EEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

2015Aug28cleanNothing gets you into the cleaning mood like opening up a kitchen drawer and finding a mouse…and its stuff…in it.  I put out the traps…and sterilized everything in the kitchen.

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Harvesting

2015Aug26harvestbktomatoes

Harvesting tomato seeds. I use the fermentation method.

Everything is producing right now so it’s a very busy time in the garden.  I’m sure lots of you gardeners are busy right now.  As I’m harvesting, I’m always looking for the best of everything to save for seeds.  A few days ago I cut up a couple very ripe Black Krim tomatoes and saved the seeds.  Those are now drying on a plate.  Pretty tomatoes, but my son doesn’t care for them.  He says they are mild and aren’t as sweet as the “normal” tomatoes.  I don’t know if I’m going to grow more or try some other varieties.

2015Aug26harvestbeans

Green beans and a few mustard greens.

I’m still harvesting a lot of beans, and I store them in the fridge until I have enough for the canner.  I have enough now so I’ll be doing that this afternoon.  The Provider Bush as always are wonderful and out producing the others.  The wax beans I planted didn’t do well at all.  Not only did I not get very many, they were past their prime when they turned yellow.  Both the White Half Runners and the McCaslin Pole did all right.  I’m not sure I’ll plant either of those again, and I may look for some other varieties that might do well for me.

2015Aug26harvestcucumbers

Straight Eight cucumbers.

2015Aug26harvestcucumberseeds

Leaving the cucumber on the vine until it turns yellow, then harvesting the mature cucumber seeds.

My cucumbers did all right this year, but suffered from some sort of blight.  Possibly from all the rain we had at the beginning of the summer.  Anyway, I have two really nice cucumbers that I left on the vine to ripen for seeds.  All the rest we’ll be eating in salads and such.  We love cucumbers, but the Straight Eights just don’t make good pickles, so we do grow tired of them quickly.  Since I harvest the seeds, I only plant one variety and I haven’t found very many pickling cukes at the farmers markets this year.

2015AugHarvestPeppers

Puny Purple Peppers…say that five times fast!

Our peppers are hanging in there.  The banana peppers (both hot and mild) are actually doing great, all the pablanos and chilis are doing just all right, the bell peppers have been struggling and are pretty puny this year.

2015Aug26harvestpotatoes

A small basket of potatoes.

I finally dug up all nine of our potatoes plants.  The plants themselves were crispy so I figured I’d hurry and get them out so I can plant fall veggies in its place.  We didn’t get very many, maybe 10 pounds or so?  But they are ours and I know they were grown free of any chemicals.

2015Aug26harvesttomatoes

A variety of tomatoes.

The tomatoes are starting to come in full force.  This is probably one of the most dismal years I’ve had for tomatoes.  The plants look awful from the blight and the bugs are just having a field day.  We don’t normally have problems with the standard garden bugs, our problem is mostly earwigs (*shudder*) and I did toss several tomatoes that were infested with those little nasties.  (*SHUDDER*)  In the end, these tomatoes will be sauce so they don’t have to be pretty.

2015Aug26harvestbeans2

Green beans are winding down as the fall broccoli starts.

All in all it is turning out to be a decent year despite the late start due to my lack of enthusiasm, all the rain we had and now the lack of rain.  I’m already thinking about what I want to do for next years garden, like adding a few more raised beds and maybe more berries.  I’m also going to try for all heirloom plants.  Hopefully I’ll be feeling up to it.

I’m off to get back to work.  In addition to canning those beans I want to make a few loaves of bread.  Temps next week will be back to normal and I’d rather bake when it is cooler.  And since I’ll be busy, dinner tonight will be simple…breakfast for dinner.  Probably pancakes.  Hope your day is productive and blessed!  Grace and peace!

Canning Corn Using A Drill

wpid-20150823_212640.jpgQuite honestly, I felt it was easier to just buy frozen corn than spending all that time cutting corn off the cob to can it.  After buying some corn that we planned on canning, hubby wanted to try using the drill to cut the kernels off.  He got the idea from a friend who had shared a video she did when she used her drill to do 400 ears of corn.  She bought the special made bit she used, but hubby was sure he could make one.  Most of what we found only included sales information on a drill bit and not DIY information.  After watching a few videos and doing some searching on the internet, hubby figured we would need a 4-inch lag bolt and a big washer.  So off to the hardware store he and our son went.  He came back with a 4-inch stainless steel lag bolt and a fender wpid-20150823_212544.jpgwasher.  Our son cut the head off the bolt with a hack saw, then used the grinder wheel to take off the sharp edges.  That chucked right into hubby’s drill.   He slipped the fender washer on and was ready to go.  He drilled into the end of the corn, spun it through the corn cutter…and just like that it was done.  It took longer for us shuck the corn than for hubby to cut the corn off.  How cool is that??  Now you may decide you want to weld the washer to the bolt, but that is up to you.  Hubby says he isn’t going to bother.

wpid-20150824_112733.jpgIn a short amount of time, we went through 104 ears of corn and got it ready to can.  Which I’m in the process of doing.  I have 20 pints in the canner right now, and 18 waiting to go in.  I’m using the instructions in the Ball Blue Book for raw pack.

Hope you find this helpful.  Here is a short video, “highly professional” video we did showing hubby cutting the corn off the cob with the drill:

Drills and Corn

2015Aug22cornaA friend of ours posted a video of herself using a drill to shell corn.  She was able to remove the corn from over 400 ears in record time.  That is so cool!!

Here is a different video I found on Youtube of a guy shelling corn using his drill (this isn’t our friend, I don’t know him).

Today we got a deal on a bunch of corn so we are going to try using the drill so we searched the internet for instruction.  What we found out is a lot of people selling what you need and a lot of people showing how to use it, but not a lot of DIY info on the bit. Hubby is working on it so as soon as he figures it out and we start shelling our corn, I’ll share it.

Hope all is well on your end! Have a great weekend!

Recipe: Cucumber and Tomato Salad

We now have an abundance of cucumbers and tomatoes coming from our garden.  This is one of our favorite salads.  Remember, salad doesn’t necessarily have to have lettuce!

Easy Cucumber and Tomato Salad

cucumbers diced
tomatoes diced
onion diced
your favorite dressing or vinaigrette

Mix all vegetables together in a bowl and add enough dressing to coat everything.  Let it sit in the fridge about an hour before serving.