Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Harvest Tips

I realized after I wrote last time that I had forgotten to talk about harvesting garlic. Garlic is planted in the fall. It is generally ready to harvest the end of July. The head develops a seed pod and the leaves curl and the tips turn brown. Quit watering a few days before digging so the ground will dry out, making it easier to pull out. If you have soft stem garlic you can braid your garlic and hang it from the ceiling in your storage room. I always plant firm stem. We lay our garlic out on the picnic table for several days to completely dry out. Then we cut the stems and store the cloves in onion bags so air gets to the cloves. I add garlic to most everything I cook.
I'm the biggest loser with my fall garden. I planted snap peas the first week of July. They came up but the minute they were out of the ground some bug stripped them to the stem. I have a few coming out of it, but there won't be much of a harvest. I started my lettuce, spinach, and Chinese cabbage in the house the first of August. They were getting very stringy so Tanner and I spent a couple of hours carefully planting them. They were all dead by the end of the day. I'm going to have to think about this fall planting a little more. You can not expect small plants to survive transplanting when it is hot out. I've reseeded, but I have little hope of getting anything now. Fall planting is challenging because I am preoccupied with harvesting and canning.
Speaking of canning, I wanted to encourage everyone to add beets to their diet. When you cut beets, make sure you leave about an inch of stem on top and do not cut the root off. Cutting the top too short and the root off will allow the beet to bleed out while cooking. You want to keep in all that beautiful red color, it is what is good for you. Also the leaves are higher in nutritional value than the root. We add them to our green drink. I boil the root for about 15 mins. and then place in cold water. I peel them and cut them into wedges, freeze them on a cookie sheet and then transfer them to freezer bags, laid in single layer. I can easily grab one slice for our green drink each morning. Beets are cheap now even if you didn't grow them. Find someone who is willing to share, because beets cost a dollar a beet throughout the winter.
We are almost done harvesting our corn. It has been wonderful. If you want to do yourself a favor add kale to your green drink. I have enough to feed the town of Bluffdale. Come by any time and cut some, it just grows back. Vegetables are ranked by a test determining their antioxidant capacity. Foods are given what's called an ORAC rating; ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. The best known test has kale as number one among the vegetables, with an ORAC value of 1770 (the next best vegetable is spinach, with an ORAC value of 1260). Google Kale and read about it, it is worth eating.
My peaches are falling off the tree before they are ready. That happens when it is too cold during pollination. The pit inside, which is attached to the stem, splits, causing the stem to release from the branch. Down falls the unripe peach.
We are picking tomatoes this morning. I'm all out of whole stewed tomatoes, so I'm anxious to start canning them. Remember to cut back your watering of tomatoes. Brother Wells says to water deeply every 10-15 days.
There is so much to talk about and share concerning gardening and the nutrition in the foods we eat. My time is limited to write, but if ever you want to know more, come on over and I will share my resources. Christy

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We are alive!

Hopefully, you all know we are alive just because we don't take time to blog. Most of you are receiving our letter to Ross and Ross's letters, so you know what it going on with us. We had a great, intense trip to Zions to hike the subway. It didn't feel like a big deal the day we hiked, but I had serious repercussions for 3 days after wards. I was thankful when all the lactic acid was out of my thighs. The harvesting and canning is done! We filled every bottle in our house this year. We probably only have one more time to mow lawns, so I am feeling a ton of relief these days. My big project now is trying to get my Grandpa Ewing's life history into a book with pictures. Grandpa remains positive and upbeat despite the intrusive kidney cancer. Jacob just finished a season of cross country running and Jeff is right there beside him running with him daily. Tanner is finishing up his last Webelos activity pin. Then he will come into my 11 year old patrol. Life is good and the Garners are happy.

Subway tirp September 20-21 2009

This trip was a blast with repelling, hiking, and swimming through freezing cold water. It took us about 9 hours and was 10 miles long.