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Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/9/2014, 7:23 pm

Looks too nice to even use!  

I knock my knuckles so often when I'm chopping that I'd love a knife whose blade is offset a bit more from the handle than typical western knives.  One day I'll get a shun knife of some sort.

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 9/9/2014, 7:24 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Looks too nice to even use!  

I knock my knuckles so often when I'm chopping that I'd love a knife whose blade is offset a bit more from the handle than typical western knives.  One day I'll get a shun knife of some sort.
Hehe, a lot of people actually DON'T use the anniversary edition knife, they just mount it or some such silliness.

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  sanderson on 9/10/2014, 1:24 am

Brainchasm, Nice!

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/6/2014, 12:03 am



Wish me luck........

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  sanderson on 10/6/2014, 2:10 am

I wish you Luck!  What are the Reds?

PS I just noticed the rubber gloves Very Happy

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/6/2014, 12:58 pm

Well, that's done.  And took longer than expected (but hey, first time!).



The red ones were ripe Hungarian Blacks (sorta like a jalapeno).

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  sanderson on 10/6/2014, 1:17 pm

way to go   Looks like a pro did them.

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/6/2014, 1:23 pm

I had the Ball Canning Book...how could I go wrong?

I made sure to keep everything sterile and hot and clean the whole way through.  I had to go to Walmart to get everything, and didn't get started until 9pm.  I think I finally took the jars out of the bath at 12:45am, ha!  I filled all twelve half-pint jars I bought, and had about 12-14oz left over, so I put that in a sealable container and tossed it in the fridge...we'll use that up first. Smile

The jar lifter and funnel were easily the best things I bought for this project, aside from the obvious things that were required.

It was definitely an interesting way to preserve that particular harvest, but if I do anything low-acid I'll need to get the pressure-cooker, and that thing's not cheap, grrr.

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  sanderson on 10/6/2014, 1:57 pm

Still, congrats! What is in that little green jar to the right? I can't read the label. Yep, I bought the tongs and funnel, and jars. Now I just need a crop and time to give it a try.

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/6/2014, 2:41 pm

The jar was low/no-sugar pectin.  Easier than reducing a giant pot of puréed peppers and cider vinegar for an hour. Wink

My recipe was basically 1lb hot peppers (before stemming, slicing, and seeding), and 3lbs green bell peppers, (before the sames).  One whole bottle of Heinz Apple Cider vinegar (947mL or whatever), 8 cups of sugar, and one whole jar of that pectin, I think it was 4.3oz.

Prep the peppers.  Once they're ready, wash all your equipment for canning, and get the jars, lids, and rings heating up.  THEN...

Cook the stemmed, sliced, deseeded peppers in the vinegar for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the peppers soften.  Drain in a colander, and then press with whatever to squeeze out excess liquid.  Purée the peppers, then add them back to the vinegar "stock" and return to medium-high heat.  Add sugar slowly, stirring and ensuring it's dissolved.  Finally, add the pectin.  Get it to a rolling boil (I bumped up the heat), and do that for a minute, then remove from heat and start filling jars.  Put the filled, sealed jars in the carrier, get that pot to a hard boil, then drop the carrier in for fifteen minutes.  Turn off the heat, lift carrier, remove jars and allow to cool on a cutting board...and enjoy the PING!s. Very Happy

A co-worker who's into all this homemade stuff I make just opened the first jar, and declared it amazing, and frankly impossibly good for a first try.  Embarassed

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  CapeCoddess on 10/7/2014, 7:36 am

This is fantastic, BC! Nicely done!   okay

I'm still nervous about water bath canning and prefer to pressure can. I love the idea of low/ no sugar pectin. I wonder if we could use a  pectin loaded fruit like apples in place of that?   Wonder what they used back in the days of no store bought pectin?

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/9/2014, 12:44 am

Welp, went through my seed stash to pick out what I can grow this winter...

Bloomsdale Long-standing spinach
Touchon carrots
Cosmic Purple carrots
French Breakfast radishes
Thomas Laxton peas
Italian Red Bottle aka Long Red Florence onions
Red Inchelium garlic

and then I ordered...

Chioggia beets
Golden beets
Early Purple Sprouting broccoli
Purple of Sicily cauliflower

from Baker.

So here's hoping I can be planting this weekend!  Beds still need to be amended (and in some cases, cleared of current occupants), but I've got the compost in the garage, and the girlfriend will be at an event, and I tested the chipper/shredder last night and dosed my compost tumbler, so now it's just about getting out there and doing it!

I do still want to order new drip lines and a timer from Dripworks, but that will keep for a bit.

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/11/2014, 9:03 pm

Did some serious planning and re-architecting on paper, and pulled trigger on some new drip irrigation gear.  Lessons learned the past couple seasons...now to apply said knowledge. Smile

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/11/2014, 11:27 pm

My seeds arrived!

And my bonus seed was...GMO-free Red Romaine!  Very Happy

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  sanderson on 10/12/2014, 12:37 am

BC, what changes are you making with the irrigation system?

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/12/2014, 2:25 am

Well right now, Plot A has a single 1/4" line with emitters spaced every 6", and it runs up over the wall of the bed, in, hits a few corners, and then spirals to the center.  It's a long line, and that's a bad thing.

Plot C has like five lines going in, and just...trying to cover things sorta.  It works ehhh, ok, but I want it to make sense.

Those both happened because I ran out of line when I was doing Plot B, which has eight lines arching up and over, making six foot long straight runs.  Excellent coverage!

So the redesign will involve non-emitter tubing (so I don't lose water outside the beds) going straight up to bed edge, then a right angle connector, and THEN emitter tubing, running straight to the other end of the bed; basically, just like Plot B is now, with some tidying up.  Math says I need a 100' spool of 6" spaced 1/4" inch tubing, a bag of right angle barbs, some more goof plugs, and a bag of inline barbs.

All that, plus my leftovers from the original order two seasons ago, and I should be set. Smile

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  sanderson on 10/12/2014, 3:15 am

Being in LV, it sounds like a very worthwhile project. I remember your arched tubes from a prior photo. The 90* angles will just seem, well, crisper, neater? Are your interior dimensions 4 x 4 or larger? Will the result be 4 drips per square? That's what I have, even in the table tops.

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/12/2014, 3:54 am

Yep, interior dimensions are 4x4. Smile

In other news, the compost pile I built earlier today...it's not even a big pile...



Shocked

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  sanderson on 10/12/2014, 4:02 am

What did you put in it! What a Face  .I'm really interested in more info. You can PM me or post here.

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  FamilyGardening on 10/12/2014, 8:13 am

Very Happy  Those jars look so pretty!!

Happy gardening
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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/12/2014, 5:41 pm

@sanderson wrote:What did you put in it! What a Face  .I'm really interested in more info.  You can PM me or post here.
About 30lbs of freshly shredded tomato forest.  I mixed it into the tumbler with a compost load that had gone cold, let it go warm a few days, then dumped it out into my cinder block compost enclosure because the tumbler was pissing me off.  Mixed it with what had been idling in the block enclosure, added about 5-10 more pounds of fresh shredded greens, and heaped it high.  I don't think it's even 3x3.  It was at 138degF this morning at 830am, but has been slowly cooling down all day, even though it was in the sun.  It's at about 130degF now, so I may finish clearing my beds, shred all that greenery, and add it to the pile and re-blend it today.

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/12/2014, 5:42 pm

@sanderson wrote:Being in LV, it sounds like a very worthwhile project.  I remember your arched tubes from a prior photo.  The 90* angles will just seem, well, crisper, neater?  Are your interior dimensions 4 x 4 or larger?  Will the result be 4 drips per square?  That's what I have, even in the table tops.
Old way:



New way!:



Smile

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  sanderson on 10/12/2014, 10:28 pm

Your second photo answered a question I didn't ask, which was, will the drips also include the cinder block pockets.  I see that they do.  

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/14/2014, 10:09 pm

Welp, it is done.  Well, half done.

I picked all the chili and bell peppers that were out in the garden.  The plants were still throwing flowers and pushing baby peppers everywhere, but I needed to pull the plants so I could prep the third and final bed.

Fed the plants to the ol' chipper/shredder, and knocked down my not-impressively-hot compost pile again.  Looked like it was too wet, so I spread it out some, tossed it around a bit, and generally aired it out decently.  My fault for watering it last night. Razz

Added the now-shredded pepper plants, such browns as I could find, tossed it around some more, added the ash from my firepit (was all untreated wood, unbleached package inserts, and the small pieces of palm tree debris), and gave it yet ANOTHER toss.  Made my pile, poked the compost thermometer in it, and here we go...7pm and 78degF, slightly warmer than ambient.  Let's see what it gets up to by bedtime!

As to the pepper haul...looks like I may need to do Canning, The Sequel: Even More Pepper Jam.  Very Happy  Shocked  Mad  tongue

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

Post  brainchasm on 10/15/2014, 3:45 pm

This morning, 13 hours later, it was up to 120degF.  Here's hoping it's higher when I get home from work!

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Re: Newbie in Las Vegas, year 1!

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