Saturday, August 7, 2010


Atomic Red carrots, Crosby Egyptian beets and some finoccio.

My finoccio was pretty much all bolting,  other than that it hadn't actually grown for weeks. I don't think it was getting enough water... the ferny tips were always drying out.
I planted a square maybe 4'x4' and it looks like only 2 stayed in a nice bulb, the third one i kept looks like it was in the process of getting away.  They may be too tough for roasting and being a side dish on their own, so they may end up going into the Clay Pot Cooker as an aromatic for a roasted chicken.

The carrots are looking good. I really don't eat them because of the LC thing, but they smell nice and the roots are firm, longer and straighter than i expected.  I mainly planted them for the rest of the family. I did sample a bite.

I once was brough to the farm of a family member (cousins i think, fairly far removed- i was too young to remember who and i haven't remembered to quiz my parents about it) and we were taken on a tour of the fields. I remember watching as some carrots were pulled up, wiped clean and i was given one to try.  I still remember how unlike grocery store carrots it tasted.
Mine have a similar flavor as that one did (if memory is as sharp as i hope), they are a tad bitter but the taste is stronger than store bought.

Atomic red is supposed to be higher in lycopene than regular orange carrots, but since the color is only skin deep (at least in mine) i don't know that the amount is all that critical.
I think i'd like to try another type of carrot next year.  I also have Cosmic Purple carrots out there...
I got the colored carrots more as a novelty since io had no idea if i was going to get much out of it with this being new soil.... i figured if i only got a handful of roots it would be pretty cool for them to be fun colored!

The beets.  I'll have to cook them up. I'm wondering if they will be tough....i'm always worried things will be tough.  They were planted just behind the carrots in the row so i think if the carrots were not tough, the beets shouldn't be either.
If these are good i should plan to plant a much larger row next year so i can make pickled beets without sugar.

I picked another 3# of summer squashes today,  i get an average of a pound a day though i only pick every other or 3 days.

I'm trying to decife if i should plant more SS next year but harvest them when they still have their blossoms attached (my favorite size) or just plant 2 of each again and simply dehydrate or freeze any (any?, hah!) extras.

Oh, i did make SS chips yesterday, my oldest daughter loves them! Sooooo...looks like i'll be making much more. Sweet potatoes also make great chips when dehydrated.
There is a brand of chips at my health food store, i forget the name, but its a bag of mixed veggies...taro, carrot, parsnip, red potato and beets all thinly sliced and fried up like potato chips.  I bet i could make a blend similar to that, only dehydrated instead and no taro. Its worth a try.
I want an Excalibur dehydrator now. *sniffle*

I have 2 dehydrators. One is an old Durabrand that i may have gotten for Christmas when i was in my teens (my parents also got me a juicer another Christmas, which i still have), yes i was an odd teen.  The other is a Nesco American Harvest FD-39.  It has the heat and fan at the top, which is ok because it won't get filled with juices and oils when i dry meat, but it is loud.  My Durabrand is quiet.  The NAH dries quicker but the noise makes me prefer slow over loud. The trays are also not made to stack high or compact so i can't control the airflow and once when making fruit leather with the sheets, the NAH actually melted its lower tray right in the center a bit.  So i only use it for leathers and keep the bottom tray empty for now. The NAH trays are also way more flimsy and the mesh can break while being cleaned.

Anyway, i'm glad i learned that summer  squash dries up quite nicely!

Tomatoes are all still quite green except for another Siberia which is getting orangey. In 2 more days i think it should be ready.
The first tomato harvest always begins with a smattering of readies.

Edit To Add-

I peeled and cooked the beets, they are delicious!


Leigh said...

It looks like your harvest is coming along well. Interesting about the two different dehydrators. I have a blogging friend who's planning to by a Nesco. I do like my Excalibur, but then, it's the only one I've ever had.

icebear said...

Oh, you have an Excalibur?
What type is it- or what model?
I want a 9 tray at least if i get one. My little Durabrand can't possibly last forever, though i don't hate the Nesco i don't plan on owning that model again, but i need the square footage of the 2 machines combined.
I see prices from $175- $220. 2900 and 3900.
So i gotta figure out what is the best deal without over or underbuying.

Oh, the garden...yes! It has been quite nice this year, better than i'd hoped even . I have a couple ideas to make things better next year, but this one hasn't been bad in the long run. :o)

Faith said...

Have you roasted fennel bulbs before? I really missed the boat last year. I had dozens of them, but waited too long to harvest. I was really looking forward to them. So this year I though (as every site said they reseed outrageously) that I'd have another shot. But the reseeding did not happen as much as I expected.

I've been doing nothing but sleep walking and sleeping for the last few days. I have been so tired but still doing what needs to be done, and falling asleep in between. I'd like to get down to the garden and see what has been happening down there.

Things are really beginning to fall apart around here; car, tools, mowers, etc. We seem to be fighting a declining battle. But we hope to be getting the mowers running again this week and make some sense of all the mess out there. :oP

I'm so glad you discovered the squash chips. What a great way to put up ALL your summer squash for winter. I liked the shredded squash dried for winter soups too, but it takes up a lot of space on the racks.

I used to make a lot of sweet potato chips, which also taste great with salsa. I soak them in ACV first, then salt them.

I do like my Excalibur, but like you, I really dislike the noise. I always cannot wait til the batches are done. If it were out of the way it would be better, but it's right in the center of the house, on the kitchen counter.

You have been slowly stocking up on really quality food preservation and gardening tools. You'll have that Excalibur soon! :o)


icebear said...

I'll probably end up with the Excalibur soon... i have no resistance when i have the means.
I feel kind of guilty buying 'the best' stuff- the expensive stuff, but i have wasted a lot on cheaper things and been burned. In many ways you do get what you pay for. (Unless you find it at Good Will for steal!)
Where to put it would be the question. But the round ones aren't a real treat to stow away either.

I remember you blogging last year about drying all sorts of veggies and reoccurred to me only by reading other blogs about it too. I had dried tomatoes once before- the summer after i got my Durbrand. My dad wasn't impressed, he was convinced it wasted the juice. I tried to explain that it only concentrated it, but he was cranky that day and being silly, lol

Roasted fennel is very good in my opinion. The grocery store ones are the only chance i have had to cook 'em. I quarter the bulbs, then halve the quarters, drizzle with evoo, S&P, maybe balsamic then roast in the oven at 400F 'til they look done.
They are good sliced thinly in any salads and they go great with most mild fish dishes.

Sorry to hear things are rough for you right now.
I'll keep praying for you. *worried look*


Leigh said...

I have no idea of the model. It's only a 5 tray and I bought it about 10 years ago. The price take was around $200 I did price the 9 tray the other day, but considering I already have one, I can't place it at the top of the financial priority list n good consciousness! I could definitely use more dehydrating space though, especially with the watermelon I'm doing currently. How bad is your humidity? Sun drying would be great if it wasn't for that.

icebear said...

Our humidity has been up and down this summer. We have had days where you will be dripping if you move an inch and like today it is dry and very pleasant, almost feels cold compared to the previous days.

Well, i am convinced that my next dehydrator will be an Excalibur, if hubby can handle my buying just one more big ticket kitchen item. I can't think of anything else i'd need after that, so i hope it works out. The Excalibur site is offering a no-charge extra 10 year warranty with the purchase of the machine i want- this is good until the last day of this month. I don't know if this is one of those constant "sales" or not, but otherwise it is considered a $30 add-on.
If i want it for garden veggies i will need it soon anyway. I could use it all winter for jerky and other things that happen to pop up when you have the equipment handy.