Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pounds of Peppers

Today I picked 8.5 pounds of peppers from the garden. That is many more than my small garden basket could hold.

So I had to use a laundry basket to get them all in the house--now that must be a sign of a successful harvest!

No pictures, but over about 2 hours I washed, cored, seeded, and sliced the peppers. Lucky for me, I remembered to wear gloves. Not so lucky for me, one of the glove fingers ripped open and I did not replace it. After steeping in capscacium for 2 hours, my hands are on fire!

The good news is that I have 7 pounds of prepared peppers ready for pickling as soon as hubby gets home and can help me.

I am thinking these will be surprise pickled peppers because about 10% of them are burning hot. I could feel it burn my eyes and lungs just from the air around the pepper as it was sliced. Most were sweet, but some were hot. Should make for a fun mix in the jars!

October 29, 2009

Finally, I see some evidence that we have a bee hive in our yard. The bees totally ignore all of my blooming landscape plants but were swarming the weeds!

Here is the garden in late October. The Hyacinth bean over the trellis did half way well, only the right side really grew great. I did not take the time this year to tend to the vine and make sure it grew over the top. This is what happens when it is allowed to just go crazy. If I don't go to the garden enough, the vines have a way of closing off the entrance and I have had to cut my way through the arbor.

The squash did not do so great this fall. Probably because right after they were planted, we replaced the fence and the garden got trampled repeatidly.

Here are a few small yellow squash. They are about the size of my thumb.

The peppers are doing great!

Mint has spread to 10x its original size (it was a 4" pot size in April).

Stevia has bloomed, but remained fairly short.

The pineapple sage is so pretty when it blooms, too bad bees can't see red!

Hill of Beans

With all the rain we have had this fall, I have not been able to get out into hte garden much. Yesterday, a rare sunny day, I decided the beans probably needed picking.

Boy did they ever! My quick stroll to the garden turned into 30 minutes of bean picking. The beans overflowed the basket I had brought. It totaled 6.5 pounds of beans, hooray!

I washed the beans by filling the sink with cool water and letting them float.

I then cut the ends off and sliced into 1-2 inch sections.

I blanched the beans in a large pot of boiling water for 3 minutes, then 3 minutes in an ice water bath before bagging, labeling and freezing. I found that about six hand fulls fills a 1 quart freezer bag perfectly.

I did four batches of beans and ended up with 3.5 quarts of frozen beans.

-Beans were tri-color bush bean mix from NorthHaven gardens
-the purple beans were very hard to see growing against the black soil
-only 4 beans were bug eaten out of the whole batch of 6.5 lbs
-the purple beans turn green when blanched.
-I found it easiest to work in batches of about 8 beans when cutting
-I had to drain the excess water out of the bags before sealing and freezing