Garden and Canning Update–September 18, 2017–Pickled Beets and the Berry Patch

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Patsy and I spent a long time working in the garden on Saturday morning.  As you can see, things are beginning to finish up, and we are pulling out the spent vines.  The nice cilantro, basil, boc choi, etc. that you see are doing well.  They are the seeds I planted in August for my fall crop.

On Friday, I pulled all the beets from last spring and made pickled beets.  There weren’t very many, but they were huge.

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They were really, really big and very ugly, but I boiled them for an hour and a half, peeled them, and cut them into chunks.

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I cut around the woody core and threw it away, as it was tough.  I got plenty anyway.

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I made a really big mess in the process and spent the rest of the day cleaning up pink beet juice.

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I made up the pickling brine according to the booklet I got from the extension office and canned for 30 minutes in a hot water bath, according to the directions.  Now, I have a nice bunch (around 14) of pint jars of pickled beets.  Yum!

While working in the garden on Saturday, I had Patsy pull and wash all the carrots, so I have about 5-1 gallon bags of those in the camper fridge.  We also dug the potatoes that were left and the few onions as well.  I picked lettuce and broccoli.  There were zucchini and cucumbers, too.  I picked every tomato that was red because it was supposed to rain. They tend to crack in the rain.  I got 1/3 box and will can those up this week.

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I was able to use a few of the volunteer baby green onions this week.  I need to weed around them better (obviously) and they should go all fall and live through the winter.

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The tiny little cabbages I planted have grown well this time, and are starting to head up.  The Swiss chard is prolific, but needs a little TLC.

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Our biggest task was to get these Marion (black) berries tied up.

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We pruned out the old, dead canes and untangled the new vines and tied them up.  Patsy was a big help.  We both ended up with lots and lots of stickers in our hands, despite the gloves.  In the end, we were both pleased with how the berry row looked, though!  This job is not for the faint of heart:)  I’m hoping I finally got the last sticker out of my hand last night!

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All done for this year!

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My sister sent more Italian prunes and grape tomatoes.  I will send the extra tomatoes to school with Rob, as neither she nor I can eat an entire bucket of them.  They are loving them at his school.

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The peas and kale are coming along nicely.  Kale is hardy, so will last.  Most of the garden is winding down, though, and I plan to continue pulling out spent vines, picking small bits of produce that are still ripening, and then Rob will till up the empty areas.  We have a huge compost pile where I’ve been throwing the old vines, canning scraps, etc., and we will spread all that out and till it in if we can.

We did get our first soaking rain last night, and so it will be wet this week, for the first time in a long time.  How nice.  We really needed it.

 

 

7 thoughts on “Garden and Canning Update–September 18, 2017–Pickled Beets and the Berry Patch”

  1. You have a really good garden helper.. so nice.
    Love the little grape tomatoes.. mine are finished and I am really missing them.. Love to
    eat them, and they are fantastic on pizzas.
    Garden looks really good.

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  2. Even if it is coming to an end, your garden is still looking lush and productive! I didn’t have much success with my garden, this year. Things came up just in time for a big heatwave and everything got burned to a crisp! I have a packet of beets, carrots, and snowpeas, which are cool weather plants for us, so, maybe towards the end of this month, or in October, I will try planting them to see if anything grows.

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    1. I don’t know whether or not you have a county extension office where you live, but they would be able to give you information about your specific climate, and when the right time to plant those things is. Good luck! I hope they grow. Growing things brings me such joy and satisfaction–I want everyone to feel that way!

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  3. Wow, such a productive garden! I admit to being a tad jealous as our growing season is so different here in Texas. I’m originally from PA and my parents and grandparents always had big gardens. You give me inspiration to keep trying. My cherry tomato plants did really well, all summer in fact so I will get some more of those next summer. I couldn’t remember if this was your first summer in your new house or second? Have a great week.

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    1. It is my first summer in the new house. We bought it towards the end of the summer last year, and I did plant a few things, just because I could:) So, I did lettuce, chard, etc., and there was 1 tomato plant the previous owner had planted that I got some from.

      I’m glad your cherry tomatoes did well–I don’t know anything about the climate of Texas, except I’ve heard it’s hot! I hope you can figure out some things that will grow, at least in the fall and spring.

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