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New England August 2014

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  camprn on 8/28/2014, 9:14 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Can anyone identify this bush? It's basically growing as a weed, but the pollinators go crazy over it.


Joe Pye Weed
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eutrochium

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  NHGardener on 8/28/2014, 9:34 pm

Oh! Is that what Joe Pye Weed is? I've heard about it's attraction for honeybees but never knew what it was.

I'll have to dig that out and plant it somewhere permanent. There are several of them, mostly smaller than this one.

One man's weed is another man's gold.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  cpl100 on 8/29/2014, 4:16 pm

@lyndeeloo wrote:Been canning the last 2 days and put up 8 pints of tomato sauce,  12 jars of salsa verde and 18 jars of raspberry jam.



Tomorrow I'm going to try Annie's salsa recipe.
I am totally jealous of that jam!

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  cpl100 on 8/29/2014, 4:18 pm

@NHGardener wrote:Lyndeeloo - What do you do with your beets? And do you use beet greens as salad greens? I've never thought about growing beets. I know you can make borscht but I never really liked the taste too much.

Edit: Wow, look how nutritious it says beets are. They will definitely go in my garden next year. If nothing else, I can put them in smoothies I guess. What variety did you grow?

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/11173-top-10-ways-to-cook-beets.html
I roast beets and add them to regular salads, make a delicious beet, goat cheese and candied walnut salad, add them to soups and just eat them roasted.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  cpl100 on 8/29/2014, 4:21 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Nice, Lyndeeloo!  Look at that great harvest and at all the food for winter! 

Well, on my way out the door this morning I saw that my PM resistant Burpee Burpless cukes got the PM.  I don't know how since it's been so cool here.  Guess yesterdays 75 did them in. I'll have to milk spray them at lunch today.  Crud.  Altho they've stopped producing anyway so what diff does it make. Rolling Eyes As have the tomatoes, beans & squashes.  A coworker gave me more canning jars & I just bought a bigger fridge so I need the food to go in them. Guess I'll have to hit the farmers markets.

NHG, what if the tom plants were laid down in a SFG 11" high box?  You think the critters still get to them?

CC
YES!  I have one 4 x 4 x 12" box with a cage over it.  I forgot to put the cage back a few days ago and just went out to check it.  Every single plant has been eaten!  There are NO leaves on any of my plants.  I am so sad!  

My excuse for forgetting is that I am still recovering from a head injury.  Been 5 weeks and I am ready to be well again!  Have not been able to read books nor do much online because of the headache and light sensitivity.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  camprn on 8/29/2014, 8:50 pm

@lyndeeloo wrote:Been canning the last 2 days and put up 8 pints of tomato sauce,  12 jars of salsa verde and 18 jars of raspberry jam.



Tomorrow I'm going to try Annie's salsa recipe.
How lovely! don't forget to remove the bands.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  sanderson on 8/30/2014, 2:54 am

Cpl100, Hope you get well soon. No reading or computer, ouch. Any idea from the doc how long it will take to recover?

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  camprn on 8/30/2014, 6:25 am

My neighbor brought more peaches yesterday. So, on the canning today agenda are peaches, jam and pickled. LSO elderberry jelly. Have to go buy more jars this morning. What a Face

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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 August 2014

Post  NHGardener on 8/30/2014, 7:39 am

camprn, do you use a pressure canner, or just boil them? Also, what are bands? The screw part? You're supposed to take those off? (My mother said that decades ago when her m-i-l would can peaches and then open them up mid-winter, they'd taste just like they were fresh.)

I'm thinking this morning about 2 things: one is improved pole bean and pea trellising for next year. This year I used the 4' wire garden fence as a bean pole, but obviously that's way too short and I'm pretty sure impacted productivity. I might stake 7' thin trees along that fence and zigzag twine like this (which I found on the internet this morning):
http://www.canby.com/tcstoehr/garden/DSCN0968.JPG

The other thing is: is cedar a natural insect repellent? Because I'm wondering if I'm inhibiting beneficials, earthworms, whatever, by using cedar for my garden boxes. Anyone know?

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Garlic trimming today

Post  NHGardener on 8/30/2014, 10:47 am

Here are 2 photos of my garlic station (guess not enough panoramic on this camera). I'm sorting the garlic into 3 piles: short term storage (for cracked, dried bulbs), long term storage, and seed garlic. And the husk things I'm putting in a pile in the garden with the old hay, I'll use that for mulching/composting the beds this fall.





About seed garlic, are we supposed to use the large garlic bulbs, or the large garlic cloves? Some of my large bulbs look like they have some small cloves, and some of the smaller bulbs look like they have larger cloves in them.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/30/2014, 11:22 am

I use the large cloves because sometimes small bulbs have large cloves on them & vice versa. Perfect looking garlic, BTW!   Nice!

Wish I had something to can.  Sad

Here's a photo of some potatoes I just harvested. Like the last batch they were planted on a whim as I was heading to the compost pile with some old taters that were starting to sprout. I really didn't expect anything to come of them so they didn't even get watered.
 I think I'll try to save most of them for seed since they are so small & made multiples on the roots, unlike the last batch.

High 40's here this morning.  Probably won't get out of the 60's today.  Great day to play in the compost pile! 
What a Face
CC


Last edited by CapeCoddess on 8/30/2014, 11:31 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  NHGardener on 8/30/2014, 11:29 am

Thanks CC, that's what I was wondering.

Nice potatoes!

I saw an interesting phenomenon in my potato bed this morning, one of the things I had wanted to show in photos. The potato plants look toasted, yellowed, leafless, kind of slimy looking. I would dig them now, except on one I saw new leaf growth emerging from the "dead" stem. So could they still have life in them enough to develop a little more?

Or, maybe it's just a secondary potato growing from a rotted first potato. HMM.

The other potential future photos include the butternut squash bed, where the vines have mostly died out and the squash are now visible. And yet, one tiny little vine looks like it's getting new life and a small, new, green butternut squash is starting to grow.

Just to say, even when it looks like things are hopeless and the plants are done for the summer, some babies start to crop up. Kind of funny.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  quiltbea on 8/30/2014, 11:31 am

Love the pics and the harvests I'm seeing.  Great going ladies.
And the canning.....how wonderful.  Its nice to save your crops for later in the winter when snow covers your gardens.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/30/2014, 11:56 am

You mean an actual butternut squash plant is starting to grow, or do you mean an actual squash?. I have winter squash plants trying still trying to grow but no female flowers yet. Not sure that that's even going to happen this year.  

I've been thrilled with the cucumbers though. I get about 1 or 2 per week off of 6 plants. I was hoping for one a day but I'll tell you, with the cold weather we've had I'm amazed I'm getting anything. And this year is the most ever. same with the summer squashes and tomatoes.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  NHGardener on 8/30/2014, 1:05 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:And this year is the most ever. same with the summer squashes and tomatoes.

Well, that says it all right there CC. Even with the cool weather you've had, this shows your soil is improving! An organic friend told me she thinks it takes about 3 years for a new bed (soil) to get established.

Here are today's photos:

Walking onion bed - these are multipliers and so far I haven't taken any out, I want the bed to get filled with them first:


Surprise pumpkins on outside of garden fence - where the grass is always greener I guess:


The 4 trees I ordered from Fedco this spring: pear in foreground, plum in background:


This was the garlic bed - now it has green manure oats growing in it, and volunteer tomatoes, which look beautiful but I don't know if they'll get past the blossom stage:


Another photo of the tomatoes in the garlic bed:


Biggest and most hopeful watermelon:


Hard to see from this photo, but this yellow squash plant has an "old" part that looks close to the end, PM and everything, and then there's a "new" part that is producing:


Orange pumpkin! I have 5 of these (a couple are very small) and then the 2 green ones hanging on the outside of the fence:


You can see how the butternut squash plants are dying back:


And yet, here's a new butternut baby. I didn't realize till I looked at this photo that there are 2 other new butternut baby squashes on this vine.


Only got a few very small eggplants this summer, but whaddya know, there are now a few forming:


and


And here's the dead potato plant sprouting new leafs:


Just goes to show, if the weather stayed productive, the plants in many cases would just keep going on and on and on I guess. I did water a few days ago and wonder if that stimulated activity. Maybe I haven't been watering enough in August.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  NHGardener on 8/31/2014, 3:54 pm

Well, I'm grateful for this forum because it's an ongoing diary and we can go back and see when we planted what.

Started digging potatoes today. Actually my young teen had a friend over who has never had a garden experience. My duty in life is to instill subliminal organic gardening messages. HAHA. So I set them both out to digging potatoes, and now I'll go out and finish the job. I just checked the past threads here to make sure maturity date has past, and it looks like I planted in very early May. Fedco says maturity is 80-90 days so that should definitely be enough time.

Looks like a lot of vole damage (partly to mostly eaten potatoes) in my Gold Rush potatoes which have a thick orange skin, not so much damage in the Kennebec which have a thin white skin. Altho it could have just been the Gold Rush were in the vole path.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  lyndeeloo on 8/31/2014, 4:17 pm


Here is today's monster mater and it's little brother and sister. 
Weighs in at 1- 1/2 pounds and the siblings are 1 pound each. All three of them came off the same plant. Love these tomatoes.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/31/2014, 5:09 pm

Breathtaking!  Brandywine's?  Or what?

NHG, some of my taters had a little hole black in the Center of them with no in or out tunnel. I have no idea what that is?. do you know?

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  lyndeeloo on 8/31/2014, 5:44 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Breathtaking!  Brandywine's?  Or what?
Hi CC!  These are the Beefmasters from seeds I saved from last year's tomatoes.  I've already started fermenting some seeds from them in hopes of growing more next year. They are our favorites now.
I was excited to see your pumpkins and squash looking so good.  No luck with those for me this year.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/31/2014, 8:11 pm

Lyndeeloo, those are NHG's squashes & pumpkins.  Fantastic, right!?  I've never had a full grown pumpkin or melon.

The only luck I'm having with summer squash, cukes & toms is to get an avg of 1 to 3 per week of each.  Which, for the cukes & zukes , is an improvement over last years almost zero, but a dismal harvest for the 'maters.

I got nuttin' on six 1 foot long winter squash plants.  But the folks that I gave the thinnings to have half grown butternuts & spaghettis all along their 8 foot vines.  It's maddening, but it's also 5+ degrees warmer on their properties than at mine.  

All my spring planted lettuce is finally bolting, but the fall lettuce is coming along nicely. We are supposed to hit 80 degrees this week so I may have to shade the new ones.  The fall radishes, peas, bush beans, carrots, beets & leafy greens will be fine.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  NHGardener on 8/31/2014, 8:25 pm

CC - I wasn't sure about the black hole in the center of the potato so I googled it and this is what I found:

[url=http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/potatoes/FAQ.htm#What is the hole in the center of a potato]http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/potatoes/FAQ.htm#What is the hole in the center of a potato[/url]

"You may occasionally cut a potato open to find a dark-colored hole, most often near the center. This hole is a naturally occurring physiological disorder called "hollow heart" caused by environmental stresses such as cold and wet soil conditions occurring in the field while the potatoes were growing. If all you are concerned about is a hole in the potato, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the potato and it is definitely safe to eat."

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  lyndeeloo on 8/31/2014, 8:35 pm

Oops sorry CC, and kudos to NHG! 

Since I've moved to this house, almost 8 years now, l can't grow a squash to save myself. They just don't make it. I won't give up, but its really discouraging. CC, my cucumbers did very poorly this year and nearly all the heirloom tomato plants shriveled up and died. Its been a banner year for green beans, tomatillos and carrots,  but the rest of the garden is way behind last year's yields. Same thing with the fruit. I'll only see one picking of raspberries this year, although it has been a good crop so far. Usually we get 2 harvests every year. Funny year for the garden.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/31/2014, 8:55 pm

Lyndeeloo, I idolize your tomatoes! One day I want to grow up to be one.

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  lyndeeloo on 8/31/2014, 9:10 pm

LOL, Thank you Marc Very Happy I'd be happy to send you some seeds. Then you could just grow one. Maybe that would be better than growing up to be one.  Like having your tomato and eating it too! Laughing Sorry, my mind is gone. Been standing over the stove all day canning tomato sauce. Last batch is going in the water bath shortly. Yahoo!

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Re: New England August 2014

Post  NHGardener on 8/31/2014, 9:12 pm

Well lyndeeloo, for ONCE I had a great vine crop season (squashes, etc.) but the tomatoes were sparse and the peppers nonexistent.

This is why I believe in community veggie swaps. Smile

Did anyone grow peppers this year?

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Re: New England August 2014

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