I have been putting off the majority of my canning by freezing my tomatoes as they ripen. As of this week, the chest freezer was officially full. With a counter top full of ripe tomatoes, I had no choice but to get chopping.
I made a double batch of Zesty Salsa on Saturday. This seems to be the most time consuming canning project for me. I roasted the tomatoes and peppers on the grill before chopping. The tomatoes were grilled just until the skin splits eliminating the need to blanch the tomatoes. The skins slip right off in the same manner. The peppers were grilled until the skin is charred on all sides. Then they are placed in a glass bowl with a dinner plate on top. This makes it easy to skin the peppers before seeding and chopping.
I am slowly using up the remainder of the small onions harvested earlier in the season. I took some time and cleaned the onions the night before. These were simply chopped in the food processor and added to the pot. In the end, 16 half-pints of salsa were canned and extra was refrigerated to enjoy during the week.
|Roasted Zesty Salsa|
Sunday began with washing, weighing, and running the remainder of the ripe tomatoes through the Food Strainer to make a batch of "Seasoned Tomato Sauce" (Ball Blue Book of Preserving). I let the sauce simmer for most of the day until thickened. We used some of the sauce for dinner, reserved some for later in the week, then canned 9 pints.
Pole Beans are still producing. I delayed picking them last week because it rains from Lee stayed around all week. There were quite a few beans ready for me to harvest this weekend. These have been washed and stored in the refrigerator for now, but will require another batch of canning during the week.
|Mixed String Beans|
A few squash were harvested:
|Zucchini, Spaghetti, and Delicata Squash|
A nice batch of apples collected and will be used for apple sauce:
The first fall raspberries are beginning to ripen and we are harvesting a handful every day or so:
I harvested yet another paper box full of partially ripe tomatoes, then pulled most of the plants.
Boy, it felt good to remove the ugly, diseased plants from the garden. I left some San Marzano tomatoes in the SFGs for now because they still have a lot of large green tomatoes on them. But their days are numbered too.
Overall, the garden is winding down and I feel as though the gardener is winding down as well. I don't seem to be very well organized or motivated for fall gardening. I think it's because it coincides with the busiest part of the summer garden harvest and preserving.
I did attempt to plant a few fall crops a few weeks ago. Some Red Acre Cabbage, Spinach, Broccoli, Kale, and Swiss Chard seedlings were planted into the garden. Most are doing ok, but the Kale was promptly eaten by slugs. My fall carrot bed is a also bust this year. A neighborhood cat has decided that the SFG makes a nice litter box.
More deer are coming to the yard tempted by the fallen apples. The new part of the garden is near one of the trees. The squash, beets, and onions must have been like a salad bar for them. They grazed mostly on the squash foliage, and beet greens. They also ate an immature Butternut Squash and nibbled surface holes in three Pumpkins. It may be time to try some deer repellent methods so I can keep my squash harvest this year.
Be sure to visit Daphne’s Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.