The Harvest Begins

I picked 3 cucumbers this morning , peppers are starting to produce , and there are several small okra pods out there . I think we're going to get a pretty good harvest this year , I've had more time to work out there . Last year construction was the top priority , this year not so much though it's close to the top of the list .
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Snag
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Terry Coombs wrote:

heheh, i put up 7 quarts of dill pickles this morning. about every 4-5 days now we have to pick. 15 cucumber plants. pretty crazy IMO. last year we only had 6 cucumber plants. two different kinds the burpees which got huge and another kind which weren't quite so big. but i liked both of them because they were smooth and didn't need much prep work to get them done.
this year we have smaller "pickle" bush type cucumbers which have a lot of spines and dirt gets in all those nooks and crannies. so it takes me time to scrub and prep them. but the results are worth it. :)
we're already eating some of the first batch i made at the end of June.
songbird
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On 7/22/2017 3:10 PM, songbird wrote:

We planted 2 different cucumber varieties. They're blooming like crazy and we're beginning to get cukes. So far, we're eating them all fresh. Maybe this year we didn't plant too many.
I usually make refrigerator pickles and they get eaten like they're a treat, so not many cukes survive to actually put them up for the winter.
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Maggie

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On Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 10:25:58 AM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

My wife has started harvesting and processing tomatoes this week; we'll hav e enough spaghetti sauce for the next year. Too many cucumbers; fortunately , the sheep haven't tired of them yet. This morning, we picked the first wh ite cucumber. More onions and garlic than one knows what to do with. And th e cantaloupes are really huge but not quite ripe yet. The pumpkins are putt ing forth fruit, but won't be ripe for several months. We've been eating be ets, lettuce, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts for some time now. Strawberry s eason is over; I have a batch of strawberry wine fermenting down in the cel lar.
Paul Maryland, North of Baltimore
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On 7/22/2017 8:46 PM, Pavel314 wrote:

I got a late start this year , but fortunately the growing season here (N. central Arkansas) is pretty long . I usually have til late September to harvest stuff unless we get an early freeze .
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Snag
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On 7/23/2017 7:31 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

I should have checked yesterday . Picked 7 cucumbers and the first zucchini just a few minutes ago , there are LOTS more cukes and at least 3-4 more zukes out there not quite big enough . Also got a handful of okra , but not enough for 2 servings - by Friday there will be .Tomato plants are producing nicely though none are ripe yet , peppers are still behind - but the jalapenos have a few pods now . It's supposed to rain here on Thursday evening and Friday , followed by more sun - and another explosion of growth in the garden . The wife was "hoping the garden will do better this year" , looks like she gets her wish . Sure glad we picked up that 4 dozen canning jars (yard sale @ $2/doz) last week because it looks like we're gonna need them .
--
Snag
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On 7/26/2017 8:59 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

Wife came home from her church garden with a bucket of okra, seems the folks that visit the Poor Pantry don't like okra. Washed, air dried, cut into rounds, put on a bun tray and frozen. Then they went into vacuum bags, we like gumbo with okra, fried okra, baked okra, etc. So does the majority of our large family. I remember the days when my Dad was out on strike that we ate whatever we could get our hands on. Of course, I grew up on ten acres with lots of critters and veggie's so never went hungry. Somewhere around here I have a lot of okra recipes, will try to find them among the 100+ recipe books.
George
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On 7/26/2017 9:14 AM, George Shirley wrote:

We like it fried , I might try it in some gumbo , that's new territory for me . I'm takin' a page from your book when we start getting more okra that we can eat - slice , freeze , try out my vacuum sealer . Probably shred some zucchini and vac bag/freeze it too . I read somewhere that GV (WM's brand) ziplocks make good vacuum bags . Cut off the lock strip , use the top row of ridges - cut into short pieces and laid across the opening - to let the air out (discard the lock strip itself) and they're a lot cheaper than the purpose-made bags/roll bags .
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Snagilicious
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On 7/26/2017 9:59 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

That's what we do with zukes too, that and cut rounds, to later cook in casseroles or roll in flour and spices and deep fry.
We use rolls of plastic bags both the six inch wide and the twelve inch wide. Depth of bag depends on what we're putting in the bags. Got a deal on several beef roast a while back. Cut them into the proper size to fit a bag (there's just two of us), cooked the roasts, let cool, vacuum bagged and into the big freezer. We do much the same when we find chicken breasts in big bags and ready to go out the door but are still good. Sort them out, vacuum bag, label, toss into the freezer. Lots of greens get done that way as do leftovers from making to much whatever. Stay's good up to three years without getting bad or otherwise. Been doing this for about thirty years now. Now on our fourth or fifth vacuum sealer, always get a good brand, the cheap ones don't last long.
Used to have to go on line for bag material but nowadays they are in most stupor markets at reasonable prices. I found some online several years ago at half price and bought a case, still using them but getting low. We also dish wash the empty bags and keep using them until they only hold a couple of weiners, then they go to recycle. Waste not want not.
George
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On 7/26/2017 8:59 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

I never seem to have any luck growing squash because it always gets eat up with borers!
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Maggie

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On 7/26/2017 10:53 PM, Muggles wrote:

You have to check the underside of the leaves for eggs . And squash them before they hatch . There is usually a certain time span when they are actively laying eggs , if you can break the cycle you should be OK . Just remember , the moth that causes all the havoc flies ... and may be coming from somewhere other than your garden . I was lucky this year and didn't get any - yet .
--
Snag
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On 7/28/2017 9:55 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

This year I just planted hot peppers, some salad tomatoes, cucumbers, black-eyed peas, climbing Lima beans, and some herbs. The black-eyed peas have been producing for about a month, and the Lima's are climbing like weeds and have blooms everywhere and just beginning to make pods. We are also getting cukes on a regular basis, now, too, and I pinch off herbs and use them fresh in various dishes.
I really love squash and zucchini, but can't ever seem to win over the squash borers!
--
Maggie

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On 7/28/2017 10:28 AM, Muggles wrote:

Where do you live? Must be cooler than Harris Cty, TX, it's 1:28 pm here and the temp is 94F. We can only grow squash, zucchini, and several other vegetables in the winter, if we get one. We occasionally get borers but sulfur dust seems to take care of them. We also have a pest of mockingbirds but they do seem to eat some of the borers and other garden pests. Otherwise the mockers will often peck the fruit of the vine. They're the state bird of Texas so we can't harm them but I can scare the heck out of them. I have a plastic owl and shiny silver tape to hang around. <G>
Okra, tomatoes, and some beans do well in our heat but most do better in the start of what is supposed to be a winter. Being a Native Texan I'm used to it but my wife, born in Washington, DC, doesn't care much for the heat.
I hate living in a subdivision that empties out each morning and gets filled up in the afternoon but we get to be close to our two kids, five grands, and six great grands so here we be. I do like the air conditioning though.
George
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On 7/28/2017 1:36 PM, George Shirley wrote:

It gets pretty hot here in Northern Oklahoma. The last several weeks we've been in the 100's/high 90's.

We have just enough cucumbers to eat, and earlier today I made some refrigerator pickles, and also pickled some hot peppers, too. Just enough to have some to snack on.

My husband keeps looking at property outside of town. He'd love to have more room to do outdoor projects and gardening, but that usually means more work for ME!
--
Maggie

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On 7/30/2017 2:57 PM, Muggles wrote:

I was stationed in Oklahoma for a short while when I was in the Navy. My Mother was born in Oklahoma Territory then moved over to Kansas and other mid states before coming to Texas. She met my father and he liked her so they married and I came along in 1939

We lived on ten acres for the first fifteen years of our marriage, even had a half acre pond loaded with fish, milk cow, chickens, ducks, rabbits, you name it. I ran a rabbitry for food for us, sold hides, meat, manure, went to fancy rabbit shows all over Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. The breeds of rabbits I grew back then aren't even on the show lists anymore. All the time I was running boilers for a large chemical company. Got the Vietnam GI bill and went to university and then we started moving around. I went into the job of running safety for chemical plants, etc. Made a good career of that, worked in a few states and a few foreign countries. My wife liked the world traveling. Having been a crewman on US Navy transport aircraft in the late fifties I just slept through all the airplanes we traveled on. <G> Wife grew up on a small farm in Maryland and hardly went anywhere until I nabbed her and took her around the world a few times. Come December we will be married 57 years. Even our parents didn't make it that far, thank goodness for modern medicine. Now we live closer to our kids, grands, and great grands and seldom see them because they are so busy building their own lives. It's still a Wonderful World for us. <VBG>
George
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On 7/30/2017 3:31 PM, George Shirley wrote:

Sounds like she has had the best of everything!
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Maggie

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On 8/1/2017 11:34 AM, Muggles wrote:

She's gotten much more grumpy since she turned 77 in May. I still listen to her but not with my good ear. <G>
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On 8/1/2017 11:50 AM, George Shirley wrote:

LOL I just got my hearing aids back from my audiologist's office. The receivers had gone bad. They had them about a week, and during that time I couldn't understand the majority of what my husband would say to me unless he spoke up. Frustrating for him and me, both!
--
Maggie

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Terry Coombs wrote: ...

we've done 33 quarts of dill pickles the past few weeks with it just getting ramped up.
i'm hoping we will only do a few more batches and then call it done and remove most of the cucumber plants. i really don't want to spend most of my extra time putting up dill pickles that we won't really need. my brother loves 'em, but we need to keep some jars for tomatoes (which for us start to get put up in mid-august through october).
we always are happy to have jars donated to us from people we give things to. many are good about returning them. we should have another five to ten cases of jars out there, but i haven't looked that close yet.
this past winter we gave away 15-20 cases of quart jars (with contents :) ). so far not many of those have come back.
songbird
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