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Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  cheyannarach on 9/10/2013, 3:07 pm

We don't have frost in our 10 day forecast yet and I'll cross my fingers for you Turan! I still have one tomato plant in the plant inn with green tomatoes I am hoping will ripen in the next few weeks along with about 10 different pepper plants in there too. I will be able to close it up for a few frosts! bbbbb
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  mschaef on 9/12/2013, 10:57 am

There is no frost in sight yet, all the website I have check said mid September for the first one. I am going to continue to hang on to my garden hoping that more of my tomatoes turn red. I froze 3.6 lbs of them this morning with loads of green ones still on the vine. Going to go out today to see what else I can find.
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  cheyannarach on 9/12/2013, 12:15 pm

That's awesome!  I canned 14 pints of salsa with tomatoes my in laws brought us back from Missouri and some I bought at my local greenhouse!  They brought me back a bunch of peaches and my dad bought me some Colorado peaches so I am canning some peach and jalapeno peach jam today!!  I am thankful for friends and family with extras since I had some pretty back luck in the garden this year!
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  sanderson on 9/12/2013, 11:54 pm

Are any of you in the rain and flooding area? Denver, Manitou, CO?
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  johnp on 9/13/2013, 10:45 am

We are about 30 miles south of Manitou but got enough rain (4 inches) that we can 't get out of our main driveway as it has washed out so deep we have a high pressure gas line exposed. We have a circular driveway and other side is passable. We picked and roasted most of our pimento's the day before yesterday and roasted a batch of  tomatillo's for sauce. It was the first time roasting on the grille for the tomatillos and it really worked well. Our neighbor had a truck load of peaches delivered from the western slope so we were able to can eight jars of peach marmalade. Last Sunday we made and froze three quarts of tomato sauce as well as canning six more jars of pickle relish. My wife informed me that if I can any more we will have to buy a bigger home.
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  cheyannarach on 9/14/2013, 6:17 pm

Lol, if she wants You can send me some of your goods to free up some space Wink
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Triciasgarden on 9/15/2013, 1:37 pm

funny post
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Turan on 9/15/2013, 1:45 pm

@johnp wrote:We are about 30 miles south of Manitou but got enough rain (4 inches) that we can 't get out of our main driveway as it has washed out so deep we have a high pressure gas line exposed. We have a circular driveway and other side is passable. We picked and roasted most of our pimento's the day before yesterday and roasted a batch of  tomatillo's for sauce. It was the first time roasting on the grille for the tomatillos and it really worked well. Our neighbor had a truck load of peaches delivered from the western slope so we were able to can eight jars of peach marmalade. Last Sunday we made and froze three quarts of tomato sauce as well as canning six more jars of pickle relish. My wife informed me that if I can any more we will have to buy a bigger home.
Sounds like you got a pretty good stock pile of foods for just such a situation.  
Take care and don't get washed away.

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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Turan on 9/15/2013, 2:02 pm

Yet another week has slipped by with NO FROST! This is latest I ever experienced here. THere is a possibility of frost late next week.

The Australian butter pumpkins are getting huge. I am so curious to taste them and hte other winter squashes I am trying this year.

Still picking beans. They are tapering off though, not enough for freezing just a big bag for eating this week. The dry beans are starting to mature.

I thinned the walking onions. Took the biggest bulbs for kitchen use and replanted the rest.

Broccoli still chugging along. The ones I cut down to stumps are making single stalk regrowth. I am wondering if they will do heads.

Summer squash are slowing way down now. Peas barely producing.

The August planting of beets needs thinning and those can go into a lentil soup. I should check the last of the purple carrots for that too.

Lots of tomatoes! Canned 10 more pints of almost paste and 7.5 pints of salsa. The counter is still covered with the Oromas (a determinate sauce variety that is doing really well). I am going to roast those today.

I plan to make mozzarella today for a salad of Big Beef and Cherokee Purple tomatoes, sweet onions, basil, garlic and olives. All but the sweet onion and olives from the garden.

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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Triciasgarden on 9/15/2013, 4:56 pm

Here is my harvest of russet potatoes I dug a few days ago.  I was going to make french fries for the grand kids but got sidetracked.  Once I cut my potato seeds in the Spring (Russet Burbanks and Pontiac Reds) I realized I had more than would fit in my 4' x 6' bed so I stacked them like Josh did so the seeds would have overlapped the grid.  So I did not have a grid, just something outlining where each variety was planted.  This is what I harvested from about 2-3 squares.  You can see I left a few potatoes on the seed potato (look at the top of the picture) so those who haven't seen this can see how russets grow from the seed potato, just above the seed potato.  It looks like most of these I dug have scab.  I was a little disappointed with the size, shape and the scab, but I think I got about the same that I planted.  My original russet seed potatoes were not shaped like these.  I have about six more squares of Russet Burbanks and about 16 squares of Pontiac Reds that I will dig up once the plants finish dying off.  I will post something about scab in another topic, if it isn't already in a topic.




 I hadn't gone out in my garden for two days.  It has rained every day so I didn't need to water and I got busy with family and going to the Fair.  Here is my wonderful harvest for today.  The largest tomatoes are my first beef steaks for this year.  I have a few romas, my first for this year also.  I have been harvesting my cherry tomatoes before they were completely ripe so they wouldn't split.  That was a good idea since so many of the ripe cherry tomatoes I picked today are splitting.  This is also my first year for dragon tongue beans.  These plants have proven with me to grow better than other types of green beens.  The plants were heartier and the beans are definitely bigger.



A side note, where I dug up the potatoes, the ferrel cat that likes to poop in my garden found the empty spots and did its job!  I have set a trap about five times and it just won't let itself get caught.  I am wondering if there is a scent on it from some other animal that was caught.
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  cheyannarach on 9/15/2013, 10:01 pm

Wow Turan and Tricia!!  Those are some wonderful hauls!!  Makes me a wee bit cutesie ...  I have a few cukes on the vines still, not many, considering the hail from all this summer I will take the few I get as a win!  I have never grown russets before but mine are dying back so I will get to dig them up soon, I have mostly German butterballs!!  

Turan, almost paste!?!  I want to know more, when I read it it cracked me up!
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  llama momma on 9/16/2013, 5:30 am

Turan and Tricia,
Congratulations on your harvests and canning! sfg smile
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Triciasgarden on 9/17/2013, 2:53 pm

Oh Turan, I am so excited for you and your canning!  I have got to get me a pressure canner and then try not to blow it and my house up.  They scare me but I sure need to get one.

Thank you Cheyenne and Llama Momma!
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Turan on 9/17/2013, 11:20 pm

Tricia, I have a pressure canner that I have not used in 20 years. They scare me. I keep telling myself to get it out and check it over and use it. Even for cooking, they are supposed to be great for beans and things. But there it sits. I am canning tomatoes with the water bath canner. I add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (it says adjusted to 6% acidity) to each pint.

Your harvest looks delisious.

Cheyanne, I roast my tomatoes until there is almost no juice left. Then I run them through the food processor with a handful of garlic cloves. It is a lot thicker than most sauces but not as thick as tomato paste. That then gets heated up on the stove and then jarred and canned.

Cukes? I have no cukes, lucky you!

It is pouring all day today and possible frost tomorrow night.

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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Triciasgarden on 9/17/2013, 11:32 pm

Turan does the balsamic vinegar help with bacteria growth or should I just ask what the balsamic vinegar is for, lol.  I am a little nervous about canning tomatoes in a hot water bath, but if it is safe, then I will go for it.  I really don't know much about canning anything other than fruits and jams.
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  cheyannarach on 9/17/2013, 11:46 pm

Oh yum Turan, I want some of that almost paste drooling  it sounds delicious!!  

Tricia, you can do it!!!  I did it last year with a water bath canner and the Ball book says to a lemon juice to each jar (it doesn't affect the taste)  It adds enough acidity to safely water bath them!
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Turan on 9/18/2013, 12:16 am

The balsamic is to make it more acidic. They recommend lemon juice or citric acid or vinegar. http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomato_intro.html I like the flavor of the vinegar much more than the lemon juice. I just realized though that I should be adding 2 T of the vinegar.....

This is all about botulism. That is a bacteria that is commonly found in our surroundings. It likes moist places with no air flow at room temperature, like canned goods. What it can not stand is long boiling times and acidity. Pressure canning is the only safe way to process low acidity foods like beans (dilly beans are acidic from the pickling so ok). Tomatoes are borderline so we add some acid to tip them to the safe side.

When I was growing up we did not add acid to tomatoes. That recommendation was new in the 1990s. I am told that the more modern tomato varieties are less acidic than the old heirlooms, but that is anecdotal. What I do know is that as they ripen they get less acidic.

I am not worried about not having added as much vinegar as I should of. Half or more of those tomatoes were not at peak of ripeness, I was a little worried I was doing them too soon but Saturday is canning day and is only one day a week. That plus that we do not like low acid tomatoes means I am confident they are acidic enough to be safe. Plus I always can cooked tomatoes.

I just found a link that is better than all my blather http://www.foodsafety.wisc.edu/assets/preservation/uwex_addacidtomatoes.pdf

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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Triciasgarden on 9/18/2013, 10:15 pm

Oh thank you Cheyenne for the encouragement!

Turan it's good to read how to do it from a site, but it is an extra bonus to hear how and why someone has done something.  It actually helps me to understand better and get more of a feel that I can do something so your post is not blathering at all.

I'm sure others that don't post a comment still take to heart the suggestions and tips!  So once your water returns to a boil after inserting the jars, how long do you each boil tomatoes?
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Turan on 9/18/2013, 11:08 pm

@Triciasgarden wrote:  So once your water returns to a boil after inserting the jars, how long do you each boil tomatoes?
I checked here on the table for boiling water canner.  I live at 5000 feet and was using pints so 45 minutes.

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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Triciasgarden on 9/20/2013, 11:16 am

That was nice of you, thank you Turan!
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  cheyannarach on 9/20/2013, 3:05 pm

Let us know how it goes!! I think you'll be surprised how easy it is!!
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  cheyannarach on 9/23/2013, 6:14 pm

I went out yesterday and picked everything I could for now, I dug up 6 squares of German butterball potatoes, I got 4 nice cukes, a hot pepper, a stray parsnip, and a yellow summer squash!  I left 4 squares of potatoes because the ones I dug up were smaller than I expected and the tops are not died off yet, I panicked because of the cool weather we've been having but I think the rock work on the sides of my house are putting off enough heat from the day during the night to keep the frost at bay so far!  Getting ready to can my first ever pickles!!  I bought a bunch from a friend of mine at the farmers market too Very Happy
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Triciasgarden on 9/25/2013, 1:53 pm

The temperature is supposed to get down to 45 degrees tonight and daytime tomorrow is 51 degrees.  What is the lowest temperature tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe and beans can survive?  I think my broccoli will be ok.  If 45 degrees will be too low for them, is it feasible to cover them with sheets or blankets and add bricks (heated in the oven) under the sheets or blankets?  Tomorrow night it will be down to 41 degrees and friday down to 38 degrees.

I am hoping this is not the end of the growing season but if I have to pull out most everything, then I would rather do it before they freeze.
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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Turan on 9/25/2013, 2:04 pm

My tomatoes, beans, zuccini handle it down to actual frost. The fruit does not have as rich a taste but still better than store bought. I have never tried the heated bricks idea but have used jugs of water under blankets. I suspect Christmas lights would work too.

I am about to hang a poultry heat lamb in the greenhouse for just these concerns. Our nights are all in the 30s and some times dipping to frost now. So i hope to help the greenhouse keep going as long as possible. There are lots of green tomatoes in there still. We brought the peppers inside.

Good luck:) 

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Re: Western Mountains and High Plains: What are you harvesting?

Post  Triciasgarden on 9/25/2013, 3:04 pm

Ahh, I forgot about jugs of water!  I should be good for at least another 10 days then if the forecast is correct.

You heat lamp in the greenhouse sounds like a great idea!  Good luck to you also!
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