Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day...

We added a new berry to the OAH this afternoon! The girls (with the help of their PaPa) got me a huge "Austin Dewberry." It's around 4 1/2 feet tall & already producing, so I'll be exploring uses for Dewberrys in the next few weeks! If any of you have had them, please share recipes and preservation tips!

We've also been harvesting a bowlful of strawberries each day. I've learned that propping the berries up on the leaves helps with the rolly polly problem and keeps them off the wet soil, which has also proved to be detrimental.

Although the onions are not ready for a mass harvest, we are pulling one here and there to use and they are wonderful. I'm contemplating preservation methods for these, so please share if you have tips in this area, too. I plan to dehydrate some for quick additions to soups and stews and also chop some up for freezing. Of course, we'll eat lots of them fresh.

The potatoes are almost ready to harvest as needed. At first, we'll get new potatoes then we'll just dig them up a plant or two at a time. I've found that this is the best way to keep them from spoiling and they just keep growing as they wait for us to harvest.

Tomorrow we'll harvest our peas! This is my first ever successful crop of peas. I learned that I've always planted them WAY too late. I went by the Farmer's Almanac this year for my early plantings and boy has it paid off! The girls have enjoyed some of the peas right off the plants..they are amazingly sweet. I've even more excited that there are lots of new blooms so I know our harvest should continue. How do you preserve peas without a pressure canner? I'm saving $ for one, but they are so pricey. It doesn't help that I don't trust the cheaper ones with the weight...I'd prefer a pressure gauge so I'm sure our canned food is safe.

6 comments:

Tessa at Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots said...

Sounds like a wonderful Mother's Day present! You sure have a lot going on- good luck with everything!

Heather said...

Here is what I do with onions: I take old pantyhose and cut the legs off. Then I drop one cured onion all the way to the toe, then I tie a knot above it and then add another onion and keep going. Then you store them in a cool dry place, preferably hanging up and harvest by cutting below the knot the number of onions you will need. I did this last winter and had onions until January when i ran out. With peas I shell them (if they are shelling kind, don't if they are not) then I blanch them and then I freeze them. They still taste perfect and way better than canned. You can find info on both of these methods if you google them. Both methods are safe and healthy. Canning peas makes them mushy. I don't think you will like them canned anyway. Blanching is one minute for shelled peas and they were sure yummy. I planted 10x more this year. Good luck, canning and preserving books from the library are great sources of freezing info too! Good luck!

Dandelionmom said...

YUM!! I always freeze some onions-spread them out (chopped) on a cookie sheet and freeze them solid-then dump them in a bag or container-you can then just take out as many as you need each time. If you like extra fine chopped-then just freeze in ice-cube trays (I do this with hot peppers and pesto)-grab a cube or 2 whenever you want to toss in a little! I also only freeze peas...don't like the mush those pretty fresh green beauties turn into after canning-might as well just buy dried split peas and soak them! save the canning for green beans and tomatos--and save up till you can get a great canner-preferably with a metal on metal seal-no rubber gasket to go bad. You can water-bath the high-acid things in the meantime--you are right in that it is a tool you will use to feed your family-hold out until you can get top-quality! Grab a Ball Bluebook this year and play with your surpluses too! Use your waiting time to experiment so you will be ready when it's time to get serious! LOL Never heard of your exotic southern berry :D I bet it's yummy! sounds HUGE!!

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

SWEET!!! PEAS!!!

HAR!

Good work Steph ! Hard to go too wrong w/ the farmer's Almanac reccomends...

And I've (or fambly has) used HEATHER'S onion storage suggestion w/ tremendous success for aeons (yes, i'm OOOLLLDDD!!! hee!)

Good work, and better luck, Lady S.!

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Um, sorry-- NOT STEPH... It's late, and i'm one TIRED BIRD...

All stands, but the name. SOOSORRY!!!

The Hills said...

We've always picked wild dewberries and used them just like black berries. Onions tend to get used up around here (between regular cooking and canning spaghetti sauce and salsa). We do dehydrate some (outside!), but I'm liking that pantyhose idea! And ditto everyone else...you wouldn't want to can peas anyway, they're better frozen ;-)

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