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New England Harvest 2012

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New England Harvest 2012

Post  camprn on 8/24/2012, 9:12 am

The harvest is in full swing, In my garden that means tons of green beans, the beets and carrots are ready, tomatoes almost there, peppers are putting on weight, aubergine coming out the ears. And I think I have one okra. Very Happy

How are you all processing your harvest for storage?

I think it is almost time to lop off the tops of the tomatoes and the Brussels sprouts to encourage development of fruits and the sprouts. I have to add more mix to the leeks so they blanch higher on the stalk. Seed collection is happening. I have to plan for September garden chores. Shocked

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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  cpl100 on 8/24/2012, 10:29 am

You can use those 'green bags' to keep your carrots and beets in your fridge for a very long time. My carrots keep for at least two months and my beets for longer than that. Leave a little stem on the beets.

What do you mean by lop off the top of the tomatoes?
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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/24/2012, 11:55 am

Tomatoes are going into the freezer whole. Cucs are getting thrown into the huge jar of pickle juice I got at BJ's when I last bot pickles there.

So far we are eating everything else but that may change shortly as it's all starting to come pretty fast.

Leafy greens, radishes, peas, scallions & beans will be flash blanched then frozen. (I just made that up to mean a few seconds in boiling water as opposed to minutes:)

Beets, zucchinis, bell peps & carrots will probably be roasted then frozen. Maybe I'll stick some tomatoes in there, too.

Jalapenos will be made into salsa.

I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with turnips and kohlrabi, but they haven't grown up yet, still sprouts.

CC


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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  cpl100 on 8/24/2012, 12:04 pm

I had a farm share in a CSA last fall. I got kohlrabi and turnip. I just used the last turnip last week in a soup. It was as perfect as the day I got it. Stored it in a green bag in fridge. Kohlrabi will store a very, very long time in a green bag. You can shred it for a coleslaw or added to salad or you can stir fry it or you can use it in soup for a nice added flavor. Don't rush yourself using these two or the beets. My beets from my farm share last fall lasted many months in the vegetable bin in my fridge in green bags.

Have you frozen whole tomatoes in the past? Last year in my winter farm share they gave us tomatoes that they had cut in half, sealed into Foodsaver bags and frozen. They looked perfect. Can't remember if I've used them yet or not.

Have you blanched and frozen swiss chard? I am wondering about that one. I know it can be done with kale.

I have made refrigerator cucumbers with the over-abundance of my farm share this summer. They take a week to cure and last a very long time (as far as safety goes; they do lose a little 'crispness' over several months time). It is quite easy to do.

Regarding kale: I just learned you can make a pesto with this and am going to try that today if I have time. It calls for walnuts vs. pine nuts.
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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  camprn on 8/24/2012, 12:26 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Tomatoes are going into the freezer whole. Cucs are getting thrown into the huge jar of pickle juice I got at BJ's when I last bot pickles there.

So far we are eating everything else but that may change shortly as it's all starting to come pretty fast.

Leafy greens, radishes, peas, scallions & beans will be flash blanched then frozen. (I just made that up to mean a few seconds in boiling water as opposed to minutes:)

Beets, zucchinis, bell peps & carrots will probably be roasted then frozen. Maybe I'll stick some tomatoes in there, too.

Jalapenos will be made into salsa.

I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with turnips and kohlrabi, but they haven't grown up yet, still sprouts.

CC


I blanched my chard leaves for freezing in the microwave until it was wilted, then smushed it into a freezer bag. I will use this process again. Green beans are a 3-4 minute blanch and the peas are a 2 minute blanch. I actually have one summer squash plant making a comeback after being ravaged by the SVB. I will probably dehydrate those, if they really start coming in. Pickled beets and I may try to cold store some. Carrots are going in the freezer and try to cold storage some. Turnips I never got in the ground but you can cold storage them. Sometimes if dipped in wax they will last a lot longer. I have never tried that.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  cpl100 on 8/24/2012, 12:29 pm

Did you cut up the chard first or use the leaf whole? I know that kale is supposed to be cut chiffonade style, blanched and frozen. Wondering if it is the same method.

BTW, CC: Be sure to really scrub your cucumbers. Also, most recipes call for the blossom end to but cut off the cucumber prior to brining.
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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  camprn on 8/24/2012, 12:36 pm

@cpl100 wrote:Did you cut up the chard first or use the leaf whole? I know that kale is supposed to be cut chiffonade style, blanched and frozen. Wondering if it is the same method.

BTW, CC: Be sure to really scrub your cucumbers. Also, most recipes call for the blossom end to but cut off the cucumber prior to brining.
I used to freeze the stems, but no longer. I just cut the stems off at the beginning of the leaf. I may freeze the stems separately to use later in soup stock.
I gathered a bunch of washed chard leaves in hand and used a scissors to cut them up and into a bowl they went. Microwaved and voila! it was so easy and a time saver and no loss of nutrients in water.

My understanding with cuke blossom ends is that if left on the canned cukes will be mushy.

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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  camprn on 8/24/2012, 12:52 pm

Ways to store beets and carrots for future use.
http://jules138.blogspot.com/2010/07/storing-beets-old-fashioned-way-kind-of.html

http://pickyourown.org/freezing_beets.htm

http://www.gardenguides.com/75139-store-beets.html

http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/carrotstorage.html

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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/24/2012, 1:22 pm

I fast blanch my greens whole while holding them by the stem end, then roll them up like a log in a plastic bag after they've cooled & throw them in the freezer. That way I can take out the 'log' and chop off however much I want from the end and put the log back in the freezer.

CC
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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  cpl100 on 8/24/2012, 2:38 pm

Here is a link I think you will find useful regarding storage of vegetables.

http://sharedharvestcsa.com/veggie-storage-tips/
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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  cpl100 on 8/27/2012, 12:44 pm

Today I made my first harvest! I got enough swiss chard for two dinners, about 10 beans, a very small beet and some beet greens. They are beet greens because the beet size is negligible. Also got tried pulling some radishes that were supposed to be ready but were not. After pulling 3 of them, I gave up on the other 4 for today. They look like they need at least another week. I guess that is probably because they have been so shaded by the bean leaves and beet leaves. (good/valid hypothesis?) I left one chard plant in the square because it was considerably smaller than the others so hope it will keep growing and spread out now since it has lots of room.

I ate the beans with my lunch and they were very good, too! It is very difficult to pick them, though, since there are so many leaves and the plants (though bush beans) are sprawling all over my box unfortunately!
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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  camprn on 8/27/2012, 3:44 pm

cpl, did you know you can cut the leaves from the chard plants and the plant will grow more leaves?

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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  cpl100 on 8/27/2012, 5:48 pm

@camprn wrote:cpl, did you know you can cut the leaves from the chard plants and the plant will grow more leaves?

Yes. That is one thing I did know. I chose to harvest the plants though for three reasons:

1. They are almost completely covered by the leaves of the bean plants.

2. They were shading my carrots and I want them to grow!

3. I want to try something else (lettuce) in that spot.

Thanks for advising me, though.
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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  camprn on 8/27/2012, 5:54 pm

@cpl100 wrote:
@camprn wrote:cpl, did you know you can cut the leaves from the chard plants and the plant will grow more leaves?

Yes. That is one thing I did know. I chose to harvest the plants though for three reasons:

1. They are almost completely covered by the leaves of the bean plants.

2. They were shading my carrots and I want them to grow!

3. I want to try something else (lettuce) in that spot.

Thanks for advising me, though.
Wink Just checking. Your thinking is sound!

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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  cpl100 on 8/27/2012, 6:22 pm

For a change! I hope the lettuce will 'take' this time. Just planting one because I do have one chard plant left in the square and I had already put some spinach seeds into the other side of the square. So far I have not had luck with lettuce but maybe it was just the heat (rather than my error).
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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/28/2012, 3:15 pm

cpl, I vote that it's the heat! I've been planting all kinds of lettuce & such thru out the summer, even heat resistant, and if they sprout at all they take forever to get to any size that I can eat or they bolt first.

Sooooo...this is what I did this weekend in the basement:


I have 3 different lettuces, 3 types of spinach and lots of 1 kale. I also planted some seeds in my newest box that gets shade the 2nd half of the day. *crossing my fingers*

CC
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Re: New England Harvest 2012

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/29/2012, 3:00 pm

I'll be ding danged! They spouted already! All except the spinach that is. Should I leave the spinach in the basement to sprout, or keep them with the others in the dappled sun bay window? What would you do?

CC
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