Tag Archives: Canning and Preserving

Rain…Then More Rain…Finally, More Rain!

Rain…Then More Rain…Finally, More Rain!

Yesterday, we had a 50% chance of rain. That should have been the first clue. Monday we had an 80% chance of rain and we didn’t get a sprinkle, not even a drop.

The skies opened up last night and unleashed every bit of pent up frustration they’ve been holding back. The result has been three inches of rain with thunderstorms forecast for this afternoon. I have to go get some things in place to protect some seedlings that are seriously disgruntled with my lack of protection yesterday.

On the up side…more food will get put in jars today, since staying out isn’t in the cards.

Yesterday I managed to can six quarts of radishes, and made two quarts of refrigerator pickles. Most excitedly,  the verdict is in…

The Spanish Black radishes do NOT turn black or gray! They are lovely!

Spanish Black Radish Pickles

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Paisley Plant of the Week: Tricolor Scalloped (Pattypan) Squash

Paisley Plant of the Week: Tricolor Scalloped (Pattypan) Squash

I love squash! I love it raw, steamed, mashed, pickled, you name the preparation procedure, I like it.

For the past two years I was unable to grow my own and was verklempt over it. I’ve made up for it this year.

Would anyone like some squash? = )

I can’t really say I love any one kind more than another, what drama that would cause.

Green Pattypan

I will tell you that I adore Pattypan (or Scalloped) Squash. I’m growing it Tri-color this year. I’ve had all of the colors before, but never at the same time; so this is pretty fun (and Paisley).

White Scalloped

Renee’s Garden sells color coded seed so you can actually grow them in a color order. I loved this idea until it came time to plant the transplants in the garden. I ended up intentionally not looking at which color would be where, it turns out I wanted to be surprised. It’s not like I have a nursery to paint or clothes to make, I’m just going to see what turns out.

Last fall I did the same thing with my carrot seeds. I put all the seeds that had the same requirements and harvesting times together and waited to see what was dug up. At this juncture, my OCD requires me to tell you that I had carefully listed all the possible varieties so that I could remember which were a hit and which fell short. (Phew. . . get off me cranky disorder)

Tri color Pattypan

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A Few Reminders

A Few Reminders

I hope you have a really great, paisley weekend!

Please take a moment to look at a few past posts that are in need of some comments and advice.

First off, I need help with some canning concerns. If you have some experience with canning and preserving, I really need your help. Please take a moment to look over the article on Whimsical Wednesday and let me know what you think.

Second, I’m still in need of some ideas for my crazy science experiment with radish tops. Read the article about Myrosinase and give me some feedback.

Feedback welcome always! Oh, and don’t forget to tell your friends about the site = )

I’m out to the garden now. Again, have a great weekend. I hope it’s sooo paisley!~KeriAnne

Whimsical Wednesday

Whimsical Wednesday

I’m feeling the burn of planting 28 cucumber plants yesterday. Luckily, we have church tonight so gardening is reserved for watering and feeding only. I usually keep Wednesday as a “stay in” day so I’m fresh for church. I did go out and check everybody this morning. They’re all giddy since the good soaking rain we got yesterday evening.

It was kind of fun, I was on the last cucumber when it started sprinkling. I had just enough time to put my tools away, store the wheelbarrow and pop up on the porch before the skies let loose. I planted, God watered them in. = )

So, here’s what else is on my mind today (because I know you were wondering).

First off…canning and preserving.

Radishes are picked, pared, processed and pickled! Yay! So far I have 1 full quart and 4 half quarts of the French Breakfast.

Pickled French Breakfast, Bread and Butter style

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Paisley Plant of the Week: Wonderberry or Sunberry

Paisley Plant of the Week: Wonderberry or Sunberry

Big drama in the plant of the week this week. Scandal, heartbreak, a reputation in ruins, all happened with this two foot high plant.

To start with, what’s in a name?

Luther Burbank

Luther Burbank (1949-1926) was a great botanist in his time. He was said to have developed 800-1000 new species of plants. Even a fraction of that total would be amazing. Unfortunately the man was not without his naysayers. I believe there is a certain amount of professional jealousy that may have been involved with some of the more vicious attacks on his character.

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Paisley Plant of the Week: Jelly Melon

Paisley Plant of the Week: Jelly Melon

Kiwano or Jelly melon

What is this thing? Roughly the size and shape of an oblong personal melon of some kind. But, then it’s “horned” and bumpy, and well, it’s orange. Open it up and, woah Nellie, it’s green! Bright green! Is this someones idea of a garden joke? Sort of.

In Africa, where it originates, it is called “gaka” or “gakachika”. It can be called kiwano, melano, horned melon, English tomato, or cherie. It has many names. I think it’s because it’s kind of hard to peg. It can be eaten while it is still green, allowed to ripen to it’s full bright yellow and orange or at any stage in between.

Fruit from Outer Space?

It’s called a melon, but it’s really a cucumber. It’s kind of big like a melon, but inside it looks like a cucumber and it’s banana, citrus, cucumber, zucchini flavor all at once will have you wondering just what is this thing?

I love the Jelly Melon for a few reasons.

  1. It bears smallish size melons, perfect for a trellis.
  2. It’s interesting color and texture provides imaginative decoration in the garden and in the kitchen.
  3. It’s good in juice, you can also make a jam with it.
  4. It is extremely productive.
  5. You can pick the fruit small and pickle them.
  6. It’s high in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, B6,  and and has about 2g of fiber when you eat it skin and all. That’s pretty nutritious for one fruit Read the rest of this entry

Paisley Plant of the Week: Green Meat Radish

Paisley Plant of the Week: Green Meat Radish

This is only the second year I have grown radishes. I had forgotten how fun they are. I remember now.

So, what’s fun about radishes?

To start with, they grow super fast. Super Fast! I started a line of French Breakfast on a Thursday, this was them on Tuesday.

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Anyone Can Can? 5 Things to Can and Preserve This Year

Anyone Can Can? 5 Things to Can and Preserve This Year

I am amazed at the resurgence in popularity of life skills that were once completely taken for granted, deemed “archaic” and “dying arts” that now are considered chic and fresh. Recently I read an article that surmised more people under the age of thirty knit than do over the age of sixty. My friend Staci Brown, a statistics teacher, would say that was skewed because of population density or size of survey but that, notwithstanding, is an interesting supposition I think.

Anywhere you look you can see a mounting interest in homesteading, gardening, canning and preserves, and several of the needle arts from bygone eras. You can find it in the bookstores, on television, on the radio, podcasts a plenty, even our fashions are reflecting the trend.

One of the most popular dresses right now is a modern version of the “pillow case” dresses that were prevalent in the depression of the Thirties. It’s interesting to me that during the depression these were used because flour sacks and feed sacks were used to make pillowcases because that was the only “fabric” people could afford or was available, and now these dresses are made from expensive designer material very often.

Dress made from Flour Sack 

Antique Flour Sack Dress

New "Pillow case" dress

Modern equivalent of the old "Pillow Case" Dress

 

So what does any of this have to do with the garden? Hold your horses, I’m getting there.

We’re at the precipice of the growing season, so close to jumping off. Now is when we need to decide to can or not to can. If you’re going to be putting up some of your produce, it’s a good idea to get your stuff together now so you’re not in a mad scramble come August or September when you have fifty pounds of tomatoes, two bushels of zucchini and mountains of green beans in your kitchen. If you’re not going to can, you should start deciding who you’ll be giving all of your leftovers to and arrange for delivery. ; )

If nothing else, start looking for bargains on canning jars, easily the most expensive component when canning after you have your basic equipment. Remember, you can reuse jars, but you’ll need new lids and collars. I get jars from estate sales and yard sales all the time, you’re going to sterilize them anyway, why not?

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