Saturday, August 14, 2010

Odds and ends

I went out and treated the squashes for fungus. it seems to have bloomed overnight. I didn't get to go outside until after that other entry today, but when i did i saw a few squash leaves totally gray with powdery mildew. The summer squash are polka dotted with it too.

I also treated the tomatoes against any local blights  (early or late) that have been circulating.

And then i sprayed some BT to keep the worms out of my cabbages and corn.

This is what i picked yesterday.  They are ripening, slow but sure.

Oh, those square, gallon plus ice cream boxes that  i have them on,  they make great kit containers. I save them for storing lots of things, like my reusable yogurt cups & lids, i kept baby bottle parts in them, cake decorating supplies and we use one as the scrap bucket for the outdoor compost. (The worm bin gets the small bits right away), we keep it next to our coffee maker and its handy for the grounds to go in. The lid keeps fruit flies from getting curious and setting up house.

Um, lets see... i took some more pictures since i had been so lazy the last handful of days.  I love the carnival squash.  They are so decorative on the table that i don't mind them hanging around as decorations until they are stored away, Here's another variation.

Here is a Long Island Cheese

I don't know that i have seen anything from my Red Eye recently, i thought i saw some starting a couple weeks ago, but i didn't happen across any today.  They are a delicious squash, so i hope i have a few this fall.  They are butternut in texture and reminded me of hubbard in flavor.

Here's my single artichoke- its actually a small victory for me in a way because they say you can't grow them up here. This variety gives me the best shot that i know of, and the seed developers didn't fib. Of course one artichoke does not make a grand harvest, but i really hope this means that next year's starts from this year's roots will equal a modest harvest next summer.  Of course, i have to admit that i have no idea when it is or will be ready. Artichokes vary in size and shape by cultivar,  this looks like what is sold as a "baby" size at the grocery store.  I want to eat it, but it would just be one small bite even if it reaches standard size. I have considered letting it flower and set seeds in hopes of retaining a type that is likely to continue producing the first year.  But i have to look into it more:
Barring any more woodchucks, i may have some good cabbage soon. This is Point One:

.The other plants did recover like i hoped they wood. That gardening book i got from my Grandfather before he passed away said that a cabbage can regrow from a stub and produce multiple, smaller heads...the author was right!  I can see 3 good ones and 2 smaller ones getting ready to head up.

I never did cut down that swiss chard.  The seeds i started to put in their place never germinated. Not one. It may have been too hot. That was when we had those days close to 100 degrees. I don't think what i planted likes heat.  Too bad cause it was a waste of seeds.  But the chard is looking good again, its been cut or woodchuck raided at least 3 times now.

This is my only pepper so far
I checked for egglpant again and i don't see a thing, not even a hint.

Burdock leaves,  i'm really curious to learn what this root veggie will taste like. Its been interesting watching it grow.

And finally, the bare spot we want to become grassy. Its slowly coming in.  It needs watering daily though, which is a problem since we haven't gotten more than an inch of rain here for 3 weeks or more.

But the peegee hydrangea is enjoying the extra watering!  I expect some great color this fall.

Since the air is so dry, i decided to use the Durabrand Dehydrator* to try making some beet chips.  I pulled some beets yesterday thinking i'd share them with the neighbors, then i got distracted and they stayed outside all night on the side step.  I didn't want to give them wilted beets, so i decided to try and see if they make good chips since i said something about it at the Never Done Farm blog.
I used my mandoline slicer on the finest insert and i put them in with another summer squash.  I did the summer squash on medium last time, but i'm trying the thinner setting this time. Might not have been very wise because the mid size slice produces a veggie chip only slightly thicker than a standard potato chip.  These squash chips might turn out like stiff paper. But then, they will be easier for the little one to snack on, they should melt in her mouth.   I have no idea what to expect from the beets. If they do what sweet potatoes do, they will be a nice crispy crunch.

I spent a good deal of time last night at the Excalibur dehydrator site. They have some nice instructional videos.  I watched the entire Dehydrate2Store presentation and learned quite a bit.  She gives a lot of good and practical advice and the presentation is nice and clear.  The only thing i wished she would have done is turned on the Excalibur so i'd have an idea how loud it is.  But everything she used in the videos sound loud so it may be a good thing. lol

*I noticed when trying to find a replacement dehydrator about a year ago that a lot of people are looking for the Durabrand Dehydrator User Manual. I found that i still had my original copy so i scanned it into my computer and uploaded it to my Photobucket account for anyone who may wish to find it by searching for Durabrand User Manual or Durabrand Dehydrator.  Here is the link to the scanned images of the manual:
Durabrand Dehydrator Manual

Hopefully anyone who needs it will find it.


Mal's Allotment said...

Really enjoying your sense of adventure, IB (BTW I have a problem with the "Icebear" epithet - It's not what you read like)

What are you planning to do with your burdock?

Artichokes are looking good. Once it's established it could produce returns for years if it likes the conditions.

But your temperatures are exceeding aything we get here in Scotland. The temperature has NEVER topped 30 degrees Celcius(86F) since records began. This could explain why my tomatoes are still green whereas you have lots of ripe fruit. We don't grow squashes or melons here as a result. Marrows and courgettes only. (We can hardly manage corn/maize)

Curious to know why your "point" cabbages are round, not pointed.

Also impressed by how enthusiastic you are about the various technologies for drying, dehydrating and packing produce. I limit myself to freezing, jam making and pickling (aside from the odd country wine making escapade) but I'm willing to learn.

icebear said...

its a name i have been using for so many years, i've almost forgotten that it might seem odd. Its been my online tag since i was 15, so its to the point if someone were to call it out in a public place, i'd likely respond. lol

Not sure what i'm going to do with the burdock. I understand it can be used in soups, stews and along with other root veg with roasts and such. I guess it depends on how it tastes. It will be a while before i can sample it, its supposed to be a late fall item. Totally new to me.
The artichokes, i understand, will need babying. I'll give it my best.
It is unusual for us to get into the 100's very often. Our weather can be extremely variable. Some summers are shockingly cool and some are wildly hot. This one has been a hot one.
You've had good weather for fennel! That explains where i went wrong, it was getting hot at the worst time for mine. lol
Melons can happen here, and the results are between teasing and worth planting.

The cabbage is a bit more round than i expected, it is more pointed than it looks in that photo angle. It probably has something to do with the fact that its actually a secondary 'fruiting' since those plants were mowed almost to nubs by the first woodchuck. I bet if i never got raided, it would have been more like the seed company's pictures.

I'm a repressed pack rat. And i think i'm half stuck in the old days and half in the technology age. I'd love to think i'd be suited to the time when my country had its great Western expansion, homestead claims and such. But i am almost obsessed with kitchen gadgets and food. So this dangerous mix expressed itself into gardening and is a ragged but well-behaved little monster. lol

Mal's Allotment said...

Just had a thought:

icebear = polarbear?

I associate burdock only with "dandelion and burdock", which was a popular soft drink flavouring in some parts of the UK but unheard of elsewhere.

Appreciate your comments - I see a modern day Laura Ingles Wilder (!!!?) lol

icebear said...

Yeah, i loved those books as a kid. Especially "Farmer Boy" it was mostly about horses and food! lol

Faith said...

That's utterly hilarious!

Farmer Boy is one of my favorite books for the same reasons. I love the life, the food, the farm. It's ME!!!!!

Now I've forgotten all about the original post. lol

I absolutely love artichokes. I would need a whole bed of them to feel happy. Eating about 5 a week, just for me. So that would be about 20 plants, but of course there's little chance I could get them to bloom gradually, so I'd be eating all of them in one month. Sort of like I'm eating watermelon and cantaloupe right now. One each, every day.

My eggplant took a while to get going - then I got a few big ones, now they are covered in little ones.

Lots of peppers. Yesterday I baked a casserole dish of brown rice (Alton Brown - I LOVE you!) and mixed in two pounds of hot sausage. Now we are eating stuffed bell peppers to my heart's content. Michael is not as thrilled as I am, but he is looking forward to the jalepeno poppers I promised him. I hope to do those sometime in the next couple of days.

...looking at some YouTube videos to see if any of them show you how loud it is. Wish I knew how to upload my own videos, I'd take you on a tour! :o).....

Well, I found some, but it's hard to get the feel for how loud it is, as the mics are generally on the vocals, rather than the room noise.

OK, this will sound really funny, but I was trying to find something that would be similar in noise level. I tried my blow drier on low, and that was too loud, but I noticed that when I first turned it on, the little rumble it made just before it fully kicked in, was kind of similar to the noise level the dehydrator makes. So if you have a blow drier, try that.


icebear said...

oh, i used to love stuffed peppers! the rest of my family isn' too keen on them, so i don't make them much, but they were a favorite of mine before i had to knock off the grains.
I can make hot poppers and eat them if i use crushed pork rinds as the 'breading', they come out nice.

i'm guessing the Excalibur won't be too much louder than the Nesco that i have now. That has an annoying whine to it. The Durabrand i can hardly tell is running. Somewhere in the middle and i will be happy, but if its louder than that i can work around it.

Artichokes- that is a debate i'm having with myself on how much space to use for them. I need another two rows of garden space to play with, lol