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New England July 2014

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/12/2014, 3:21 am

Well, they say a watched pot never boils, but that thing was never going to boil. Maybe the pot had issues retaining heat.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  camprn on 7/12/2014, 8:29 am

@cpl100 wrote:[
As far as I know, you MUST bring the water to a boil before putting in the veggies in order to successfully blanch.  Blanch for the required amount of time, then ice bath for an equal amount of time.  Water can be used three times in a row for blanching.  This is what my research showed me last year when I was learning/doing it for the first time.  FYI
Certainly you can do it however you would like but I have had success ( good qualty results) with small batches with not returning to boil.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  camprn on 7/12/2014, 8:32 am

@NHGardener wrote:Well, they say a watched pot never boils, but that thing was never going to boil. Maybe the pot had issues retaining heat.
yes a proper or is important.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/12/2014, 9:12 am

When I blanch, I do something else until the pot boils, then put the veggies in for around 30 seconds to a minute, take them out with a strainer if they aren't greens with stems as a handle, and plop them into a bowl of cold water. I like them crunchy in the center.

Speaking of which, I harvested the first green beans this morning, Contender bush!  But not enough to blanch tho, so we ate them raw for breakfast.

@mollyhespra wrote:CC, mine only have male flowers yet: teeny tiny ones.  I'm eager to see a female flower to see if it's got ribs or not.  Are those plants from the original seedstock or the second generation?

I'm pretty sure they are second gen. I don't think I ever got around to planting the original stock. I'll check my notes and let you know if it's different.

Camp, can I have your recipe for laundry soap again please? I saved it to a different computer that I don't use anymore, and I just found out that Trader Joe's is not environmentally sound.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  camprn on 7/12/2014, 9:38 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:

Camp, can I have your recipe for laundry soap again please? I saved it to a different computer that I don't use anymore, and I just found out that Trader Joe's is not environmentally sound.

CC
I use the Digger family recipe.http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t6390-home-made-laundry-detergent-more?highlight=laundry+soap

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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 July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/12/2014, 9:57 am

You have gardening on the brain - I think that's the Dugger family.  Very Happy 

Another beautiful day - can you beat this summer?

Will try to take photos of the vine plants today. They're beautiful.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  camprn on 7/12/2014, 10:11 am

@NHGardener wrote:You have gardening on the brain - I think that's the Dugger family.  Very Happy 

Another beautiful day - can you beat this summer?

Will try to take photos of the vine plants today. They're beautiful.
stoopid auto correct. Did everyone see my rare elm tree?

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/12/2014, 2:58 pm

Elm trees are rare?

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  camprn on 7/12/2014, 3:14 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Elm trees are rare?
yes, very. Google Dutch elm.

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: New England July 2014

Post  cpl100 on 7/12/2014, 3:20 pm

@camprn wrote:
@cpl100 wrote:[
As far as I know, you MUST bring the water to a boil before putting in the veggies in order to successfully blanch.  Blanch for the required amount of time, then ice bath for an equal amount of time.  Water can be used three times in a row for blanching.  This is what my research showed me last year when I was learning/doing it for the first time.  FYI
Certainly you can do it however you would like but I have had success ( good qualty results) with small batches with not returning to boil.
Actually, I should have specified that it must boil initially to begin the process.  Mine does not always come to a boil after I put in the veggies.  And, like you, I still just blanch the stated amount of time regardless of whether a boil returns.  I do, however, make sure the water boils again prior to putting in my second batch of veggies into the pot.

I checked my records and I was mistaken earlier in that you can blanch five times in the same water prior to changing it and starting from scratch.  Previously I said three.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  RJARPCGP on 7/12/2014, 3:36 pm

My spider plant is going to bloom again! I see a lot of buds!

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/13/2014, 3:53 am

Today I did some light weeding in one of the SFG strawberry beds, and I noticed how very dry the soil was. I don't generally water the strawberries because they're over now, and they're so thick to begin with, but we have had some drenching rains a few days ago and I was surprised how dry it was. I think it drives home the point that, unless you want to water frequently, having a few inches of mulch on top of your beds would probably go a long way in retaining moisture.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/13/2014, 4:44 am

By the way, when I was out in the garden slug hunting in the early evening, I saw at least 2 voles scampering around. There could have been more because I couldn't tell if they were running back & forth or if there were just more of them. This will be interesting.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/13/2014, 6:42 am

@NHGardener wrote:..., having a few inches of mulch on top of your beds would probably go a long way in retaining moisture.

Tis true.  But even then, with the lack of rain we're experiencing here on the Cape, I'm still watering the SFGs twice a week. Sad  I'm hoping that during the really hot spells I won't have to do it every day.

We ate Sungold tomatoes yesterday for the first time along with those bush beans. Yummo! There's no sign of powdery mildew or svb yet, and Lily is keeping the yard free of moles and rabbits. Except for something eating the marigolds down to nubbins (slugs?), all is well!  I love you 

BTW, I didn't have all the ingredients for the Duggars laundry soap but badly needed to do a load, so I used some shavings of Castille soap and a dash of borax. My laundry came out softer and fresher smelling than I've ever experienced it! I'm sold!

I'm moving toward harvesting everything in the cupboards so I can take them down, build the replacements and get my fall garden going. But I have 3 tomato plants in there. Will they transplant ok?

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  camprn on 7/13/2014, 7:56 am

Use a shovel when lifting and a large root ball and transplant shock will be held at a minimum. I transplanted a few large pepper and aubergine plants last week. They. Will need a lot of water for a week afterwords.

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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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: New England July 2014

Post  Mips on 7/13/2014, 9:00 am

@NHGardener wrote:
CC, they only leave each day's presentations up until I believe 11 a.m. the next day, so that's it. UGH! I think the point is that when you miss something, you're going to want to purchase it in order to watch it.
Thank you for the heads up on this.  I can use all the reinforcement I can get.  Total immersion into a subject - knowing I will only be keeping a portion of it actively in mind - still helps to keep me in gardening mode.

On pulling up one of the presentations there is nothing to watch: it was a static stream with an interview happening.  It was still informative but it was more of a book author interview which got me to thinking...is there an SFG podcast anywhere?  Are there other good gardening podcasts?  Should I be asking this under another topic heading?

My own garden is just starting to produce green cherry tomatoes, some space saving cukes and of course, lettuce.  I had a late start due to reseeding after spring seed failure.   Embarassed

Just a minder: NE has a tremendous nasty storm potential this coming week: Tues/Wed time frame.   The last bout of storms nailed one of my tomato plants but I managed to "bandage"it up, reinforce it.  Close call that it was only 1 of them.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/13/2014, 11:01 am

My rain chances begin tonight, which is why I'm holding off watering - it looks like there are a few days of rain scheduled. I hadn't heard about severity.

Yup mips, they're mostly just audio interviews, with something resembling powerpoint. As I've listened to certain ones, I've been bookmarking several referenced sites. I also look them up on youtube and then come up with related videos. You could spend a lifetime learning about this, and I've been to workshops, read online, watched videos, these kinds of conferences, etc.... I do feel like I know a lot more, but every time I hear something it sinks in just a little more.

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Picture Time

Post  NHGardener on 7/13/2014, 3:25 pm

As of today:

First year I've ever gotten this far with watermelon:


Pumpkin:


Squash:


Butternut squash:


One of 2 peaches:


Bees:


Cardboard for weed suppression, from grocery store, will eventually get chips:


Compost pile:


4x8 potato bed:


Row of dried beans:


Cucumbers (I learned recently that when plants wilt in the sun, they are protecting themselves from too much heat, and not to water and wake them during their rest):


Zucchini:


Broccoli:


Garlic:


This WAS the 4x8 potato onion bed before the volunteer tomatoes muscled them out:


Another view of the potato onion bed. Next year it will just be the volunteer tomato bed, because this is the 2nd year they have taken over the bed:


Does this look like a lettuce head to you? I'm afraid to eat it because I don't think I've ever planted a lettuce head, unless it was one of Ray Praxxis' seeds:


Strawberries continuing their quest for world domination, creeping between the onion and garlic beds and heading towards the green bean beds:


THE END. Smile

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  yolos on 7/13/2014, 3:34 pm

Beautiful garden.  But that seems weird that you can have broccoli and lettuce growing at the same time you have tomatoes growing.  thinking   My broccoli and lettuce bolts about the time tomatoes are just getting started.  I have always wanted to grow lettuce at the same time as tomatoes and cucumbers so I can make a real nice salad.  I don't get the timing here.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/13/2014, 3:42 pm

I don't have *ripe* tomatoes, if that's what you mean. (or ripe cucumbers)

Edit: Aha. Just saw you're from Georgia. That might make the difference. Our season is probably more condensed, with more overlap.

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/13/2014, 5:57 pm

Everything looks so strong, NHG! Vour volunteers remind me of my neighbors down the road. I'm anxious to see how they end up doing. And look at all your squash! You have zucchini! How you do dat? And what is that beautiful greenery above the head of lettuce?
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Re: New England July 2014

Post  NHGardener on 7/13/2014, 6:25 pm

That greenery would be leaf lettuce. I haven't picked it in a while so it may be bitter by now.

The vines are amazing this year. I owe it all to sheet mulching. I don't want to divert the topic away from SFG, but I found the vines were really too large to confine in boxes. In sheet mulching, you grow the soil from the ground up - cardboard base as a weed suppressor, then I layered sticks from the brush pile on the bottom, put a layer of wet leaves (this was springtime) on top of that, put a layer of chicken manure on top of that, added a thin layer of seaweed (because I didn't have a ton of it) and then put a layer of old hay which had sat thru the winter on top of that. Probably a month later I planted the seedlings into it, and voila. It was a lot of hard work hauling the ingredients in the wheelbarrow, but it was worth it. I pooped out and still have more to do, so this fall I'll make the rest of the rows. I actually saw this done at a friend's house last summer, and I couldn't believe how large and far ahead her produce was (she had hers covered with row cover over hoops, I haven't gotten that far yet), and that just sold me on the method. As it breaks down it should get even better, and will probably need additions of, say, seaweed and hay this fall.

The peppers died in these new rows. I don't think I'll try them again, I think these rows really do better with more hardy plants. My friend's kale was amazing too.

Things like garlic, potatoes, onions, peppers, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, beans, peas I'd rather keep in boxes. The asparagus I planted on a raised hugelkultur bed which is pretty high and that was a mistake because the ferns blow over, they're probably better in boxes or even just a flat piece of land.

So many options, and things to learn! That's what keeps it interesting. Smile

BTW, the volunteer tomatoes did better last summer than the transplants. They looked like a mess, but they did produce. Altho the tomato transplants, I just saw, seem to have a lot of tomatoes hanging on them right now. Some of those are gilberties, left over from some seeds camprn had shared with me a couple years back. Thank you, camprn! Smile

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  RJARPCGP on 7/13/2014, 6:31 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@NHGardener wrote:..., having a few inches of mulch on top of your beds would probably go a long way in retaining moisture.

Tis true.  But even then, with the lack of rain we're experiencing here on the Cape, I'm still watering the SFGs twice a week. Sad  I'm hoping that during the really hot spells I won't have to do it every day.

Sounds like here last August, IIRC, I saw my hibiscus drooping!
Poor plant!

Here it is: (On August 10, 2013)


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Re: New England July 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/13/2014, 8:46 pm

Wow, I grew up around tons of hibiscus and this is the first time I've ever seen a white one. Curious looking!

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Re: New England July 2014

Post  RJARPCGP on 7/14/2014, 4:31 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Wow, I grew up around tons of hibiscus and this is the first time I've ever seen a white one. Curious looking!

The cold hardy hibiscus varieties are commonly white with red centers.

Typical with hibiscus moscheutos

You can still tell they're a hibiscus, with the flower petals and often with heart-shaped serrated-edged leaves.

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Re: New England July 2014

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