Thursday, July 31, 2014

Harvest Smart

Thanks to staggered planting, we have extended harvest for some crops. So, keep up with harvesting Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower. You should still find plenty of Zucchini and Carrots too.

By now, your Turnips, Kohlrabi, and Beets should be safely tucked away, but just in case, you should collect the last of them now. If you let them get too big, they just get tough.

The new thing to watch for though is Rutabaga.

My trusty preserving book says that Rutabagas are not recommended for pressure canning. It says it's better to keep them is cold storage. However, it does give canning instructions. Once again, I wish I had a root cellar.

Rutabagas:
Pressure Canning: (I use pints)
  • Wash and peel.
  • Cube or slice.
  • Cover with boiling water and boil for 3 minutes
  • Drain, reserving liquid.
  • Pack into jars and cover with the hot liquid, leaving 1 inch at the top.
Cook for 25 minutes at 10 pounds
Remember what I said about following canner directions.

To Freeze:
  • Harvest while tender. Avoid any that are too big
  • Wash and Trim
  • Peel and slice or dice into 1/2 inch pieces or smaller
  • Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes or in steam for 4 minutes
It's kind of exciting to be accumulating so many goodies, isn't it
Happy harvesting

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Harvest, Harvest, Harvest

Yep, that's the name of the game for this time of year, but don't neglect the weeding. The more weeds you can keep out of your garden, the less, ultimately you will have to fight with. Really. Take my word for it. Sorry it's such a huge project.

Today, like before, check for Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Turnips, Kohlrabi, and Beets.

Carrots should also start showing something big enough to harvest. poke a finger down around them to see if they're big enough, just remember to cover up that root again if you leave it. The less green in the root, the less you'll waste when you are canning them up.

The best part about today is that you should start finding some Zucchini big enough to take. You'll want to pick these when they are about as long as your hand, though some have gotten away from me and become much bigger. Zucchini doesn't can well, but you can do it. For us though it is mostly fried for the evening vegetable. If you like pickles, they make good sandwich pickles. My mom used to make the best zucchini pickles. I wish I had her recipe.

sigh
Happy Harvesting
See you next time

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer's Hump Day

Well sorta. At this point, summer is half over. Are you still weeding? You should be. But make time for harvest too. Today you should find some Broccoli, and of course there aught to be more cauliflower. If everything went well, there should be some cabbages too. And of course, lets not forget to look for turnips and kohlrabi. New to our search would be beets.

This is midsummer but if it happens to be cool enough, there is time enough for another crop of spinach. Think about this decision carefully because spinach is a cool crop, and if it's too hot it will spring straight to flowers and be too tough to harvest. It's better to leave an empty row than to waste all that time for nothing.

Freezing broccoli:

Rince, peel, and trim away any yellowing florets.
Split lengthwise into pieces not more the 1 1/2 inches across.
Soak in cold salt water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Rinse well and pick over.
Blanch in boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes or in steam for 3 to 5 minutes.

Canning Beets:

Cut off tops, leaving 1-inch stem and root to prevent bleeding.
Wash
Boil until skins slip.
Skin, trim, cut, and pack into jars to 1/2 inch of top
Cover with boiling water.
Cook at 10lb for 30 minutes if using pints.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Season of Harvest

Now that everything is planted, most of your attention should be given over to weeding. If you can manage to devote a couple hours every day to the task, so much the better; your harvest will reward you for your effort.

Today, you should also find some cauliflower ready to harvest. Be careful and cut only those heads that are ready. With luck the plant will continue to produce smaller heads that can perhaps go directly to the table.

Also keep an eye out for more turnips and kohlrabi. Only take the biggest ones and preferably no bigger than the palm of your hand.

Freezing cauliflower:

Wash and break into florets.
Peel and split stems.
Soak in salt water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Rinse well.
Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, or in steam for 5 minutes.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

It's July

This is it. The last of your babies are due to be set out in the garden. That row should be all filled up now. How does that feel?

But now the other end of the spectrum has just begun. Now it's time to look for things to harvest. With luck, you should still be working on Spinach, that's probably about over. However you can start looking for Turnips and Kohlrabi.

My trusty preserving book says that turnips are not recommended for pressure canning. It says it's better to keep them is cold storage. However, it does give canning instructions. I'd probably have to go that route - I wish I had a root cellar.

Turnips:
Pressure Canning:
  • Wash and peel.
  • Cube or slice.
  • Cover with boiling water and boil for 3 minutes
  • Drain, reserving liquid.
  • Pack into jars and cover with the hot liquid, leaving 1 inch at the top.
Cook for 25 minutes at 10 pounds
Remember what I said about following canner directions.

Freezing:
  • Slice or cube
  • Blanch in boiling water for 2 1/2 minutes
Kohlrabi:
Freezing:
  • Slice or cube
  • Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes or in steam for 4 minutes
There were no canning instructions for kohlrabi. Now I really wish I had a root cellar.

See you next time. Are you having fun yet?