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Last weekend we spent about 2 hours closing down our community garden plot.  This meant pulling up all of tomato, pepper, eggplant, and kale plans.  It also meant pulling up all of the flowers we used for our wedding.

This summer’s garden was much more productive than the garden I had last year, the hot summer may have something to do with that.

Peppers (bell and hot)

This year we harvested about 30 pounds of peppers (both hot and bell peppers).  Last year we only harvested a couple of pounds.

Eggplant

This year I probably harvested about 40 pounds of eggplant.  Last year, I only harvest a couple of eggplant at the end of the season.

Tomatoes

The tomato plants were also very successful this year. We were able to make several rounds of pasta/pizza sauce.  Last year’s harvest was also successful but not like this year.

Flowers

As I mentioned above the flowers we grew did very well. Some of the zinnia plants were about 5 ft. when we cut them down.  We were able to make several bouquets throughout the summer.

Stay tuned for pictures and recipes…

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Check out this story about the McDonald’s Happy Meal Project.  Kind of makes you wonder what additives McDonald’s uses to make a hamburger remain unchanged for 6 months.

 

See the pictures here

 

When asked if their food was not biodegradable, McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud said: ‘This is nothing more than an outlandish claim and is completely false.’

I agree with what this 11-year-old has to say.  Now if only we can get our government on board.

Super Harvest Moon

This past Tuesday in the Northern Hemisphere we were all witnesses to a Super Harvest Moon.  The action began at sunset on Sept 22nd, the last day of northern summer. As the sun went down  in the west, bringing the season to a close, the full Harvest Moon rose in the east, heralding the start of fall. The two sources of light mixed together to create a kind of 360-degree, summer-autumn twilight glow that is only seen on rare occasions.  We won’t see another Super Harvest Moon until September 2029.

Tomatoes, Part 2

Two of my favorite tomato plants this year are the Sweet Pea and Currant Gold Rush.  The tomatoes that develop on these two varieties are delicious and very addicting, we call them “crack berries”.  The fruit is very small, about 1/4″, and by the end of the season we will probably harvest over 1,000 tomatoes from each plant.  The tomatoes are very healthy containing as much as forty times more lycopene than common tomatoes.  The tomatoes are great to eat right off of the vine, but I also use them as a garnish on my summer salads.  As the summer winds down I am hoping to dehydrate the tomatoes and turn them into tomato raisins. Here are some pics.:

Sweet Pea

Currant Gold Rush

Tomatoes

Over the past few weeks we have been harvesting a few pounds of tomatoes every time we go to the garden.  As I mentioned in several previous posts I am growing 8 varieties of tomatoes this summer, two plants of each.   Here are some pictures of 2 of the 8 varieties I am growing:

Austin’s Red Pear Tomatoes

I grew this variety last summer, and the seeds that were sown were harvested from last year’s crop.

Austin's Red Pear Tomato

Austin's Red Pear Tomato

Austin's Red Pear Tomato

Hartman’s Yellow Gooseberry Tomatoes

Like the Red Pear tomatoes, this is the second year that I have grown this variety. The seeds that were sown were also harvested from last year’s crop.

Gooseberry Tomato

Gooseberry Tomato

Gooseberry Tomato

Gooseberry Tomato

Stay tuned for pictures of the other varieties that I am growing this summer…

Pickles

A couple of weekends ago I decided to make homemade dill pickles.  This was my first attempt in making pickles and I won’t know the results for a few more weeks.  The pickles have to marinate for about 8 weeks before they can be eaten.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I am growing 2 varieties of cucumbers this summer in an Earthbox.  To date I have harvested about 2-dozen cucumbers, most of which I used to make the pickles.  I also am growing dill over at the community garden plot.  I think dill may be my new favorite herb,  It looks really cool, and smells great.

Before I made the pickles I had to search for a recipe, unfortunately, I didn’t find one that really stood out so I just winged it.

I started by soaking the cucumbers in a turmeric/water solution.  About 1 tsp. of Turmeric and then cover the cucumbers with water.  Let the cucumbers marinate for about an hour.

Pickles marinating in turmeric and water

Meanwhile prepare you canning jars, dill, and garlic

canning jars

dill heads

dill weed

dill heads and dill weed

garlic

After the cucumbers have marinated for about an hour, place 2 garlic cloves in each jar.  Then place a dill head, and a couple of sprigs of dill weed in each jar.  Finally arrange your cucumbers in the jar.

Next, make your brine.  You will bring vinegar, pickling salt, sugar, and water to a boil.

Then using a jar funnel pour the brine over your cucumbers.

Finally, put the jars in the canner of boiling water for 10 minutes.

Here are a couple of pictures of my pickles:

pickles

pickles

Now the hard part, I have to wait another 6 weeks to eat them.