2020 Veggie Gardens!

Thanks for the update! Happy to know you’re fine.

I too am happy you’ve dodged it so far @bbqboy, and hope they’re able to get it under control soon.

The sisterhood living down there were keeping me updated, but they’ve decamped to Gloucester for their planned vacation. Guess their H’s have it covered if they get evacuated…

So scary! Glad to see that you are safe, @bbqboy :pensive:

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9.5kg yesterday.

I should really go harvest some more today, but I’m exhausted.

Yesterday I enlisted the littles to hold bowls while I snipped tomatoes, which was a huge help!

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Stay safe, thanks for letting us know!

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Wow! How many plants do you have?

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Sometimes too much time elapses between our trips upstate, and I can’t harvest my garden as often as I should. So I got six of these behemoths. How the hell I am going to pickle them, in an oil drum? (I only have two left, so I don’t really need an oil drum.)

IMG_5380

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Often, when cucumbers get oversized and yellowish, they become very bitter and unusable. This depends on the variety, especially regarding color. Lemon cukes are yellowish when ripe. Sometimes, the bitterness is only in the skin and flesh right under the skin.

Speaking of bitter:


This is a White Bitter Melon, Momordica charantia. The variety is from Okinawa Japan, “Jyunpaku”. It’s supposed to be less bitter than others, but I’m raising it for seed. I got one plant from a $5.00 packet of seed, so want to generate in-house seed.

Aside from the sweet, fruity red seed coating (arils), I make bitter melon stuffed with spiced ground pork, with a fermented black bean sauce. It’s a VERY good Chinese recipe. It’s mildly bitter in the finished dish, yummy!

These white bitter melons are very ornamental. I just got some longer Chinese white bitter melon seed. It’s not quite as luminous white as Jyunpaku.

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In this case, no. I peeled and seeded them, and they were very good with tomato and basil (day one) and smashed, Sichuan-style (day two). The cucumber pictured is a Cross Country Pickling. I’m also growing lemon cukes, but that ain’t one of them.

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@bogman - Yum, I love bitter melon, but have only tried the green skin kind prevalent in Chinese cooking. I think I tried the Indian, small, super-bumpy kind once, but I don’t remember anything that different from the taste. I don’t think I’ve tried these white-skinned kind. I’ve seen similar ones sold in Asian markets labeled as Taiwanese bitter melon, and I wonder if they are really the same.

@small_h - are the cucumbers that get that big still crisp when you eat them, or do they start to feel soft and ripe?

These are, although I’ve been less lucky in the past. They do seem to hold a fair amount of water, but they still have a lot of structural integrity. And the skin is surprisingly unbitter.

If anyone here sees seed they’d like, of anything I’m growing, please let me know. I generally save a lot of seed and isolate it for purity. No charge. I don’t think I can mail outside the USA. With bitter melon, the seeds don’t live long in storage, declining after a year. So you have to keep seed fresh. Oddly, a 2 hour soak in distilled, white vinegar (5% acidity) can improve germination of bitter melon seeds (Fonseka & Fonseka).

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This is me right now.

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Yesterday’s harvest - the March of tomatoes has begun. Sauce making and canning to follow.

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Every. Tomato. Salad.
Beautified and photographed :rofl:

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Gorgeous! Now that deserves a nice bottle of wine :slightly_smiling_face:

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For those of you who don’t have a tomato mill yet, and grow a lot of tomatoes, you’ll find them very handy! I have a couple Squeezo brand, which are USA made and all the major parts are metal. Plus, parts can be had, including screens for berries and pumpkin. Crank the handle and puree comes out one shoot, skins and seeds out the other.

I discovered the hard way that prolonged cooking, then canning tomato sauce with seeds ruins the sauce. Over time and with intense cooking, the seeds release bitter and off flavors. 52 quarts got dumped. That was my first attempt. Trial two utilized a Squeezo!

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My purple pole beans were slow to start producing but then so many it was hard to keep up. Pictures of 2.5 lbs of purple beans, first shows some before blanching and some after, then the trays ready for dehydrating and last pic is of the 2.9 oz of well dried beans. So 37 oz = 2.9 oz dehydrated!
Interesting that they turn green after blanching and the purple again after drying.

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What do you do with those dried beans? Rehydrate them later?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold