom of a coal mine fueling the industrial revolution for which they got paid a pittance. Ah, the bitterness of a Celt matches that of a rutaturnip.
One other thing they did was to dig a hole in the ground and build a stone dome over it, and fill it with ice during the winter. The ice would keep, along with the food stored with it, all summer.
I seem to remember, on a trip around Quebec city, "cold cellars" dug into the rocky bluffs across from the farm houses whose long skinny fields stretched down to the St. Lawrence. Most of the cold cellars were separated from the house by the road.
I've always thought that it would help if you built a garden, with intentions of cold framing it, so that the angle of the soil matched that of the winter sun's rays... 23 degrees? Solar panel specifications would give the correct angle.
We get very strong wind (30 - 70 km/h) here much of the year so any frost covering has to be weighed down somehow. Fortunately, I can get lots of rock.
Yah I looked into digging something right into the ground but the water table is so high here that I'd just be digging a pond. We're going to build are cold cellar in the basement and do some ground venting to keep the temperature constant.
I initially had plans this year to be able to put up some cold protection for my tomatoes to extend the season but they have grown way to big for how I planted them and it's not going to work. It's been a bit weird for me this year because I've been dealing with problems coming from plants that have grown twice and sometimes thrice the size that they grew last year. I've got two tomato plants that have broken the 8ft mark. I measured my squash plant vine again today and it's now 35ft long. Never seen anything like it in my life.
And to note the tree technique is called 'espalier'. I planted a couple of apple trees last year which we're trying out with that technique. It's making a comeback. I've seen articles about it several magazines this year.
Here in London, apples, pears, cherries and peaches grow with little problem. I think we get the odd late spring frost once or twice a decade that ruins or partially ruins a harvest.
Crap. I just remembered I forgot to look for paw paw fruit this year! I was obsessed by it last year.
I'd love a paw paw tree in the yard.
[ 17 September 2008: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]
I'm new to this area so I don't have the local knowledge of whats normal yet. We do have a wild apple tree in the yard which I though at first didn't fruit because of the weather. Ends up one side didn't, the other is full, so it looks pretty weird. Should be picking them now that I think on it. I've heard of Paw Paw but never had it. What is it like?
I read that Paw Paw tastes like a cross between banana and kiwi. I'm not much of a fruit eater, and while I like banana flavour, I cannot eat banana's because of the texture. Kiwi, I like.
I'd like to have the Paw Paw because the only place it grows in Canada is in the Carolinian zone in South Western Ontario. And even here, I believe it is rare. If I liked the fruit, that would just be bonus. Similarly, I'd like to have a shag bark hickory growing in the yard. Last fall I collected lots of hickory nuts from a stand of shag bark hickory, and allowed them to sit outside all winter to stratify, but none sprouted. I will collect a bunch again this weekend, when I visit my niece who lives in an area described as the Ekfrid forest.
I love just about every fruit I've ever tasted, the exception being kiwi fruit - that one doesn't do anything for me. My favourite, by far, is mango - I just can't get enough of it. Every winter around Dec 1st I order $200 of frozen mixed fruit from M&M - just enough to last the winter until the supply ship starts up again - and just thaw out what I need every day.
Originally posted by Boom Boom:[b]I love just about every fruit I've ever tasted, the exception being kiwi fruit - that one doesn't do anything for me.[/b]
Hey, you're supposed to peel it!
[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]
Speaking of fruit, I think strawberries are overrated. I like raspberries and blueberries more. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]
Have you tried sampling Kiwi at various stages of ripeness, Boom Boom? But, if you are not so keen on strawberries, then I can see why Kiwi doesn't capture your attention. Then again, there are strawberries and then there are strawberries. The imported kind tend to have less taste-- and so do the local kind that are huge. The best are normal sized locally grown.
Kiwi, btw, has more potasium than bananas.
Originally posted by Boom Boom:[b]Speaking of fruit, I think strawberries are overrated. I like raspberries and blueberries more. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]
A neighbour gave us a hanging, potted strawberry plant as a thanks for a favour, and it has been producing a couple of delicious, fresh strawberries every few days for weeks now. What a treat to be able to harvest that one delicious berry straight off the vine and savour the taste! Especially since strawberry season is three months past.
It's a great gift idea, BTW, as it really keeps on giving!
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:[b]Kiwi, btw, has more potasium than bananas.[/b]
So do lima beans. I happen to love them, but nobody else I know does.
Originally posted by M. Spector:So do lima beans. I happen to love them, but nobody else I know does.
Now I'm curious. How do you cook lima beans so as to make them digestible? When I was a little kid, my mama used to boil them, drain, and flop them on our plates. I couldn't eat them.
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:Have you tried sampling Kiwi at various stages of ripeness, Boom Boom?
I think the kiwis we get here are always overripe.
On the other hand, I love fresh cherries or a peach. I'd eat watermelon every day if I could afford it (they're outrageously expensive here).
Originally posted by M. Spector:[b]So do lima beans. I happen to love them, but nobody else I know does.[/b]
I have a funny relationship with lima beans (don't go rushing to YouTube, I haven't taped it) in that sometimes I can't get enough, sometimes they are unpalletable. And I don't think it has anything to do with how they are cooked.
My mother's cooking. My mom was a war bride. She married youngish, and suddenly, so never had cooking skills handed down to her. She used to say that she didn't even know how to boil water when she arrived in Canada. But, I think that's not true. Mom had a talent for boiling things.
Which isn't the best treatment for most vegetables, from either a nutritional or taste perspective.
Fast forward to my separation years ago, when I had to not only learn how to cook regular meals, but regular meals for three daughters who have different dietary requirements than middle aged health indifferent males. One of the firt things I did was purchase one of those metal steamers that sit in a pot. It really helps with the vegetables, both in terms of taste and nutrition.
In fact, the last time I had lima beans was with this method, and they were great.
Not to malign my mom's cooking. I think she did wonders given the knowledge of the day, and considering the conditions she grew up in. AND I have never had Yorkshire pudding as good as she made it.
[ 19 September 2008: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]
I buy good quality frozen lima beans (never tried the canned ones - yech!) and boil them till tender. Drain, add margarine to get 'em all greased up, then salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste (I prefer more salt rather than less).
I could eat two cups of those suckers at a sitting!
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:[b]My mother's cooking. My mom was a war bride. She married youngish, and suddenly, so never had cooking skills handed down to her. She used to say that she didn't even know how to boil water when she arrived in Canada.[/b]
Sounds exactly like my mom. She learned to cook from [url=http://www.amazon.ca/Kate-Aitkens-Canadian-Cook-Book/dp/1552855910]Kate Aitken's Canadian Cookbook[/url] and made great meals out of (what now seems) the awful food that was available in Canadian grocery stores after the war.
Same here! Me old mum cooked a great roast beef with Yorkshire puds and gravy. Triful or rice pudding for dessert. Potsa tea and cup after cup laced with sugar so thick that the spoon stood up by itself. Bangers and mash or stovies for leftovers was delish. Toast and more toast with Robertson's marmelade or raspberry jam, and about a thousand pots o black tea, by gum those were the days.
My wife inherited her mother's Robin Hood Flour cook book that was published in the 1940's. The recipes are good, and I think it reflects the stuff available in the stores at the time. I would never have thought of a cook book being an historical reference, I should give it a close looking over, just to see what is familiar and unfamiliar.
My mother's youngest sister married an American serviceman stationed in post war England, and came to the U.S. with him after his commitment to Uncle Sam expired, sometime in the late 50's.
Anyway, when she'd come to Canada to visit, she'd buy a box of "Lion's Golden Syrup", a British product that was not available in the U.S. I think it was just run of the mill corn syrup in an ornate tin that reminded her of home.
Before the war, my dad worked as a delivery boy for a local butcher. He learned how to pick out a good cut of meat from the dross in the grocery stores, or got the butcher to make special cuts. And there were trips to local abatoirs from time to time. So, we always had superlative roast beef dinners.
You know, I don't think my dad ever passed on what to look for in a cut of meat, but I seem to have great luck with both beef and pork. Seldom do I pick out a grisle laden piece of crap. But then, if I don't see something I like, I walk away and buy something else. At those prices, I'm not going to buy junk. And that's mostly what it is at the supermarket. Stuff that the restaurants and specialty stores have passed on.
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:[b]"Lion's Golden Syrup"[/b]
Actually, it's [url=http://www.lylesgoldensyrup.com/lylesgoldensyrup/default.htm]Lyle's Golden Syrup[/url] and it's still available in stores.
A lot of kids used to call it "Lions" because it has a picture of a lion on it.
It's not corn syrup, but sugar syrup - much sweeter. My mum used to put it on our pancakes. I never had maple syrup until I was in my 20s and it was a big disappointment after Lyle's.
Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:[b]My wife inherited her mother's Robin Hood Flour cook book that was published in the 1940's. The recipes are good, and I think it reflects the stuff available in the stores at the time. I would never have thought of a cook book being an historical reference, I should give it a close looking over, just to see what is familiar and unfamiliar.[/b]
Cook books really are historical documents. I have a couple of cookbooks that will soon be 100 years old, and another one written in fountain pen, that has no date. I love to look through them.
Mmm, bananas. I actually don't buy them that often because I can't eat them fast enough and I hate it when food goes bad. But I got some tonight.
One of my favorite ways of eating bananas (besides just by themselves) is slicing them up and making a sandwich out of them with buttered toast. Nothing else, just plain toast with butter and sliced bananas between. Mmmm!
Oh good lord, my memory is taking a beating tonight! Of course it was "Lyle's Golden Syrup." And, come to think, I made the same mistake on another message board years ago.
It's the freakin' lion on the label that makes me think "Lion's Golden Syrup."
I was never a fan of it, to be honest. I mean, it was [i]good[/i] but I prefered maple syrup.
Michelle got me hungry.
I'm off to make a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat toast.
I've never gotten into putting peanut butter on my banana sandwiches. I think my banana sandwiches are just comfort food for me because my dad made them for me as a kid, and I think he didn't like peanut butter on his banana sandwiches and so I grew up being used to them without.
I'll bet it's probably good, though. I still like toasted peanut butter and jam sandwiches, though! (Preferably strawberry or blueberry jam!)
[ 19 September 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]