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Drying Herbs

September 21st, 2017

I’ve been cutting and drying herbs, mostly by hanging them on the back porch. After walking through the hot front porch many times a day, it dawned on me that this spot would be perfect for drying herbs. On sunny days, it hovers around 100 degrees, which is perfect for drying herbs.

I didn’t have an easy to hang herbs, so I put in a few nails, string a string between them, and starting clipping bouquets of herbs from it.

At the moment I have loads of catnip (more on what that will be used for later), oregano, and sage. These herbs will keep our winter meals savory and our cats happy all winter.

What herbs do you grow and dry during the summer?

Bringing in the Sheaves…Or Other Veg

September 18th, 2017

We’ve been having beautiful weather here in Maine, in the low 80’s during the day and in the 50’s at night. I was planning on pulling all tomatoes and peppers last week, but with the beautiful weather, I decided to leave them. I did pick all the ripe fruit, but decided to leave the unripe fruits on the vine/plants to ripen up.


My pumpkins and other squash are starting to ripen as well. I have been a bit worried about my ‘Musque de Provence’ pumpkins are a long season variety and they are just starting to blush with color. I’ve had my fingers crossed that the weather would stay warm so they would fully ripen. Everything else is coming along well, fall broccoli and lettuces are sizing up. The third planting of fennel will be ready in month or so.

These last months in the garden are always full of activity, which need to be balanced with work preserving all the bounty.

How’s the harvest coming in your garden?

Drowning in Poblano Peppers

September 14th, 2017

I always love growing poblano peppers, they are one of my favorites to use in chili, salsa, and other Mexican inspired dishes. I like to have a gallon or two of cut up poblanos in the freezer ready to use all winter long. This year I planted four ‘Baron’ plants, expecting a semi-decent harvest (seed was purchased from Johnny’s Seeds). Little did I know that these peppers would do better than any other pepper in the garden and I’d be drowning in them.

We’ve been harvesting them and roasting them on the grill, which is working beautifully. At least half of them will be preserved this way. After grilling, they are peeled, seeded, cut in half, then frozen.

The rest will be processed in the usually fashion, just like green peppers. I’ll seed then, slice them, and freeze them on a cookie sheet then transfer them to bags. This way I can scoop out what I need each time, not premeasuring needed.


Since we also have quite a stockpile of ground venison in the freezer from last year, it looks like venison chili will be on the menu quite often this coming winter.

What vegetables seem extra productive in your garden this year?

Squirreling Away for Winter

September 5th, 2017

It’s been a busy week and weekend. My evenings are filled with harvesting and preserving. The apples, tomatoes, beans, and peppers are coming in like mad. Green beans are blanched and frozen, peppers are chopped and frozen. Both things are frozen on cookie sheets and put into freezer bags to be scooped out in quantities needed.

The tomatoes are being put up in a few different ways. ‘Principe Borghese’ are dried in the sun dried tomato fashion. Some tomatoes are canned crushed for winter cooking, others are turned into conserve. Right now I’ve only finished up a batch of crushed tomatoes. Stay tuned for various posts this week about all the other things I’m making with all the garden bounty (including recipes for a few tried and true favorites). While this season seems a bit frantic, it will all be worth it in the dead of winter. When snow is deep on the garden, we can enjoy chili made with homegrown poblanos, tomatoes, and onions. There’s nothing better (and saves more money) than shopping in your freezer and pantry!

What are you preserving from your garden?

Harvesting Onions

August 9th, 2017

I finally got my internet back up and running, the technician said that pretty much every modem in our town was zapped by the big storm. After furiously catching up on work, I’m back to being able to post to the blog. The good thing about having minimal internet, is that it gave me time to get my onions harvested, which needed done…..last week. Storage onions should be given minimal water in the weeks leading up the harvest, this will help them store longer and better. I always try to harvest them early if a lot of rain is in the forecast. We had rain last weekend, a half an inch. So not tons given the dryness of the soil, but still more than I like for them to get. Ideally I prefer to harvest them after a long, hot dry week (which we had last week).

Even though the conditions weren’t ideal for harvest, they will store fine enough. Most likely they won’t last until next April, but they will last long enough to be used up. I should weigh my storage onions one of these years. It always seems like there are way too many of them to weigh. It would be nice to know how much I end up growing each year.

What are you harvesting in the garden this week?

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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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