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Fall Gardening thread.

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RosaL
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Joined: Mar 4 2007

remind wrote:

Do you have a recipe that is good that you would like to share? Cause I do too, as it already froze here, and I lost a bunch, so I had to pick the rest of them.

Can you blanch and freeze green tomatoes? I have for red ones, but never green ones.

I have a recipe that looks good but I haven't tried it yet. If I make it tomorrow (as is my plan) I'll come back here and let you know. I'd be interested in your recipe, too.

It already froze here, too, but I covered my tomatoes with a blanket. I don't want to keep doing that, though, so I'm going to pick them.

This is my first year to freeze tomatoes. I didn't blanche, just froze. (People told me I could do this. Apparently the skins will come off easily in warm water.) I'm just assuming I can do the same with green tomatoes - I'm a complete novice at all this so feel free to tell me it's a bad idea! It sounds like you know what you're doing Smile

 

p.s. I made "refrigerator pickles", too. I am quite anxious to know how they come out; I'm told I need to leave them at least 6 weeks. I added extra vinegar, again following some advice. Who knows what they'll be like? Really, really, really sour, I hope!


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

Oh no, I don't have a recipe for green salsa, I worded that poorly. I meant I have a lot of green tomatoes too and want to do something with them.

My cukes died this year for some reason, I think they do not like being grown near brussle sprouts.

 


RosaL
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Joined: Mar 4 2007

remind wrote:

Oh no, I don't have a recipe for green salsa, I worded that poorly. I meant I have a lot of green tomatoes too and want to do something with them.

 

I am going to try this recipe. She calls it a relish but I'm hoping that if I "spice it up", it will make a good salsa. 


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

Okay got it thanks, interesting site actually.

Not going to put apples in mine though.

I might add corn that I have frozen though, instead.


RosaL
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Joined: Mar 4 2007

remind wrote:

Not going to put apples in mine though.

I might add corn that I have frozen though, instead.

 

I'm not going to use the apples either. I'm not sure what I'll substitute. Corn is a good idea. Or beans? Maybe zucchini. heh.


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

ewww zucchini, and it might go too mushy in the canning process anyway.

Beans are a great idea actually, and I have some too.


Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

p.s. I made "refrigerator pickles", too. I am quite anxious to know how they come out; I'm told I need to leave them at least 6 weeks. I added extra vinegar, again following some advice. Who knows what they'll be like? Really, really, really sour, I hope!

 

A guy at work told me about simple pickled eggs.  You hard boil the eggs, and put them in left over pickle brine from a jar of pickles.  I tried it, and it worked quite well.  I think the eggs are ready in 30 days, but I always like them older than that. (that's why I don't buy pickled eggs at a bar) I think I waited at least two months.  They were good. 

Green, but good.

Reminds me, my mom's pickled beets were best when they were at least two years old.


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

We made  2 gallons of pickled eggs, last spring. They make the best devilled eggs and egg salad, and for potatoe salad in the summer. Plus it is the only kind of egg I can eat. Otherwise they bother my liver.


ElizaQ
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Joined: May 27 2005

RosaL wrote:

I have quite a few green tomatoes and it's supposed to freeze next week so I'm going to make salsa with some and freeze the rest; I'll use the frozen ones for later batches. Maybe I can give green tomato salsa as Christmas presents. That's the full extent of my garden Laughing

 

Also, if you have the room green tomatoes that a far enough along will ripen after picked. Just before the first frost last year I picked about 30 pounds of them and about 90% ripened within the next couple of months.  It was cool to still be getting red tomatoes in December.

edited to add:  A lot of what I read recommeded that you wrap each tomato in newspaper but I was lazy as that seemed to be so much work with that many.  All I did was spread newpapers on trays, put the tomatoes on them so they don't touch each other and cover the whole thing with newspaper.  Then it's just a matter of checking on them and removing any that show signs of rot and picking an using the rest as they ripen.  Placing some apples randomly with them is also supposed to help, something about the gases they give off I think.


ElizaQ
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Joined: May 27 2005

RosaL wrote:

 

This is my first year to freeze tomatoes. I didn't blanche, just froze. (People told me I could do this. Apparently the skins will come off easily in warm water.) I'm just assuming I can do the same with green tomatoes - I'm a complete novice at all this so feel free to tell me it's a bad idea! It sounds like you know what you're doing Smile

 Yep no need to blanche the red ones before freezing. The skins do just slip off once unfrozen, but they'll be mushy. Perfectly fine for sauces or anything that has cooked tomatoes in them.  Last year I had so many ripe ones that after a week of canning different tomato concoctions it was such a relief to just wash and throw the rest into good large freezer bags.    I haven't frozen green ones before but I googled it and there seems to be a few ways you can do it.

 


RosaL
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Joined: Mar 4 2007

ElizaQ wrote:

 Yep no need to blanche the red ones before freezing. The skins do just slip off once unfrozen, but they'll be mushy. Perfectly fine for sauces or anything that has cooked tomatoes in them.  

 

If you blanche them before freezing, are they mushy when you thaw them? 

 


RosaL
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Joined: Mar 4 2007

Tommy_Paine wrote:

A guy at work told me about simple pickled eggs.  You hard boil the eggs, and put them in left over pickle brine from a jar of pickles.  I tried it, and it worked quite well.  I think the eggs are ready in 30 days, but I always like them older than that. (that's why I don't buy pickled eggs at a bar) I think I waited at least two months.  They were good. 

Green, but good.

Reminds me, my mom's pickled beets were best when they were at least two years old.

 

I'm thinking about getting one of these.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

That's good to know. I have about 50 or 60 pounds of mostly green tomatoes in big bowls all over the kitchen. I've blanched and frozen about six one litre bags of runner beans sliced and ready for the pot. Brian, youre right about scarlet runner beans. I still have a few baby beans on the stalks, and some of the leaves are still green and lush-looking. We've had a few cold mornings here though, and tomatoe plants are just about all wilted and brown. My neighbor didnt get any pole beans whatsoever, and he has raised beds, trickle feed sprinkler and the whole nine metres.  So I gave him a bag o mine for a feed. I'm the bean champeen this year, and thanks to you.


ElizaQ
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Joined: May 27 2005

RosaL wrote:

ElizaQ wrote:

 Yep no need to blanche the red ones before freezing. The skins do just slip off once unfrozen, but they'll be mushy. Perfectly fine for sauces or anything that has cooked tomatoes in them.  

 

If you blanche them before freezing, are they mushy when you thaw them? 

 

 

 Not sure if they'd be as mushy but I think that the freezing process generally breaks them down.  If you what to sure to have actual whole tomato pieces to cook with you can, slice and dry them in a low heat oven.  Basically like sun drying them without the sun. They say that after dried you can package them a put them in a cupboard but to be safe the ones I've done like that I just put in small packages and stick them in a freezer.

 

Just a note about green tomatoes ripening many tomatos that are shipped to stores, especially in the off seasons left the farms green, go to a ripening facility and then shipped out to the stores. That's one of the reasons that grocery store tomatoes for most of the year just don't taste like one that ripens on the vine.  I've see ones being marketed as 'vine ripened' and they of course are more expensive.

Quick story.  I was down in Florida a few years back and stayed at youth hostel south of Miami, I think it was Garden city. Was there for only about ten minutes when a couple of guys asked if I wanted to come tomato picking as they were planning a communal dinner. The area is a major tomato growing area so I thought maybe they meant we just going to snatch some from the fields.  Well we did, but not off the vine. When we got to the field which was actually beside a subdivision, the rows were littered with huge, luscious and ripe tomatos.  They explained that the pickers only took the green ones and the ripe ones were just left to rot. They were considered  waste.  It was quite an astounding thing to see. It took less then 5 minutes for four of us to run down the rows and get enough tomatoes to make a pasta sauce that fed 30 people.  As we were doing it I joked that all of the people living beside the fields must love all of these free tomatoes that were lying here right across the street.  They laughed and said nope, they don't really as taking them was actually against some sort of bylaw. 

 Pretty messed up huh?  I guess that our food system for yah.  Still makes me shake my head whenever I think about it.


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

It's October 4 in Saskatchewan and we haven't had frost yet. I don't recall this ever happening before.  I picked the last of my tomatoes yesterday.  They're sitting in boxes in the basement now.  They're still green, but they'll ripen eventually...or else rot.  I still have lots of jars of last year's tomato sauce, so I'm not bothered that the yield was down this year.  In August it didn't look as if I'd have any tomatoes, cucumbers or corn, so everything seems like a bonus.  I froze a few bags of corn last weekend.

I picked the cucumbers today.  I have a lot of big slicers (Straight 8s) that don't fit into jars, so I cut them up into chunks and dilled them.  I haven't tried this before, but I don't see why it wouldn't work, unless the pickles turn out soft like bread and butter pickles.

We got four jars of jelly from my grape vine. That's a first.  The kiwis are about the size of the grapes, which are only as big as blueberries.  Apparently they aren't supposed to grow any bigger.  They're more a novelty than a serious fruit, I guess.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Here's a recipe for Green Tomato Mincemeat using three quarts (or 2.839058835 Liters) of chopped green tomato. My mama used to make mincemeat tarts for Christmas.


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

Just got done making 6 quarts of green tomatoe salsa. Smells wonderful.

Still have some left, but a lot more were frost damaged than I realized.


Bubbles
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Joined: Feb 21 2003

Here we had a few light frosts already a few week ago. Killed the squashes and tomato plants. We still have a few green tomatoes but after having been spoiled by so many good vine ripened tomatoes this summer the green picked tomatoes taste rather bland.

Collected the last honey for this year, and am getting the hives ready for winter. Started bringing in some sunflower heads, the seeds are still fairly light weight, but the wild birds have already consumed about a third of the seeds, so I will bring in the sunflowers anyway and feed most of them to the laying hens.

Also managed to find a few very nice strawberries.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

I ate a couple of figs, runner beans, blackberrys, grapes, and rasberrys all off the plants out in the garden yesterday. I think there was a bit of frost last night even though it was not called for.  It has been a good year, I guess.  I am hoping for a  mild winter because I have a lot of swiss chard and sometimes it survives well and sometimes it does not.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

I had some success covering the fig bush with the plastic felt stuff. (I forget the naame). It keeps the frost off a bit. (It is hard to keep it on the tree though).

I cannot eat this second crop fully ripe but they are a nice chewey feed when 3/4 ripe.  Still maybe 20 big figs on the bush, and I hope they make it.

Had spagetti squash, beans, and mashed potato last night. With olive oil and black pepper. It was yummy.

It definitely works to pick spagetti squash young.  I had lots of small, but lovely spagetti squashes this year even though they came from volunteers that grew from a squash that went bad in storage and I tossed out. (they started very late). Last year, I let them go big and old and from about 4 plants, I had about 4 squash!

The monsoon has started finally. Still some grapes on the vine. They have been extraordinarly productive this year. My main winter subsistance crop seems to be swiss chard so hopefully it will not be too cold this winter.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

The white felt plasticy stuff comes in 4 ft wide sheets, so how to cover the fig tree to keep off the frosts? 

I think I figured it out.

Clothes pegs! You can attach the plastic sheets to each other or peg them to branches.

People might use this idea in the spring to protect blossoms from frosts too?

I only first did it today so perhaps it will not work.

Brian

Brian White wrote:

I had some success covering the fig bush with the plastic felt stuff. (I forget the naame). It keeps the frost off a bit. (It is hard to keep it on the tree though).

I cannot eat this second crop fully ripe but they are a nice chewey feed when 3/4 ripe.  Still maybe 20 big figs on the bush, and I hope they make it.

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Thinking about building a greenhouse for next year? Lots of ideas on the web, here are two:

 this is a tiny one: Build an Easy 5 x 5 Home Greenhouse for under $25

 this is to give you some ideas to get started: DIY, Low-cost and Multipurpose Greenhouses

I actually have a greenhouse built from a Home Hardware kit, but I have a pile of old windows that I am going to piece together to build another greenhouse next summer.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

One big thing with a greenhouse is siting it right.  We all thought my brother was nuts when he built a greenhouse. He built it as an addition onto the second storey of an old house. (With  8 inch tubular metal legs to the bottom) Later we realized that it was the only place where he could get  sun for the full day in the summer. (Due to trees shading things, etc)  

I Believe that the guys who install solar hot water on roofs have a simple  little gaget to help them site the panels.  We need that too for siting greenhouses and even plants in the garden. Maybe someone knows more about the gaget?

I am still hoping someone will do an art of illusion sun engine to help site greenhouses  and plants but so far no luck. (This would be a software solution where you put in the siteplan and the sun shines across your place and shows seasonal effects.

My chard is doing good. I got a nice dinner with it today. I have remay cloth to cover it if it gets very cold too.  I am not great with salids but land cress and  mesculin mixes (mustardy stuff and rocket) have stayed growing even though they are putting out flower heads. They taste quite good right now too.

Brian   

Boom Boom wrote:

Thinking about building a greenhouse for next year? Lots of ideas on the web, here are two:

 this is a tiny one: Build an Easy 5 x 5 Home Greenhouse for under $25

 this is to give you some ideas to get started: DIY, Low-cost and Multipurpose Greenhouses

I actually have a greenhouse built from a Home Hardware kit, but I have a pile of old windows that I am going to piece together to build another greenhouse next summer.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I don't have too many locations for greenhouses on my lot, I use what I have. Two of my neighbours - who have lived here all their lives - have excellent greenhouses and extremely fertile soil. My greenhouse was a disappointment this year - next year I'm changing the soil completely. My garden was quite good - lots of lettuce, carrots, swiss chard, and radishes, and not many beets.


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

We had a little yellow pansy that was still blooming until last week. In November.  In Saskatchewan.

 

I still haven't had to wear a hat, although I wear gloves once in a while (not this morning), on my bike commute.  Apparently it's going to turn really cold next week, though.

 

 


al-Qa'bong
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Joined: Feb 27 2003

Yup, those seed catalogues are sure looking good.

 

Hey, it's not what you think, I read them for the captions.


ElizaQ
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Joined: May 27 2005

 I have six seed catalogs in front of me right now.  It's a bad scene.  I've done the first run through marking everything that I'd love and calculated that it's about 10 times my budget, would need 3 times the garden space I have right now and to start them all I'd likely need to completely take over the entire living room.   Ah the joys of midwinter garden dreaming. :D     Now it's time to get practical.  Ugh. 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Every year I try to add one new plant species to my garden - in the hopes it will actually take root and grow. This year it will be arugula - I've never grown it before.


ElizaQ
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Joined: May 27 2005

Boom Boom, have you ever checked out the books by Eliot Coleman? Four Season Harvest is a great one. He's a farmer in Maine who grows year round using a basic system of greenhouses and row covers with no added heat.  He's a defy convention sort of fellow.  I had hoped to try out his techniques starting last fall but it didn't work out so it's been bumped to this season.  I think that some of them could be adapted to even more northern climes to a point and they're easy enough for home gardeners to follow.  

I always try to say I'm going to add only one or two new things but at this time of year it's really hard to not want to go crazy and imagine that I have more time and space then I do.   This year I think though I'm going to keep the basics like they were last year and try out a few of the less well known asian veggies and greens that are becoming more widely available.  What I like about many of them is that many are continuous harvest sort of plants that produce different sorts of eats from their early to late stages and many have come from climates that are similar to mine.


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