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Re: Canner going fast and furiously!
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #866571 by LuLaHe
Aug 27, 2014 5:39pm
Thread
We were able to get a bumper crop of cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, lettuce, and basil. My yellow squash, spaghetti squash and zucchini ended up with powdery mildew so not much luck. Cauliflower and broccoli grew but attracted worms. Strawberries are still going crazy! I spent last week making batches of pesto to freeze and this week I've prepared eggplant parm and shredded zucchini for the freezer. I thought I was done after strawberries, peaches, raspberries and blueberries. Good thing we have two freezers! Not a canner, unfortunately, so we are gorging on tomatoes.
Re: Canner going fast and furiously!
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #866571 by LuLaHe
Aug 27, 2014 7:09pm
Thread
I've made many delicious loaves of zucchini bread,

If you need to be relieved of a loaf or loaves, you are welcome to send some this way please.
Re: Canner going fast and furiously!
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #866616 by koalacat
Aug 27, 2014 7:50pm
Thread
Well, I can send you the recipe, if that helps. My 8 year old keeps inventory on the loaves though. I tried to sneak a slice the other night, got busted in the morning...He actually measured the loaf!
Re: Canner going fast and furiously!
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #866616 by koalacat
Aug 28, 2014 4:57am
Thread
Add some blueberries to that zucchini bread. I LOVE Blueberry zucchini bread.

I am not too sure about pickled tomatoes though. Has anyone tried them?
Re: Canner going fast and furiously!
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #866577 by LROSEM
Aug 28, 2014 5:12am
Thread
We had so many one year and a friend we fifted put mayo on toast addwd bacon slices and on the next he put 9 cherry tomatoes. He got a tomato with each bite. Good idea I thought...no slippery sandwich.
Re: Canner going fast and furiously!
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #866571 by LuLaHe
Aug 28, 2014 6:56am
Thread
canning questions from a non-canner.

One of my summer projects was to make our own Pepper Jelly. Have you ever had it? WOW - its SOoooo good. (drooling here)

Added the ingredients, warmed the jars and lids (we did this in a big pot and let them boil), pour the delicious concoction into the jars (salivating for a taste). Screwed on the lids (HOT! Ouch) and waited for them to "pop". now I was told that after they "pop" to press them back down and tighten the lids even more. something went wrong... hardly any popped. I'd like to try again but not sure I can use the same lids. Do I need to get new ones each time? And any advice on canning and sealing?
Re: Canner going fast and furiously!
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #866676 by Team Mac
Aug 28, 2014 7:10am
Thread
First off, YES! you need new lids. I know it seems like a huge waste, but it is necessary to make sure you get a good seal.

Second, unless I'm reading bit wrong, you missed a step. Your boil of the jars is to sterilize them. After you fill them and lid them, they have to go back into the water bath to boil. This is what kills any organisms in the product itself. Time depends of what you're canning. I suspect this is why you didn't get a pop.

You should never have to push the center down. The vacuum that's created during the canning process is what pulls the lid down. The band is only there to keep the lid on during the process. Once it's sealed, that lid should be rock hard, and so tight you have to pry it off of the jar.

Hope that helps. I only started canning about 6 years ago, but I love it! Check out Balls website, and get their Blue Book of canning. And keep in mind, short cuts are not always safe cuts...
Re: Canner going fast and furiously!
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #866676 by Team Mac
Aug 28, 2014 7:56am
Thread
Are you using a tested recipe? You can't trust anything not tested and written after the 80s. I suggest a Ball book of canning or their website. No one wants to risk getting sick. You have to boil the jars in a water bath after jarring and they will almost always seal themselves. You should not touch them, once out of the bath, for 24 hours or they may not gel. You don't need to tighten the rings. In fact, after they seal, you don't need the rings at all.

Sorry, I am a food safety freak.
Re: Canner going fast and furiously!
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #866676 by Team Mac
Aug 28, 2014 7:01pm
Thread
I agree with the advice the others have just given you. (I use the Ball Blue Book of Canning too!) You also want to make sure to wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp towel after you fill them, before putting the lid on. Any food residue between the jar and the lid can keep it from sealing properly.
Re: Canner going fast and furiously!
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #866571 by LuLaHe
Aug 29, 2014 6:21am
Thread
The extent of my garden here in Socal is the space I have on my second floor balcony. The herbs are doing well (basil, rosemary, chives, thyme), several varieties of lavender are keeping the hummingbirds happy, eggplant is still trying, blackberry is growing like a weed, two types of tomato (too early to tell), lime tree looks promising, peach tree is getting healthier, papaya tree is still too young, miniature banana tree is the newest addition.

I find the plants are happier if I leave them be and let the hubby handle it. I've had a black thumb all my life. I only get involved when it's time to repot.
Garden Question
Board: Garden Gnomes
Feb 15, 2016 8:08pm
Thread
I was trying to think of a way to keep down weeds in a large garden without chemicals and wondered if this would work. If I layed newspaper between the seeded rows and put pinestraw on top? I did it this way in a small strawberry patch, but wasn't sure if it'd be ok in a large vegetable garden.
Re: Garden Question
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920359 by Hosmer's
Feb 16, 2016 5:18am
Thread
Yes, it will work. It really helps with the weeds and is easy to walk on.
Re: Garden Question
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920359 by Hosmer's
Feb 23, 2016 11:49am
Thread
Yes, that will work well. If some weed seeds do set on top of the straw, they will pull up in a jiffy! It will also help conserve water.
In large areas, like paths or between shrubs I have done brown cardboard as well.
Re: Garden Question
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920808 by storm rider
Feb 23, 2016 12:33pm
Thread
People are doubting me because it's a large garden. I say :-P~ to them. I'm about to go pick up some newspaper now.
Fruit Tree Placement
Board: Garden Gnomes
Feb 23, 2016 3:35pm
Thread
Ok, I've got another question. My husband and I disagree about aesthetics and I wanted some opinions. We have about an acre in the front yard. I want to place the fruit trees randomly about the space. My husband thinks we should plant them in neat, organized straight rows like what big orchards do. So we'll do this poll style. Interesting for random and educational for rows. You can add your opinions if you like. :)
Re: Fruit Tree Placement
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920816 by Hosmer's
Feb 23, 2016 4:05pm
Thread
The front of your house may give you a clue as to what would look best. Is it a formal design or informal? Formal means that each side of the house is the same, with the door in the middle. Many colonial styles are formal. Informal will have each side different.
With a formal design, you may want your trees in rows to complement what style your house is. With informal design, you could do either random plantings or group plantings. Look up ideas on the web to see what you like.
Re: Fruit Tree Placement
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920818 by Evermore
Feb 23, 2016 4:33pm
Thread
We live in a manufactured home, so definitely not formal or fancy. ;) I'll look up designs and see if I can sway him to my side.
Re: Fruit Tree Placement
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920820 by Hosmer's
Feb 23, 2016 11:23pm
Thread
You may want to consider color of bloom, too. And time of blooming. They may need to play a part in your scheme of things...have fun, and good luck for future harvest...yummy!
Re: Fruit Tree Placement
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920816 by Hosmer's
Feb 24, 2016 11:47am
Thread
Rows. Because mowing is easier. If you want it to LOOK random, from front and sides, try planting at the diagonal.

But depends on how many you plant, and how far apart they are, I guess.
Re: Fruit Tree Placement
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920816 by Hosmer's
Feb 24, 2016 3:11pm
Thread
I planted mine in rows. Row of apples, row of peaches, row of pears, etc.
Some are dwarf and some are standard size trees so the spacing between the trees are different.
Therefore, they line up along one axis, but not the other, giving it a little bit of a random look.
Mowing along the rows is easy. I tried mowing across rows and it was haphazard; not straight at all.
Also, mowing under dwarf trees is a bit of a pain because of the low branches, I can trim the low branches off the standard trees but not so much off the dwarf trees.

Prince Igor
Re: Fruit Tree Placement
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920816 by Hosmer's
Feb 25, 2016 6:35am
Thread
Thanks for all the tips guys! These are teeny barely trees, so we've decided to put them in pots and let them grow a bit more before putting them in the ground. Still not sure how I'm placing them all, but we have time to figure it out.
Garden Blog
Board: Garden Gnomes
Feb 25, 2016 4:17pm
Thread
I started a blog on the garden we are trying to do this year, if anyone wants to follow. http://brethilfarm.blogspot.com/ It'll probably include pics of the animals and the fruit trees/berry bushes.
Re: Garden Blog
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920931 by Hosmer's
Feb 26, 2016 4:17am
Thread
Hey, that's great!!!
Re: Garden Blog
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920951 by crosscresent
Feb 26, 2016 4:37am
Thread
Thanks. I don't really know what I'm doing. I just keep reading about things and asking questions and hope for the best.
Re: Garden Blog
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920952 by Hosmer's
Feb 26, 2016 5:33am
Thread
I bet it all comes together. One year I mindlessly planted a tomato plant in the ground in front of my patio. The next year it grew back. The next year after that, 4 or 5 grew back.They grew from the seeds of fallen maters. We had cherry tomatoes for the whole neighborhood for the whole summer.
Re: Garden Blog
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920931 by Hosmer's
Feb 26, 2016 7:36am
Thread
Great beginning! Which zone are you gardening in? We're in zone 9, but live below a mesa so our winters can be more zone 8-ish.

Happy gardening!
Traveling Garden Gnome
Re: Garden Blog
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920963 by Traveling Garden Gnome
Feb 26, 2016 8:44am
Thread
We're in zone 8, so not a bad place to garden, except when it gets crazy hot in the summer.
Re: Garden Question
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920809 by Hosmer's
Feb 27, 2016 7:28pm
Thread
I really appreciate wisdom of folks who have learned from their own experiences! Go with your gut :-) and if it doesn't work out, you'll know not to do that again. But it makes sense to do what you're suggesting :-)
Re: Garden Blog
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #920931 by Hosmer's
Mar 5, 2016 2:56pm
Thread
I updated it. :-D
Re: Canner going fast and furiously!
Board: Garden Gnomes
Reply to: #866652 by LROSEM
Mar 31, 2017 11:45am
Thread
Personally, I like pickled tomatoes. It's kind of a matter of taste.