You Say Potato, I Say Potahto

Actually I don’t say potahto.  I say tomahto but that’s it in that category.  I do love that song with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.  What a musical combo.  I love listening to them.  Not like today’s singers that overload on those silly runs trying to prove they can sing.  If you can sing, just sing!

It was time to harvest the potatoes.  I was keeping my fingers crossed we would have a bumper crop and then we’d have to figure out how to store the tremendous bounty.  Reality wasn’t quite like that.

Potato harvest 1 2013

We had already harvested the two little towers and didn’t get a whole lot but they were small.  We had enough for a few meals.  But it was time to tackle the two big ones.  You know they are ready when the plants die back.

Potato harvest 2 2013

My husband tipped them over and it was time to dig in.   The kids had fun with this.  Nothing like getting all dirty!

Potato harvest 3 2013

We had a few good size ones like this one but many were small and some pea sized.   I kept those too.  My husband thought I was crazy but dang it we grew them, we’re keeping them!

Potato harvest 4 2013

We filled the bucket about halfway.  Not exactly the tremendous bounty I was dreaming about.

Potato harvest 5 2013

But it was more than what we bought to plant and they are delicious.  I’ll have to do some research over winter to see how to increase our yield organically.  In the meantime roast potatoes and parsnips sounds good.  🙂

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Freezing Peppers

We planted a massive amount of pepper plants this year so we have quite the bumper crop.  I didn’t want the peppers to go to waste as the season winds down.  I did a bit of research this past month on the internet and found that you can just freeze them.  You can either freeze straight out of the garden or blanch them.  I choose the easy way.  🙂

I picked a bunch, washed them, and patted them dry.  I chopped them up into the size I wanted and put on a cookie sheet.

I just love all the colours!  I pop them in the freezer for at least 24 hours.

I then vacuum seal in the portion sizes I need.  This vacuum sealer has paid for itself many times over and it is relatively easy to use.  Needless to say our freezer is getting full!

Harvesting our Black Beans

I had a bit of time before having to pick up my son so my daughter and I decided to start the black bean harvest.  This is the first year we planted them.  I had decided to plant them after Rich told me about the concerns of canned foods and the chemicals being leached into the food.  Ick!  I try to buy organic whenever I can but I was having trouble finding organic black beans that weren’t canned so I thought we would try to grow them this year.

Turned out to be very easy.  After I planted them I waited.  I get a little obsessive once I plant something because I worry whether or not they will grow.  Grow these did.  They shot out of the ground all of a sudden.  In the morning I noticed them poking through by the end of the day they were nearly 2 inches tall!

They are ready to harvest when the pods are dry.

We only picked half so far because there were so many in the raised bed.  The plants produce quite a bit which is nice.

Can’t wait until it’s cooler.  We use black beans in our homemade chili.  We also use them in our quesadillas.

Radish Seeds

We accidentally got into seed collection this season.  Which is probably what happened thousands of years ago so this is not new!  I first decided to try it with some peas that were past freshness on the vine.  When I opened the dried pods I saw the seeds looked like the ones we bought.  So I planted them in August and they are coming up just as well as the ones we already had.  Sweet!

Every year we plant the radishes alongside the carrots.  We don’t eat a lot of them, just on salads but they are easy to grow.  Well this summer some bolted quickly and got pretty tall.  I saw they were developing pods so I opened on and saw the seeds.  I took one radish and cut the pod bunch off to dry.

They have been hanging round in the kitchen for a few weeks.  So I decided it was time to collect the seeds.  I wasn’t sure what to expect as I haven’t done this before but I was pleasantly surprised at how many seeds per pod there were.

So one radish that bolted got us this many seeds:

Not a bad return on investment!  I read recently somewhere that you should store seeds in the fridge to simulate winter.  I haven’t done this with any other seeds I’ve bought and then used for a few years so I wouldn’t mind some feedback on this.  In the meantime I put these seeds in a little bag and put them in the fridge.  I don’t see it would harm them.