Gifted vegies are the best; ‘course the ones you grow are too. :O) Anyway, I was given a long cucumber and I don’t like to eat them raw, so I made 3 half-pint jars of Dill Pickle Relish.
Dill Pickle Relish
2 cups chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped small green tomatoes
1/3 cup red bell pepper
1 cup cider vinegar
3 tsp. dill seed
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp. canning salt
Place all ingredients in an enamel or stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Ladle into jars and seal. Place in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove, sit on a towel, and wait for the popping sealing sound.
The potato plants are drying out at different times; some are still green and some have been dry for a week or more. This morning at 6:30 I went up into the garden and dug up 17 of the dry plants. Believe me hunting in the dirt for potatoes is not easy work. I think I only sliced through 3 potatoes with my shovel. After an hour of digging the sun starting coming up over the tree line and I was getting tired so I stopped; covered in sweat. There are still about 15 or so dry potato plants to dig up and I’ll be out there in the morning doing it all over again.
Once I finished with the potato digging I decided to make my corn relish before canning the potatoes. This is a recipe I made up.
Southwest Style Corn Relish
Makes 2 pints
2 cups fresh corn
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp canning salt
1/2 c. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. cilantro
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. lime juice
Place all ingredients in an enamel or stainless steel pan. (A large stainless saucepan is big enough.)
Bring to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes.
While relish is boiling get your jars and boiling water bath ready.
Fill jars with hot relish and place on your lids and tighten the rings.
Place in boiling water bath. (Remember the boiling water should cover your jars by 1-inch.) Leave in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars; sitting them in a draft free place. Wait for the lid popping sound and you’re done.
After putting the relish away I canned 4 quarts of the potatoes I picked this morning. The recipe and instructions I used came from my Kerr Canning Book.
Dug up more of the potato plants this morning; 18 today leaving 10 green plants up in the garden. Dug up another wash tub full. I canned another 4 quarts. There were lots of little ones attached to the large potatoes and some small ones so I decided to put them away in pint jars for stew this winter. I don’t know why I insist on putting myself through all this work. I guess I just can’t throw good food away.
To prepare the little ones I stood at the sink using my dish scrunchy and rubbed all skin off each one under running water. I had to trim off each one. Potatoes have a tendency to turn brown after they’ve been peeled for a while so I place them in a bowl of cool water with a squirt or two of lemon juice. I always rinse them before I place them in the jars. I do the same lemon water soak with my cut potatoes I placed in the quart jars.
It was a busy weekend and I could use a day off now. :O) I will say I enjoyed myself. I LOVE TO CAN. Have I mentioned that?
The weekend was a hot as the week and the fields, woods,and creeks are drying up. I heard they have banned fireworks in our county and the next one (Fort Smith,AR’s county). Guess the 4th won’t be much of one unless we get a good soaking rain for a day. We’ve deer on our property that graze in our field behind the garden and drink from a spring just down below the hill from our house. We’ve seen generations of these same deer over the years and one doe has had several sets of twins. Dad and I went out for supper this evening and on the way in we saw four of them by the spring. They just stood there and looked at us as we drove by. I saw the buck in the back field last Thursday. It was the first time I’ve seen him in the open.
Well enough about the pretty deer. Hope everyone had a GREAT weekend and the same for the week to come.
I’ve picked 10 tomatoes so far but the plants are full. I’m afraid to let them ripen fully on the vine because of the “sucky bugs” You know, the ones that suck the juice from the tomatoes. I’ve no idea what they are. ? I dislike using it but I sprinkle Sevin Dust on the tomato plants.
I also picked 3 more bell peppers that are green, not orange. I’ve one plant that I have left the bell peppers on longer than the others and they are not turning ornage either. The sun has partically baked them with a sun spot. As I said in an eariler post I can’t eat green bell peppers so I’ll be giving these way.
I’ve yet to get gas for my new (replacement) tiller so the garden is a bit grass. I am thankful that most of the grass growing amoungst the plants is crabgrass so it is easy to pull up.
The potato plants are still greenish; there is one in the garden that is still flowering. I can’t believe that, but there it is. :O)
I was watering the green beans and picking them at the same time Friday night. I only got 3 pts. and one 1/2 pt. So far that makes 13 1/2 pts this year. The plants are still lush, green and flowering so I’ve hopes yet of canning more than 30 pts.
The weather is supposed to turn HOTTER (100 degrees plus) with no rain in site for next week. I see the water bill going up. :O)
When I water tonight I’m going to put some 10-20-10 fertilizer around the plants. They look like they could use it.
May YOUR garden produce beyond your expectations.
Morning sun on the green beans and corn.
I went out before breakfast and picked the green beans. I didn’t get as many as the other day. While I was in the garden I dug up two potato plants that had dried up. I got 4 big potatoes and a few medium sized. I have one tomato that is just about vine ripe and I am dying to pick it.
My Dad will be home today from his Bluegrass Festival. I hope I get the green beans canned before he arrives.
The corn ears are getting larger. When do you know they’re ready to pick? Last year my Dad took care of the corn so I didn’t pay any attention to the proper picking time. Guess I could ask him when he gets home but, what do ya’ll think.?
It Rained and it’s gonna rain again tonight! I dug down into the dirt in the garden this evening and it was moist down over 2″. I don’t know how much rain we got last night, but the lightning show was terrific.
I am proud to finally say that the Blue Lake Green Beans are blooming.
I am so looking forward to canning some green beans this year. Three years ago I canned 52 pints. The past 2 years I’ve grown Purple Hull Peas along with the Green Beans. The Peas produced like crazy and the Green Beans hardly produced at all. My guess is that the insects that pollinate the Beans were too busy pollinating the Purple Hull Peas; they must be sweeter or something. Last year the bees, bumble bees, wasps, hornets, dirt dobbers,..well anything with wings, were all over the Purple Hull Peas but not the beans. This year there are NO peas in the garden.
Here’s a couple of fruitful plant pictures.
It has not rained in over 2 weeks now and the ground is very dry. I’ve noticed that the ground in the deep woods along our lane to the house are looking dry. Even though, the queens anne lace, yarrow, and the black-eyed susans are blooming like crazy along the road sides and fields. There is a queens anne lace that bloomed last year right next to the mailbox and this year it is back; so pretty.
This is last yrs. bloom:
The garden is doing well. I am having to water something everyday. I’ve a rotation on the watering of the corn, green beans and tomatoes to every other day. I keep waiting for the green beans to bloom, but I’ve not seen any. I just know that they would if the rain would shower on them. There is just something about rain water that is better than tap water that just makes plants come alive.
The potato plants still have blooms on top of them. I’d say the blooms have been there a couple of weeks; looks like a flower garden.
My orange bell pepper plants are making, but the peppers are green so far. I am new to growing these and I don’t understand why they’re green and not orange. Perhaps they will turn orange as they mature. (?) I know if they don’t I’ll have to give them away; green bell peppers don’t like me.
It is time to plant the okra and I’ve got a bit of a grassy patch in the garden where they go. This morning 7:00 ish I headed up there to till and in the end it didn’t go well. I started with the grassy patch (did I mention Bermuda Grass? Previous Post) and just as I finished that the tiller died. I discovered it had Bermuda grass wrapped all around the blades; so I cut that out with some sissors. The tiller wouldn’t start. I looked at the blades and discovered that one of the locking pins was not sitting right so I took it out with much effort. I compared it to the other side and that sides pin moved freely. So I reset the blades by pushing them toward the center (the blades are removeable for putting on an attachment) and replaced the locking pin. The tiller did not start. The tiller went back into the shed and I am in my cool house in front of my fan. Bad side…I did need to till a few patches of grass here and there. Good side of this story…I did what I went out to do.
These cute round things came off of the volunteer plants in the garden that I guessed in a eariler post are squash. They look more like zucchini pumpkins. Has anyone had this happen before?
Oh and, those are my first Sweet Banana Peppers of the season.
How nice it is to get out at 7 a.m. and see the beginning of the day when you don’t have to go to work. I saw a huge red headed woodpecker in front of the house; he sure makes a loud noise. In the garden, a ruby throated hummingbird flew within a 2 feet of me looking for flowers. The two little birds who have been eating the dewberries were out to greet me. I was reading a post by a fellow Blogger about his morning yesterday and was inspired to write that this morning.
This morning I was out early to place the metal fence posts between the tomato plants. I use these because they’re sturdy; no falling over. My Dad made a “post slammer” out of a long piece of metal pipe (about 4 feet long) and welded the end with lots iron. You place this over the end of the post and slam it into the ground. Such fun. UGH! Now that that is done I have to find enough baleing twine to tie up the tomato plants.
It is looking like RAIN. Could we be so lucky?
I finally tilled the garden this evening. We’ve been having chances of rain for the past couple of days and all we got here were sprinkles. The temps have gone down for this week to the mid 70s. I am loving it! The garden is flourishing and as I was tilling I saw I had a sweet banana pepper on one plant. I pulled up a few radishes yesterday. I really need to plant more. The volunteer squash plants continue to bloom, but no squash yet.
I mentioned potato bugs in my last post and today I worked on getting rid of them. Instead of opting for pesticides I went plant by plant looking for eggs and bugs. I used my scissors to cut the adult bugs in half and I trimmed the leaves off with the babies & eggs on them; placing them in a bucket. I took the bucket and dumped it in the woods AWAY from the house. I’m sure I didn’t get them all so I’ll have to keep an eye on the plants. I would still love any suggestions on removing them other than picking them off.
Here’s a pic. of the bug whos babies were eating the leaves off my potato plants.
COLORADO POTATO BEETLE
It’s been a VERY busy last few days. My Dad is now home from Rehab and is doing well with his new knee. The garden is showing my lack of attention.
Potato bugs are on my potato plants. Any suggestions out there on a quick REMOVAL and killing the eggs?? The plants currently look great and a few are flowering.
The garden is in desperate need of tilling and I HATE hot weather so I am waiting till this evening. Todays high is supposed to be 91 degrees. UGH!
The rest of the garden is looking really good. I am quite pleased.
Flowering potato plants.