General Discussions - 2011 - Chapter 36

Wake Forest, NC

We've slowed down some, so let's start a new chapter.

Dahlonega, GA

I'm here . digger

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Yup, me too. Jeanette

Dahlonega, GA

How'd I sneak in in front of you , Jnette ?
Sounds like your summer is 'bout over . It is here , the leaves are turning and dropping already . We should get some rain out of the tropical storm that has hit the gulf coast . Not in Texas tho , and they need it worse than us .

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Hi; guys!
just crept in from the sideline. Yes, summer is all but over. I did see some leaves starting to fall yesterday
but it was raining too as well as some wind. My tomato plants are loaded, so I have a few more days of canning. Had good luck with some peppers too so I guess I will have to make some salsa as well.
Then I am going to try drying some of the tomatoes. Hadn't done that before. So; Sally do you just slice them and dry or buzz them a bit in the food processor and dry that mess. lol
As you can tell I got up in the middle of the night. Headin back to bed though. Trying to build a 3 wheel 21 speed bike an one of those AH ha ideas came to me, so I had to write it down before I forgot it.

It's in the upper 40s tonight. Feels pretty good, so I guess we'll have a frost one of these nights.
Russ

Dahlonega, GA

Hi , Russ . On the toms, I slice them pretty thick and lay them in the dryer, not touching . They shrink down to real thin and if you cut the slices too thin , they shrink to nothing .I peel a bit of skin off the blossom end so the meat is exposed . You can then , when dried , put them in zip loc and freeze . Freezing helps keep any mould from forming later , keeps longer . Some will get dark over time , but doesn't hurt .
See, taking off for a coupla weeks didn't hurt you at all .Or the garden .
Johnny has been over at his sons all night cooking two briskets on the smoker . We pulled it over last week . If we get much rain , we'll have to leave it a few days so we can pull it uphill out of the back yard and not tear up the yard .They had brats last nite , and I'm taking baked beans today . I stayed home and enjoyed the couch and my own TV shows . He got his sons and grandsons together for a sleep over and man talk . He's the only drinker , so hope they took care of him and didn't ruin the brisket . LOL. Just kidding ! His three kids , eight grand kids , husband , wives , will be there and one wife and granddaughter could stay home . I wouldn't care .
I missed the gold miners meeting along with the annual picnic yesterday . Just too many people and food two days in a row and we have an annual "family and Friends" reunion next Sat at a dear friends farm . The women try to out cook each other and the host family will cook 100 chickens and a half a pig on an outdoor pit . Everyone comes hungry

Wake Forest, NC

I pulled up a lot of tomato vines that have ran their course.

My Better Boys and Lemon Boys are still producing but look tired.

Peppers still doing well.

The Ghost Peppers are living up to their reputation for being 1 of the hottest!

2nd planting of yellow squash doing well and blooming like crazy.

Russ, no 40's in the future for this area! 80's all week with 60's for lows.

With it being September, I am now ready for some Fall weather and watching the leaves change.

My hummingbirds are still wide open! They have provided us with a never-ending source of entertainment.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

We are just starting to get ripe tomatoes Russ and Sally. But, even tho our lows are in the low 60s, and down to 40s, a fellow living close by said they had 36 the other night. So, guess it can sneak up on you any time. I am afraid we will get hit without expecting it and lose everything out there.

I got some sweet bell peppers Kent, what did you do with the ghost peppers?

Connie, how is your garden doing? What about your neighbors? How were theirs?

Yes, fall is here. We had a short season and I am dreading the winter. Every spring I say I am not spending one more winter here. But, we are still here. I am turning the heat on in the mornings already to warm the house up and it never really gets hot. We don't have any central air or A/C. Don't need it.

Well folks, gotta check out the tomatoes. BTW, Digger do you ever dry the little cherry toms? I have a lot of those. Seems like they would be good? Let me know, I do have a lot of those down there. Thanks, Jeanette

Dahlonega, GA

I have tried cutting them in half and drying , but they shrunk up to a little larger than B B's so might be good for soup or something . I'd process skin on , and make sauce or put in zip loc's to cook with .

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Okay, Thick slices then it is.
I won't comment on the weeds that took over the white potatoes, for that two week excursion. But the enjoyment, out weighed any frustration of the weeds .
Oh and the Cannas that I planted " LATE " some of them are blooming, maybe just in time for a frost and then I will have to dig them up again. Next spring I will gather them up and put them right in my way, so I don't forget. lol

Wow "100 chick4ens and half a pig" that is going to be some reunion. Well if anybody goes away hungry it's their own fault right??

Wake Forest, NC

Jeanette: I grow the habaneros and ghost peppers just to give away to friends who like the heat!

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

LOL, with a friend like you Kent, who needs enemies. Jeanette

Dahlonega, GA

I posted some pictures on Country living forum last year . On a thread under "barn faces" I think
Edit , it's on Farm Life forum

This message was edited Sep 5, 2011 6:31 AM

Wake Forest, NC

OK, girls, last day to wear white!!! :-)

Thumbnail by KentNC
Dahlonega, GA

That's ok , Kent . You have to be thin to wear white pants or all the buldges will show . I haven't qualified for the last twenty years , so I won't miss it . LOL

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

LOL, haven't thought about that for a long time Kent. Since I retired. Actually, I never was one to worry about the BS of the "rule" makers. Sorry, that is the only word (?) I could come up with for it.

Dahlonega, GA

I went out awhile ago and stuck a shovel in the ground . Altho it's drizzled all day , it was only wet down an inch and half . Need a lot more rain . maybe tonight it'll be a little heavier . Kent , I hope you're not too far below the line of moisture. Forgot to add above Jnette , I freeze everything , will be giving my jars to the kids . Let them do all that canning work .I don't put up that much anymore .

Wake Forest, NC

digger: we're abnormally dry on the old drought chart. Glad I had a good well to water my veggies all summer.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I'm finally getting some ripe tomatoes. But for all the plants I put in I sure don't have many tomatoes. Instead of bales next year I think I am going to put my plants in buckets. Might be interesting to see the difference. Will start my plants in the house with seeds and then put them in buckets in the hoophouse.

I must say tho that I had a lot more huge tomatoes this year than in past years. I doubt if they will get ripe tho. I am going to take a sharp shovel out and cut the roots to see if that will rush them. One of the fellows in the tomato forum said to do that. Whatever works.

Dahlonega, GA

Yes, Kent , I'm in the boonies and have good luck . My well is 205' with 175' of water in it and I can run it all day with a sprinkler . Has never gotten low . The river is less than 1/8 mile from me and about 100' lower in elevation . I'm very fortunate.Nothing would have survived here this summer without watering .
Those toms will be good fried, Jnette , or salsa , or jelly .
All the bad weather was in the counties above us yesterday . One tornado , no serious injuries , but a lot of damage . We ended up with a slow rain that soaked into the ground with no runoff here . We had crackes in the yard here from the dry weather .

This message was edited Sep 6, 2011 6:13 AM

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Well it dipped to 28 degrees last night. I covered 2 tomato plants that were loaded with nice big green maters but the rest are toast. I picked a tote of green and some were kind of pink. Think those will go into salsa. So mostly all I have left is to dig taters. Have a few apples left on the tree but they didn't amount to much this year. smallest they have ever been. and I didn't get them sprayed so they got some worms too.
How bout you Jeanette. did you get frosted out too??
Russ

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Don't think yet. Haven't been down to see the tomatoes. Hope not, I have a lot of ripe ones I haven't picked yet. Plus a lot of green. You know Russ those " pink" ones will ripen up real good with a banana peel or piece of apple in a bag. Just a few days too. They also have a lot of flavor. I tried a couple of pretty green ones just to see a while back and they took about a week but were good.

You might try that. I made some Gazpacho the other day that was wonderful. Haven't had enough to can or anything. Might still have enough for that. But, better get out there and see. Might be counting the chickens before they hatch.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

I've let the pinkish ones sit and ripen before but this time I won't be doing so many as I just don't have the room. I'm making some rhubarb/strawberry jam.
then I want to put as many of the green tomatoes into salsa and I plan to try pickle some. I gave a bag full to a lady down the street and she was planning on making them into dill pickles. So thought I'd try it.
Dug up the rest of my sweet potatoes today also a few hills of the white potatoes.
That was enough to wear me out, either that or I just got lazy and took a long break.
The ground really got hard this year, at least where I didn't put down mulch.
Haven't made any plans for next year yet. although I plan to pick up some broiler chicks tomorrow
to fatten up and put in the freezer. Sounds like everything is going to go out of sight, so I'm doing what I can to at least eat. Might not be able to use the car as much, unless I get a job.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I have decided to freeze any tomatoes we haven't used and then can use them for sauce, Gazpacho, juice or whatever anytime in the winter that I want the nice flavor. I just put them on a cookie sheet and freeze them. Rinse them first and then I don't even peel the. After they are frozen I put them in gallon ziploc bags. Nice and easy for right now.

That is as far as I am going now. I bought 2 gallons of wild huckleberries and did the same with them. That way I can pour out as many as I need.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

I have a couple gallon bags of high bush cranberry, left over from 2 years ago. I'm thinking about turning into wine. I don't have any any thing to start with except the berries, so it won't happen just yet. Been thinking of doing the same with the rhubarb. Made some of that about 40 years ago, about 2" in the bottom of a glass and you were warm all over and it was sweet.
Don't know if I could repeat it or not. Probably shouldn't even try.
I have enough jellies to last another year, so really don't need more of that. Although the frost should have got the prickly pear cacti to ripen, Gary talked like he wanted to make some this year so I may help him and keep a couple jars for me.

I've tried to get huckleberries started here but haven't had much luck, may try again next year and make sure to mark where I plant them. Although I have some honey berries started and I just ordered a couple blue berry bushes.
Oh and just a note My apricots all fell off before they could ripen or even get any size to them. Hoping for better luck next year.

I may try freezing a few of the toms like you did just to try them later.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Russ, you know the tomatoes will not have the same texture after freezing that you want for BLTs. LOL

What is your altitude? They say the huckleberries don't grow berries on them until 3500 feet. Don't know if that is true or not. I know Raintree Nursery sells several different kinds of huckleberry bushes. As I am sure a lot of nurseries do.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

OMG, Kent, I wore white yesterday. I guess I not a very high class gal. Oh well, its okay as I can do what ever I like now that I am almost a senior citizen. They will just chalk it up to an age thing. eheheh
Heck I wear white all the time along with every other color except pink. Red is my signature color as is all of them in the hue, like rust, burgundy, barn red etc.
Hi everyone, haven't posted here in a while but I am still straw gardening and spreading the word. I have gotten four other folks in the area to give it a try. My strawberries are still my main crop though and that suits Phoebe just fine.
We should try and get together sometime Janett. We are pretty close.
I need to buy about 12 new bales for next year. I've had these for two and they are almost compost and I need to get my strawberries transplanted soon.

Thumbnail by Gourdbeader
Dahlonega, GA

Phoebe is as spoilt as one I had years ago . My Poco would turn a grapefruit half inside out and strip it bare . My Gertrude ate watermellons down to the rind . Oh , these fond memories we all have of our past loves .

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Jeanette; I like soups! Tomatoes will just about round out most any soup that I make. I even like the Navy diet soup. About the same as Dolly's 3 day diet soup.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Ok Russ, I am going to email you a best ever soup recipe in case I haven't sent it before. My sister and BIL in CA love it soooo much that they use up their tomatoes making it and freeze it for winter. I could not believe all the froze. He went to the store and bought 4 more containers after already filling several quart containers all to fill with that soup.

You will love it. Jeanette

Dahlonega, GA

Jnette, post it on the recipe forum under What's for dinner? And Russ you can post those recipes too . Only have to type them once . Please !

Wake Forest, NC

Thought I'd give just a quick update on my garden.

2nd season squash doing pretty well. Gonna do 2nd season cukes next year, too.

Peppers still producing well.

The Ghost Peppers have exceeded my wildest expectations - in production and the HEAT!! lol

Got'em from www.totallytomato.com - great site and catalog

Gonna build some more raised beds for my cukes next year. I've had them sprawl all these years. Going to trellis them next year. Tired of reaching over into a dbl row. Good friend, retired from NC State Univ. Horticultural Dept says studies show that trellised cukes produce more.

Planting very few heirloom tomatoes next year. The heat and diseases take too much of a toll to waste space in my garden.

Probably just going with Better Boys, Yellow Boys, and some Cherokee Purples (as my only heirloom).

Even my beloved Mexico Midgets have gotten diseased too quickly the last 2 years, so I'm giving up on them, too.

The South is H E Dbl L on heirloom tomatoes! LOL

That's about it for now

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Kent, good update except that you didn't tell us what you did with those Ghost peppers!!

Jeanette

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

I have just given up on tomatoes. It seems like we just don't have the quality growing season and when they finally do get going they just taste mushy or aren't good at all. I will just stick to my strawberries, sugar snap peas, herbs , geraniums, nasties, and zucchinis. I did plant some Rhubarb this year not in the bales but so that I can bake my strawberry rhubarb pies. Can you grow rhubarb in the bales. Seems like one of those things that you don't want to have to transplant every couple of years.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I wouldn't think the bales would last long enough for Rhubarb. But then I didn't think strawberries would do good in them either. Not that they wouldn't do good in them, just that the strawbales wouldn't hold up long enough for them.

Wonder why your tomatoes haven't done well. Amazingly enough this has been my best year for growing tomatoes. Isn't that something? In July I was singing the blues thinking I was not going to get even a green one on, and they have been so wonderful this year, even tho this has been an even shorter growing season. Go figure.

We did put the plastic back on the hoophouse over the weekend and it has started raining. But, it very easily could get down to frost, or even freezing any time. It was 33 last night about 50 miles south of us. But, they are out in the open with no mountains, hills, or trees and we have all of those for protection.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

I planted in the dirt this year, as I wasn't going to be home in July. Had many weeds to show for it too. But cleaned up most of the garden when we got home.
My hybrid tomatoes did not do very well, however the old standby ( Rutgers ) did very well. Wish I had setup a hoop house, as many nice lush big green ones have now been through several nights of 28 to 30 degrees. Oh well, I did can some and made some salsa. Even took some of the green ones in to ripen as well as make green salsa too. I had some to give to friends as well so I am still satisfied with this years tomatoes.
I am slowly cutting back though as I am putting in more permanent things such as blue berries, grapes, cherries, apricots and a few other fruit trees. Think I will be happy with buying frozen veggies ( peas, carrots, beans and such but will still raise tomatoes, I had a hard time believing the farmers market was getting $3.00 per lb. for tomatoes.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

I have not bought any new strawberry plants in 3 years. I just keep transplanting the starts and some of the original plants. My bales last me 2 years then I break them down for compost. I get the best strawberries in the neighborhood and have got many folks to start stawbale gardening in our little town and a few on the outskirts.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Gourdbeader; You are one lucky person, to be in a zone where you can do that. Here the straw berry plants would freeze dry the roots unless they are in the ground then it is advisable to mulch them in the winter. I tried them in containers and lost them. So haven't tried them in straw bales, though the bales should insulate better than dirt, I would think.
My garden is all done for this year so I spent this afternoon picking up about a bzillion walnuts from the front yard. I'd cut the tree down but I would miss the shade and it would take too long for another shade tree to get that big. Maybe go another year or two then just go without any tree in that area.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

I picked enough strawberries yesterday to make strawberry shortcake for two of us. They were as big as small limes. I usually get berries up until November. Everbearing strawberries. Yum.

Dahlonega, GA

Russ , don't you dare cut that tree .
Gourd , you know how to hurt a gal

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