Is everyone eating the year's bountiful Harvest,tomorrow?
We will be eating from a good deal of our harvest. In about half an hour I'll catch and fix the turkey ;)
Most of my harvest has come from Walmart.
We went to a relative's house and because we had to drive almost 3 hours each way, they assigned us the simple task of bringing beverages and a dessert because they travel well. Now that we are home, we're eating homemade salsa.
Had we hosted the meal at our house, there would have been lots and lots of side dishes from the garden. And, when I bake desserts, I do use our own fresh eggs.
My sweet potatoes turned out pretty good, but were a little pithy, I guess because of hot, dry weather.
I had all kinds of sage. YUM....
Even though I had a much better sweet potato crop, than say, for the last two years, I still couldn't resist, Wednesday, when I walked into Walmart and saw them for sale at $.38/lb. I purchased about a bushel of them!
We were so tired from vacation travels that we turned down an invitation to our daughter's house, because we didn't want to be in the car that many hours. Instead, we ate with friends that only live a couple of miles travel distance.
George, I bought a few sweet potatoes also, but the deal of the day on Wednesday was turkey. Although I wasn't cooking one for Thanksgiving, I couldn't resist the price. I didn't even have room in the freezer and had to put it in the extra refrigerator to start thawing.
My pepper vines froze and I have been pulling them up and was surprised to find several nice bell peppers still on the plants. I have good lettuce, radishes, and sweet peppers from my garden and although I didn't have them on Thanksgiving Day, I plan to make a nice salad today.
I have a few winter squash but it would take a crowd to eat one, so I don't know when I will ever use them. So much for the Seminole I thought I was getting. Except for the cool crops growing under the low tunnel, all of the other harvest is either canned or frozen and will be enjoyed all winter. It is amazing how many things in the grocery store you can just pass by when you have had a good garden.
Charlie, Pithiness can develop for several different reasons. Sometimes it develops if the plants (in-ground or after harvest) are subjected to cold temperatures below 55 degrees or if the sweet potatoes are stored a very long time at very warm temperatures. I'm not sure if moisture fluctuations cause pithiness the way they cause cracking. Leaving the plants into the ground and letting the tubers get overmature can lead to pithiness in some varieties.
Y'all are braver than I am if you were in the stores on Wednesday (or today). I avoid stores right around a holiday. I just hate fighting the crowds.
Carol, I think that pepper fruit are somewhat cold-tolerant, especially if they have foliage that protects them from frost. I've found peppers on plants in the garden that were subjected to temperatures as low as 26 degrees. While the foliage froze, the peppers were fine. We still have 10 or 12 pepper plants in the greenhouse, which is unheated. I think the coldest it has been in there has been 26 degrees, and the peppers are fine. In fact, the plants continue to flower and form new fruit.
We're supposed to go down to 28 degrees tonight, so I'm expecting 24-26 in our microclimate. I'll be happy if I'm wrong about that, because if it gets that cold, the peppers may freeze...and the cold-season crops in the garden will have frost or freeze damage if temps hit the mid-20s.
I should go outside in a few minutes and harvest anything that is ready in case we have an ultra-hard killing freeze tonight. I think the lettuce likely will be alright, but much depends on how much colder we get than forecast.
I agree it is amazing to walk through the produce section and not buy much because you already have most of the stuff at home that they are selling there. Sometimes I don't think about how much preserved food we have at home until I am walking through the produce section and saying silently to myself "don't need that, got it at home....don't need that...got it at home". If I grew more fruit, I could say it even more often.
I just recently harvested all the lemons, oranges and figs from our potted trees, so for New Year's Eve I'm making a lemon chess pie from some of our own lemons. That's not something I get to say very often.
My chickens like to eat squash....and so do the deer. When we have an excessive number of winter squash (we have about 60-70 of them sitting around the house and garage right now, including both Seminole and Waltham Butternut), I just share them with the animals.
Carol, here's how we handle large squash. I prefer to grow larger squash, because they are easier to process this way, than individually, as with smaller squash.
We split the squash and place the cut side down on a cookie tray. Then we bake it until it is soft, remove it from the oven and scoop out the flesh. We use what we want and freeze the rest in 2 to 3 cup servings, using zip lock bags. The bags stack well and they last for years. They're also easy to use.
Thank you Dawn for the info on sweet potatoes, I thought to cure them I should keep them by the heater 3 or 4 weeks?
George, bought the same sweet potatoes at Walmart today!
I have a question for everyone, If on the sweet potato info it gives 90 days to maturity, 90 days fro when? time of planting in the ground or what?
Thanks George, that sounds like a good idea. Did you catch that turkey?
Charlie, I believe that means 90 days after planting, and that's just an average.
Yes, Carol. Caught him with not difficulty. It was a relief to dress out a turkey for a change. Been doing ducks for weeks, now, and they are much more difficult to clean.
Temp here, this morning is 21 F. I'm going to find out if broccoli can handle that under my hoop house.
If you dig them early enough and it is still very warm outside, you can cure them in a shady spot with temperatures of 80-90 degrees and high humidity. I usually cure them on the covered patio that sits beside a backyard lilypond. I cure then for a week or two and then move them to their storage area. If I've dug them long after the temperatures have cooled, I'll cure them in my garage which has thick insulation and stays really warm until the temperatures are hitting the 20s. How warm? I can keep potted tomatoes and peppers in the garage all winter and they will not freeze until the outdoor air temperature hits 18 degrees.
If you dig the sweet potatoes after the nights are already dropping below 55 degrees, you can cure them inside for a week or two and then move them to their storage space. I have stored them in various places over the years...the tornado shelter, the spare room, the garage and the floor of the kitchen pantry. They do pretty well in any of those spots.
Then, after you've cured them following the harvest and move them to storage, they continue to improve over the next 6-8 weeks. I'll link a document that explains curing and storage in more detail.
George, You had to work for your dinner! What turkey breed was it?
Our overnight low was 26, but the Burneyville Mesonet station went to 22. Tim has already checked the greenhouse and said it only went down to 35, which amazes me. I covered up almost all the winter veggie garden olants with floating row cover. I deliberately left several small areas uncovered so I could see what kind of damage occurs on those veggies at specific temperatures. I am about to go out to the garden and uncover everything so I'll know soon enough what kind of damage occurred, if any. I've already harvested all the Packman broccoli,but am hoping for side shoots. The other two broccoli varieties are just sitting there looking pretty but not yet producing.
Carol, While I was covering up the winter veggies last night, I looked up and spotted a Seminole pumpkin at the top of the trellis in plain sight, just hanging there looking at me like....."hey, you took everyone else inside weeks ago and here I sit freezing to death on these cold nights". I have no explanation for how I missed it. It is sitting there in plain sight in all its buff-colored glory. Even if vines covered it at harvest time, I should have noticed it when I was looking for any I'd missed after the foliage froze and dried. In fact, I should have noticed it every time I walked into the garden.
Maybe garden gnomes crept into the garden at night and attached that pumpkin to the vine or maybe my eyesight is really, really bad even when I am wearing my glasses.
Here is a link that might be useful: LSU Sweet Potato Info
I hope everyone had wonderful Thanksgiving. We just back home after few travels and then great thanksgiving weekend with my old colleagues at Flagstaff, AZ. They bought new home and going to put new garden after seeing our garden pics! Cheers Chandra