Saturday, August 15, 2009

I saw this a few times today, because I canned most of 50 pounds of tomatoes I got at the farmer's market.

Tomorrow I'll tackle the rest. I just couldn't face another load finally, not with dinner prep still ahead. Maybe I'll make spaghetti sauce and can that instead. Might make a lovely change (and it would smell nice cooking, too). I learned a bit about adjusting the flame under my pressure canner to keep the pressure steady, so the final batch didn't have any unsealed jars, unlike the first two. That's all I can think of that was different. I canned 19 quarts and a pint, used a quart and a pint in dinner's chili, and three of the remaining didn't seal. Fourteen quarts to put away so far. I'm going to have to rearrange my pantry area. For those of you who can a lot, where do you store your goodies? How about the empty jars? Denise suggested I get a whiteboard to hang near the downstairs freezer, which also makes a lot of sense.

Last night I used the tomatillo harvest along with some hot peppers to make salsa verde.

Since I haven't tried it, I don't know how spicy it is, but I'm expanding my heat tolerance, so that might be an okay thing. Whether or not it tastes good -- I'll find out later.

The potatoes show no sign of slowing down. They were planted June 2, and I haven't tried to find any new potatoes. I'm just curious about the yield of mature keepers from them. We'll see.

The potato bin is right where two beds need to go, so I'm hoping that they come right on along.

Something is wrong with my plum tree. I had thought it was water stress, and it may be, or the late evidence of it, but a lot of it looks like this:

I'll do a prune later this month and then water a lot and hope the rain plus a better irrigation system next year helps it. I also think I'm going to investigate Bordeau mixture. Although, so many people grow plums like weeds around here that I am still leaning toward "poor soil/low water" as the culprits. I may ask the nursery folk.

Certainly not all is gloom and doom and exhaustion around here. The burgundy sunflowers are going out in a blaze of glory.

And the last zinnia works overtime to remind me why I grow such a "common" flower.

One of the exciting things I've tried lately is saving seed from the "True Siberian" kale. It's not supposed to cross with the other brassicas, as it's Brassica napus instead of B. oleracea. It wasn't until about two weeks ago that the seed was even completely dry. On Tuesday morning, I broadcast saved seed over half of one of the new beds.

When I went out this morning to do a shallow watering, I saw these:

It's working and they were up FAST. I'm looking forward to seeing how they do as well as getting even more fall crops planned and planted. Once the hardscape is all in, it's time to think compost and irrigation! I've learned a lot during this spring/summer season and plan to sit down and think about my lessons. Unfortunately, nothing slows down to wait, so I have to fit it in around the edges, just like everyone else.


esperanza said...

Oh wow, Thats looks like so much work. I am sorry to have missed it though!

kitsapFG said...

Lovely pile of tomatoes! I would be in seventh heaven. I know what you mean though by the sense of "tired" that comes by the time you are about half way or 2/3rds through processing a big pile of tomatoes.

No idea what is happening with your plum tree. My late season potatoes are still going quite strong too. The early and mid seasons are dieing back and look pretty ugly at the moment (normal).

Stefaneener said...

Esperanza, there's more time. I have plans for today. . .

kitsap, it's a special kind of tired. Most days I push through that but I knew I had today. I will practice potato patience.

Michelle said...

Hi Stefani, Your plum problem almost looks like Eutypa dieback, but that's far more common in apricots. It also might be Pseudomonas syringae (bacterial canker), but that's more common in the spring. Your local master gardener program may have an office where you can take samples of diseased plants for diagnosis. (I used to volunteer for the Santa Clara county MG's). Here's the Alameda MG website The website lists plant doctor days at some farmer's markets also. Good luck solving the plum tree problem, it would be a shame to lose it.

Annie*s Granny said...

Stefaneener, I know what you mean about tired. I decided to make strawberry jam last night at 8 p.m., after canning all day. I have no idea where I'm going to store all of mine, I'll have to clear off some shelves somewhere, probably the top shelves in my kitchen. Can't reach them without a stool, so stuff I seldom use goes on them. Jars are no problem, they can go in the garage. I have tons of room there, but wouldn't want to take a chance on my home canned foods freezing out there.

Jackie said...

Interesting to hear that the variable pressure caused some jars not to seal. I never had any unsealed jars in the first 100 or so jars I canned. Until yesterday...2 jars out of 8 didn't seal. I really wasn't paying any attention to the steadiness of the weight on top or the flame. Maybe that was why they didn't seal! My husband really likes the food I've made and canned, so a couple of weeks ago he "gave" me a cabinet in the garage to store everything.