Sunday, September 13, 2009

TIme to Freeze the Harvest

Sesame flowers
Sesame seed pods

Pasilia Bajio - but some of these fruits are not HOT!?
Big Bomb - these are HOT
Franks Pepper- note the damaged fruit
Giant Marconi - good sweet variety
Red Beauty - none of these have gotten red
Yummy - good little pepper
Blushing Beauty - good pepper - ? on the name choice

These warm September day are great for adding growing days to our gardens but we could sure use some rain. The precipitation promised this week did not materialize and so the garden needed to be watered again. I planted lettuce, Napa cabbage, and kale this week and gave the seedlings a liberal dose of "SLUGO" to try to protect them. The Napa cabbage is always hit hard by the slugs and because it is planted in a cold frame they seem to especially enjoy that protected environment so I will see how this process works. Slugs and earwigs are a continual problem. I found at least two dozen adult slugs under a trap board the other day and the pepper crop has been the victim of slugs and earwigs most of this summer. One of the pictures above shows the holes they bore in the fruits. Even the mum plants that are in the front of the house got a dose of "SLUGO" to help them with the earwigs that really made a mess of the zinnias in that bed.
Tomatoes and beans were harvested this week and they were the preserving job. We freeze our tomatoes rather than can them. Most frozen tomatoes go into soups and stews and because when a frozen tomato is dipped in water the skins slip off easily. Freezing is the way we preserve this crop. Additionally, I made more juice and froze that in plastic bags also. When I juice tomatoes I do skin them but usually add garlic, onion, peppers, cucumber, and parsley to add a boost to the juice. Frozen juice is cooked to blend the flavors and make a more consistent and, we think, a better product for freezing. The whole tomatoes, however, are washed and placed wet in the freezer bags and with a highly scientific tool, a straw, the air is sucked out of the bag. Watch the video below and you too can save by not buying a seal-a-meal but a box of straws instead. I then usually group bag three or four bags in a larger bag and remove the air from that bag too. The video shows this process.
Beans are blanched and then bagged the same way. Our pole beans are really good and I have had a number of favorable comments about how good they taste from people who I gave seed to last spring. I wish the pole bean crop had been better this year but we will make do with the twelve quart bags of beans I froze today.
I have added some of the pepper variety pictures this week and you will note on one the slug or earwig hole in the fruit. The hot pepper varieties have no fruit damage from these pests.
Also the sesame pictures show the number of seed pods that run up the stem of these plants.

Happy Gardening

Dave's seal a bag machine!


  1. Hey
    Pasilia Bajio for me was a dud too! They are about as powerful as a normal green pepper, even with the seeds.

  2. You must have given me blushing beauties as well because I have been ?? recently as to why they don't seem to be changing color.
    - me again

  3. I too am battling with the slugs.
    ......I think they're winning.