Heading to Harvest chores

Nothing new for many of us, Some can, some freeze, and some just have folks come collect whatever is growin.

Last year with the whole ” No lids for Ju ” we did some apple fun stuff, some zuc and little more.

This year with the super early warm spell at the last of winter followed by a hard cold back to normal and then followed by winds from H_E double tooth picks,..and then drought..We have little to harvest.

I have potatoes to pull and cure, as I have mentioned. We have another counter full of tomatoes to blanch/peal/bag and freeze till the end of season. I know a lot of folk have already been talking about pulling plants.. We get little enough, we will let them produce until just before frost , then bring all green tomatoes to ripen on the counter.. nay that look like they won’t always have the Salsa Verde option. Once all our tomatoes are in and the bulk are ready for the pot then we will make up this next year’s worth of Pasta sauce and get it canned up.

I was digging through the main freezer the other day, mostly trying to figure out what was taking up all the room…..

I’ll be making up chicken stock/ soup starter. We buy whole chickens and then I break them down. It only takes a couple minutes per bird, so no biggie; Breasts are divided up for Chicken Strips, Ma’s ( my better half ) are remarkable . Dark meat usually is divided ; legs/ Thighs so I can use them for whatever I am wanting chicken in; rice, stews, casseroles….. Wings are kept separate for their own fun. Everything but the wings is skinned. Finally, The carcass after removing the breast meat is saved for stock and soup starter. Ma is not a big fan of dark meat , so I don’t usually add any extra meat besides what comes off the carcass to soups. Chicken and dumplings, of course, is different. Tossing herbs and veggies in with the stock that has chicken bits makes a great starter. Usually a quart of stock and one of the starter, toss in some noodles on occasion and soup is ready…

I also found cherries we had frozen.. I’ll cook that all down into juice and can it as well, condensed and without anything added.. It always makes a great addition to breakfast or Ma’s smoothies.

I also found a bunch of elderberries and currants; both black and red, so, I need to decide what way I want to go with each of those.

The rest? well, a pretty good balance of pork, chicken, and fish, along with veggies and fruit.. Fortunately also shredded Zuc , which we couldn’t get going at all this year as winds destroyed every series of plants I put out and behind wind fences…Wind fences work, but only to a certain extent. We had winds, again this year, that actually bent over single metal posts….Not loosen them in the soil… Bent the metal.. Including the ones not attached to any fence , and of course, those attached to only 5-wire barbwire.. So yeah, the wind tore up the wind fences and erased all the nice plants I put out, over and over again.

The new Northern garden did pretty well however…even though the wind tore apart the plastic between layers of wind fence. The pepper plants look great and we even got a hybrid of a hybrid that we planted from our seeds…We get a lot of new hybrids up here.. plants change to meet the needs.

Chocolate Sweet Hot pepper. from seeds we saved from a pepper that was mismarked from Ma’s candy store ( nursery) ..We had been getting tons of mismarked stuff over the years.. We finally have all the seeds of all the plants we need so we grow from our own seeds and get better results over all… If a plant makes it through season up here then puts on fruit, the seeds from that fruit tend to be hardier… These peppers were originally light orange. They look like a giant Habanero, more or less. Bigger than my palm with heat somewhere around Jalapeno range, a little hotter, but hits you more like a Habbie . The flavor was really nice; fruity/ pumpkiny.. So we planted this year.. I got two plants. One is still putting on pepper and they have yet to completely ripen. They are dark orange/red . These are actually chocolate brown all the way through with even a hint of that to it, mostly fruity and a warm heat.. and they ripened sooner then the other plant. Each plant has only their one kind of pepper though the seeds came from a single plant. No idea if the seeds will hold true next year, but we will sure try.

Our Habanero peppers are very big this year as well.

They are more than double the size we have been able to grow before . We still aren’t getting a ton of them, but , as we dry them anyway unless I make up Salsa Verde, they will go a long way.

Our Jalapenos all seem to have gotten scorched, but as most of them will be dried; no biggie.

Ma has been getting a pretty good batch of Italian Peppers, that I have been pulling still green to keep them producing, which she’ll roast most and I’ll dry the rest. Same goes with Poblanos which are also doing well for the first time in years.

The tomato plants make look like hell but they keep putting the fruit on so, good enough. This next year, I’ll be moving the potato bed up to this garden, hopefully I can get some help with that. The raised bed is what destroyed Ma’s back, permanently a few years back and I am definitely more buggered now than when I moved it last and I can only take it down just so far.

I have to move the two now tomato beds to be reused and make a larger deeper bed in hopes that this is what the tomatoes are bitching about.. I’ll know more when I pull the plants. Adjusting those beds and adding two more diamond beds to the mix will pretty much fill the fenced area comfortably. Putting everything together helps everything grow, along with the apple trees in there. Cooling the soil and keeping watering more to one area which, again, works its way through any beds and down for the apple tree roots that stretch out that far. Beings that the area is fenced, and I’ll replace the plastic.. which will be fun to tear down the outer fencing to do it , it will all keep the area a little moister, so a big win/win for our small gardens.

Final Thoughts

another very short post this week. I woke up with a heck of a migraine around 3:30am again…always at least one day shot a week from this since my eye injury at work..

Ma has been on vacation this week, though way too much of it was spent in the Labs looking at a few problems… and , of course, a last second trip from one hospital to the other in the next county to get a Covid check before her next four hour Lab day…. Ended up coming back through four school zones as school was letting out beings they waited to the afternoon to tell us we need to do that.. So good times there too. Labs done and some changes to be made. Absolutely sucks getting older.

Hopefully, next week I can talk about how the canning went… I am looking forward to getting at least a start on all of that and making some room in the freezer…. Plus, having the end product canned and ready to go beats the heck out of taking up freezer space and worrying about freezer burn any day.

Sitting here grumbling as I make mistake after mistake due to my dang eyes being wacked out simply puts an edge on the day, not my over all life. It pisses me off to lose each day that it happens, but, so far so good, there has always been

Just another day on Zen Mountain to follow

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