Clippings by bella_trix

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RE: SOFTWARE for planning and planting? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: m_lorne on 11.16.2009 at 01:57 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Nothing beats a good set of Excel spreadsheets, a taple measure, and internet research.

This is a screenshot of part of my 2010 plan. Kind of hard to see the specific text, but it is an accurate representation of my garden layout.

2009 Garden Plan

I have explored the software options and found most of them seriously deficient in one way or another.


clipped on: 11.21.2009 at 02:21 am    last updated on: 11.21.2009 at 02:21 am

RE: Fortex vs Emerite (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: zeedman on 11.22.2008 at 07:42 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

"Fortex" is one of my main snaps. It starts out rather strangely, with runners growing outward, rather than upward. These runners need some training initially (not one of my favorite characteristics), but once that is done, they are strong climbers. The vines are not as heavily branched or foliated as some pole beans, so I space them more closely, thinning to 2@12".

The pods are very long, up to 11-12" for me. I've only occasionally eaten them in the filet stage, preferring them somewhat larger. Their flavor is excellent eaten raw, sweet & crisp. They hold their quality for a long time, remaining stringless even when quite large. The frozen quality is one of the best.

"Fortex" has many good qualities: good cool-soil germination, resistance to rust, and eye-catching pods of excellent flavor. If it has one weakness, it is the tendency of the long pods to bruise in the wind. Because of this, I always grow it in the shelter of other tall crops. The yield is also more spread out than many pole beans; good if you want fresh beans over a long period, bad if you want to can large quantities all at once.

Susan, my one experience with "Emerite" left me in agreement with your comments... I was not impressed with either its yield or its climbing ability. I was, however, very impressed with the pod quality. It has, by far, the best frozen quality of any bean I have grown, even better than "Fortex". The pods are exceptionally round & straight, and are very firm either cooked or canned.

Like "Fortex", "Emerite" has very good cool-soil germination. I grew it as part of a 7-variety pole bean trial in the 90's, in what turned out to be a very bad year for beans. The germination was the best of all varieties, nearly 100%. A prolonged period of cool, wet weather in mid-Summer really set all of the beans back... most became infected with rust to some degree (except "Fortex" and "Garafal Oro"). "Emerite" was severely stunted, but when the weather warmed, it made a full recovery (as did "Rattlesnake").

The results of that trial are what led me to change my main-crop snap from "Pole 191" to "Fortex", a decision I have never regretted.

"Emerite" performed much like a half-runner for me; most of the yield was borne in the first 3 feet above ground. But then, that was in a bad year, on a plot of only fair fertility... and I have learned much more about beans since then. Looking back, I have often wondered how it might have performed in better weather, with better care & greater spacing. I am planning to grow it again in 2009, to find out.


clipped on: 11.12.2009 at 11:57 am    last updated on: 11.12.2009 at 11:57 am

RE: Best sources (catalogues or email) for GOOD gardening handtoo (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: digdirt on 11.10.2009 at 12:08 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I too like redpigtools. Gardeners Supply is another but they are NOT cheap. Just avoid the big box stores.

Several other online sources were discussed in this recent discussion over on the Tool Shed forum here.


Here is a link that might be useful: Tool Shed forum - Where to buy quality tools discussion


clipped on: 11.10.2009 at 12:12 pm    last updated on: 11.10.2009 at 12:12 pm

RE: hummingbird salvias (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: steve_NJ on 02.09.2005 at 08:41 pm in New Jersey Gardening Forum

Honeymelon blooms early, but I haven't found the flowers to be as attractive as the species. Uliginosa is hardy here, guaranitica is hardy with mulch. The variety 'Argentine Skies'has nice sky blue flowers. Greggei and 'Indigo Spires' are hardy with mulch, the latter needing a large mound. Leucantha rots over winter , even with mulch. Pineapple and rosebud sage survive winter here with a fairly heavy mulch, although not frost hardy. Lantana camara 'Miss Huff' and L. horridulus (butterfly plants)survive winter here with heavy mulch. Key to winter survival is sandy soil,planting a little deep, and an oak leaf mulch applied late enough that voles don't make it their home.


clipped on: 11.06.2009 at 12:50 pm    last updated on: 11.06.2009 at 12:50 pm

RE: Bacillus thuringeinsis and Squash (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: bella_trix on 01.25.2009 at 09:05 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Great website - I haven't had a chance to listen to your interview yet, but I did use BT and nematodes against the borers last year.

I tried spraying the plants down, but I think I discovered the borers too late. It might have helped with later infestations, but I don't know. I used Thuricide mixed 4T to a gallon. Wear goggles when you spray it! It irritates the eyes.

I also injected BT directly into the infected vines. I mixed it at 1 teaspoon BT to 1 cup water and injected 1ml at each spot. I used an 18g needle and 3ml syringe. They are available from any farm and ranch/livestock catalog or feed store. I also tried injecting predatory nematodes into the zucchini vines. I mixed it up as instructed, transferred to the sharp needle (the one it comes with is useless) and injected .5 to 1 ml per spot. THIS IS IMPORTANT: wear safety glasses/goggles when injecting. The squash vines will clog the needle occasionally and, when that happens, the needle comes away from the syringe and the bt or nematodes shoot back directly into your face. It is not any fun flushing your eyes out for 20 minutes and then frantically searching the internet to find out if the nematodes are about to eat your eyes (they won't, there have been accidents at the facilities that grow the nematodes and everyone is fine). Also, do not dispose of the needles directly into the trash. Drug stores sell containers for used needles (for insulin needles).

Something worked, but I don't know if the nematodes or BT did the job. It definitely saved my African and Delica winter squash. Unfortunately, some of my squash were too far gone to recover.

I'm going to try it again next year and attempt row covers for the time period when I had problems.



clipped on: 07.17.2009 at 11:36 pm    last updated on: 07.17.2009 at 11:36 pm

RE: using PVC pipes to hold up row covers? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: sinfonian on 02.11.2009 at 03:03 pm in Square Foot Gardening Forum

I think my hoop covers are what you're talking about. I use 1/4 inch smaller PVC pipe in short pieces bolted to my beds to hold it in place like a flag pole stand. I use 1 pipe every 2 feet or so. I clamp the plastic to the pipe with cheap large binder clips. They rust but they're cheap.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's garden adventure


clipped on: 05.02.2009 at 09:37 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2009 at 09:37 pm

RE: using PVC pipes to hold up row covers? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: dan_staley on 02.11.2009 at 01:35 pm in Square Foot Gardening Forum

I've done both PVC and poly pipe for row covers.

No problem getting the 1/2" into the 1", as SCH40 has an outside diameter of ~7/8" (class 200 is less). You may want a little piece of wood for a shim that will make you feel better about the structure moving in strong wind. If your span is short, your second insertion may be problematic and ensure you do this in the warm sun on a warmish day to make the pipe more flexible - e.g. leave the PVC in the sun for a bit before you insert.

The best way to attach the cover to the pipe, IMHO, is black poly pipe cut in half, about 2-3" long, every foot or so depending upon your wind conditions, shave off sharp points left in the cutting. Install over cover to 1/2" PVC. Else Charley's Greenhouse has clamps. (note mouseover)

I like my hoops ~3' apart, I'm windy here and I like more stability - YMMV. In fall, remember, you can put clear poly tarps over the row cover for an extra layer of protection, and this weight is borne better with narrower hoop spacing. Shade cloth is heavier than white row cover, too.



clipped on: 05.02.2009 at 09:36 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2009 at 09:36 pm

RE: Bamboo supports for Squash (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: geeboss on 03.14.2009 at 09:29 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

It is not bamboo but I'm sure is a start and can be done with 1" round bamboo.


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 04:58 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 04:58 pm

RE: Another sweet potato question (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: farmerdilla on 01.22.2009 at 05:43 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

The sweet potato is a root. It sprouts from the end wher it attaches to the vine so it is important when starting in a vertical position to have the proper end down.
tater sprout


clipped on: 02.22.2009 at 03:47 pm    last updated on: 02.22.2009 at 03:48 pm

RE: Moon and Stars Watermelon (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: Fusion_power on 07.04.2004 at 06:15 pm in Heirloom Plants & Gardens Forum

1. Watermelons grow best in very rich soil, translate that as lots of organic matter.

2. If the watermelons haven't grown in two months, something is bad wrong.

3. Temperature can suppress growth. Watermelons grow best with temps above 70 degrees at NIGHT.

4. Too much water can cause the roots to waterlog and die. The best way to deal with this is to plant them in a raised hill about 6 inches above the surrounding ground.

5. The worst thing you can do to a watermelon is give it too much nitrogen. They develop white spots in the meat of the melon and have a bitter taste. A low nitrate fertizer such as 8-24-24 at a rate of 2 or 3 level tablespoons per hill of 3 plants is all they need.

6. Kleckley's Sweet is nowhere near the best tasting yellow meated melon though it is better than average.

7. There are several different factors that indicate whether or not a watermelon is ripe. Here are a few.
a. The color of the tendril near the point where the melon attaches to the vine.
b. The color of the underside of the melon
c. The "feel" of the surface of the melon (lumpy and rough is ripe).
d. The hollow sound it makes when you thump it.

8. The best soil for watermelons is a sandy loam.



clipped on: 02.18.2009 at 09:55 pm    last updated on: 02.18.2009 at 09:55 pm

RE: Why can't I grow spinach? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: corapegia on 01.12.2009 at 03:45 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I usually pre-sprout the spinach seeds in damp paper towel, inside a ziplock bag. Once the tiny sprout appears on the seed, I plant them in 4packs of Pro-mix.
I often put the ziplock in the fridge for a couple of days to start, take out the seeds that have sprouted and return the bag to the fridge and repeat. A little crazy but I sometimes use a jeweler's loup and very big tweezers for this job(my eyesight is not what it used to be) It seems like a lot of work but I get very spotty germination when direct seeding in the garden and we often get hot springs lately. This way I can get the spinach in very early. I do the same with bok choy and other early greens like escarole.


clipped on: 01.21.2009 at 02:28 pm    last updated on: 01.21.2009 at 02:28 pm

RE: An observation about cowpeas (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: rodger on 08.23.2008 at 11:03 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

Jimster, from someone up north, you surprized me with the chow chow and corn bread. Good eating. Peas corn bread fresh onion as a garnish on top and chow chow that is a meal. The only thing missing is a cold glass of buttermilk with crumbled up hot corn bread fresh out of the skillet tossed in.

Zeedman I will try to give a run down on types of southern peas as I understand them.
The first catogory would be shape. There is two types of peas based on shape. The kidney shape and a fat blocky shaped which is called a crowder pea because the peas are crowded into the hulls resulting in the peas forming fat blocky shapes. Within these two shapes there are several other types of peas based on color, size, taste, or time to maturity. These are, whipporwill peas, eye peas, 6week peas, calico peas, and cream peas.They can be either crowder type or kidney shaped and vary from the different regions of the south

Whipporwills are all small seeded peas mainly crowder types but not always. They are always speckeled and are some shade of brown in color. The brown hues with speckels and small size mimic the Quail or whipporwill fowl which is how the name came about. Within each region of the south even within counties and communities the colors or hues can vary. White whipporwill is an exception and resulted from a off type pea in a patch of standard whipporwills. White whipporwill has no eye is a crowder type shape and is cream colored making it more of a cream pea than a true whipporwill.

Eye peas can be kidney shaped or crowder types and have disticnt eyes that are black, brown,pink or green. They are usually in solid colors with some being bicolored commonly called calico peas. Such as pinkeye purple hull crowder and blackeyed peas and browneyed calico which is a tan and white crowder pea with a distinct dark brown eye.

6week peas usually refers to any type of solid colored pea that matures in about six weeks. I know of no speckeled 6week peas because those would be whipporwills and I know of no calico 6 week peas because those would be calico peas.I have also have not come across any eyed 6week peas because I quess those would be called a ----eyed pea. I have a black seeded six week crowder and a tan seeded 6 week crowder also a black seeded kidney shaped 6 week pea. Again each region has there own type of 6 week peas and they are not all crowders but are solid in color and have no eyes.
Lady peas are a named type referring to a very small seeded white pea with no distinct eye and kindey shaped. Rice peas are very similiar to lady peas ie small white no distinct eye but elongated like rice and about the same size as a grain of rice both of these peas are cream type peas.
Cream peas are typically any pea that is light colored mainly a cream colored and can be crowder or kidney shape but produces a mild creamy broth when cooked. Darker peas produce a more earthy richer brooth. Also the cream type peas tend to cook down quicker forming a creamy tectured broth.

There are also several calico peas which are bi-colored or two toned in various shades of red and white, or tan and white, or black and white that are standard kidney shaped or a crowder type pea. They can also have a distint eye but that is rare.I even have one that is red and white with speckels and a small crowder which would technically make it a whipporwill except for the fact that it is not a shade of brown. Other calicos I have are Hereford, pole cat, ham and gravy and a chicken and dumpling pea all of which are red and white. I have a holstien pea which is black and white and a few tan and white calicos.
I hope I have shed a little light on the types of southern peas and not confused anyone. And This is not gospel but my observations based on my travels and seed collecting and occasional readings on the subject. Rodger


clipped on: 01.04.2009 at 03:43 pm    last updated on: 01.04.2009 at 03:44 pm

RE: 2009 legume plans (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: fusion_power on 11.11.2008 at 11:54 am in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

Of the cowpeas I've grown, arguably, the best are White Whipporwill and Piggott's Family Heirloom. I can make excellent arguments that nobody should grow california blackeye, bland, powdery, tasteless, etc.



clipped on: 12.17.2008 at 03:49 pm    last updated on: 12.17.2008 at 03:50 pm

RE: When is it okay to harvest butternut squash? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: ksrogers on 10.22.2007 at 06:59 pm in Harvest Forum

To help keep them from early spoiling once picked, mix a few teaspooons of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water and allow them to soak a minute, then air dry. They will last longer and not get bad spots on the surfaces. Even though squash are hard skins, they do bruise easily, as do pumpkins.


clipped on: 09.29.2008 at 12:52 am    last updated on: 09.29.2008 at 12:52 am

RE: Uses of Habaneros? (Follow-Up #32)

posted by: strollingtroll on 08.09.2006 at 01:59 am in Hot Pepper Forum

Here's a great habanero recipe site:

Here is a link that might be useful: Habanero Recipes


clipped on: 09.23.2008 at 12:48 pm    last updated on: 09.23.2008 at 12:49 pm

RE: An observation about cowpeas (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: macmex on 08.29.2008 at 01:15 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

You'll get LOTS of recommendations. There are so many good ones. Here are two I'd recommend:

Penny Rile (cream pea)
Black Crowder

Both can be obtained at Sandhill Preservation Center.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sandhill Preservation Center


clipped on: 09.16.2008 at 12:29 pm    last updated on: 09.16.2008 at 12:29 pm

RE: Reading Lady...Peach Preserves question (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: readinglady on 09.02.2006 at 08:48 pm in Harvest Forum

Here you go:

Peach Preserves for Cold Mornings (Doris, Ruddmd)

3 pounds ripe peaches, peeled and quartered
l/2 medium-size orange, quartered and seeded
2 Red Savina habaneros, (seeds and all)
4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 Cup honey (the lightest, mildest you can find)

Combine peaches, sugar, and honey in a Dutch oven; stir well. Cover and let stand 45 minutes. Place knife blade attachment in food processor bowl; add orange quarters and habanero chiles. Process until finely chopped, stopping once to scrape down sides.

Place orange, habanero chiles, and an equal amount of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until orange rind is tender.

Bring peach mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring often. Add orange mixture. Bring to a boil; cook, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until candy thermometer registers 221, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in almond extract. Skim off foam with a metal spoon.

Quickly pour hot mixture into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process jars in boiling-water bath 10 minutes. Yield: 6 half-pints.



clipped on: 09.07.2008 at 06:52 pm    last updated on: 09.07.2008 at 06:52 pm

RE: What squash will you grow next year? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: mainegardener on 09.02.2008 at 09:04 am in Pumpkins Squash & Gourds Forum

I plan on growing Sweet Dumpling, New England Pie Pumpkins, Butternut, and cheese pumpkins.

If you don't have much experience growing Buttercup squash, you may want to take note of the seeds. There are several cultivars of Buttercups, all of which belong to the species Cucurbita maxima. However, there are 3 common races of C. maxima, and Buttercup has been crossed so many times with them, so you can find cultivars of Buttercup which is closer to one race than the other. You can tell which from the seed. These 3 races (there are more than 3, but these 3 are the ones that are usually grown) each have specific seeds.

One has seed which is completely white. That race grows well in certain climates, but generally requires a long spring prior to the summer heat, else it runts out in midsummer, resulting in very poor yield.

One has seed which has a white base, but is covered somewhat by a brown swede like material. That race grows quite well where it can get full sun and the days aren't too hot. This race is what the original Buttercup was bred from.

One has seed which has a white base, but is covered in a hard brown material, the white only visible on the edges of the seed. This race grows well where it can get full sun. The longer the days, the better it grows. It is good for northern climates. Though it doesn't mind hot weather much, it does use a lot of water. It also requires better tilled loose soil the other 2 races, else it runts out. If the soil is clay, adding sand and gypsom helps.

Good luck.


clipped on: 09.04.2008 at 12:20 pm    last updated on: 09.04.2008 at 12:20 pm

Sun Dried Tomatoes

posted by: brokenbar on 08.20.2008 at 09:54 pm in Harvest Forum

I raise tomatoes for sun drying. I do about 1000 to 2000 lbs a year which I sell to the upscale restaurants in Cody Wyoming & Billings Montana. I wanted to pass on my favorites for you considering doing some drying. Any tomato can be used for drying but some varieties are better than others.

I grow 15 mainstay varieties that I have kept as I culled others that did not meet my criteria.
I also try at least 5 new varieties of paste types each year and am lucky if one makes it into my herd. I am looking for specific things:

 Meaty with a low moisture content
 Few seeds
 A rich and tangy flavor
 Size-Small tomatoes are just more work for me.
 Not fussy-Take heat and cold and wind. No primadonnas!
 Bloom well and set lots and lots of fruit
 Indeterminate
 Dry to a nice pliable consistency

These are my Top Five
Chinese Giant
Carol Chyko
Cuoro D Toro
San Marzano Redorta

I wanted to add that were I to be stranded on a desert Island with only one tomato it would be Russo Sicilian Togeta. This is my gallstarh that sets fruit first, ripens the earliest, bears heavy crops in any weather and is producing right up until hard frost. It is not a true paste but rather a stuffing tomato. None-the-less, the flavor of these dried is as good as it gets. It is also wonderful for just eating or slicing and the fruit is extra large.

For those wanting to know my Secret Recipe for drying, here you go:

Wash, stem and slice each tomato into 1/4" thick slices. Place in a very large bowl or clean bucket and cover with cheap red wine. I use Merlot but if you prefer something else, knock yourself out. I have a friend that swears by cheap Chianti! Soak tomato slices 24 hours in the wine. Drain well. Lay tomatoes just touching on dehydrator shelves or on screen in your sun-drying apparatus. Sprinkle each slice with a mixture containing equal parts of dried basil-oregano-parsley and then sprinkle each slice with Kosher Salt. You may choose to forego the salt if you wish but tomatoes will take longer to dry. Dry tomatoes until they are firm and leatherlike with no moisture pockets, but NOT brittle. (If you get them too dry, soak them in lemon juice for a few minutes.) To store, place in vacuum bags or ziplock bags and freeze.

IMPORTANT!!! If you will be storing sun-dried tomatoes in Olive oil you !!!MUST!!! dip each slice in vinegar before adding to oil.

To pack in oil:
Dip each tomato into a small dish of white wine vinegar. Shake off theexcess vinegar and pack them in olive oil adding 1/4 cup red wine. For tomatoes in oil I am selling, I put the tomatoes into the oil two weeks ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Make sure they are completely immersed in the oil. When the jar is full, cap it tightly. I use my vacuum sealer to seal the canning lids on. Store at *cool* room temperature for at least a month before using. They may be stored in the refrigerator, but the oil will solidify at
refrigerator temperatures (it quickly reliquifies at room temperature however). As tomatoes are removed from the jar, add more olive oil as necessary to keep the remaining tomatoes covered. I have stored oil-packed tomatoes in m root cellar for over a year. . I have tried a number of methods to pack the tomatoes in oil, but the vinegar treatment is the difference between a good dried tomato and a great one. It is also important from a food safety standpoint, as it acidifies the oil and discourages growth of bacteria and mold. Soaking in the wine also acidifies them.

****** WARNING ********

Do *NOT* add fresh garlic cloves or fresh herbs of any kind to oil-packed dried tomatoes, UNLESS you store them in the refrigerator and plan on using them within 7 days. Garlic is a low-acid food which, when placed in oil, creates a low-acid anaerobic environment just
perfect growth medium for botulinum bacteria if the mixture is not refrigerated. Be safe and add your garlic to the dried tomatoes as part of the recipe for them *after* they come out of the oil.


clipped on: 09.01.2008 at 04:35 pm    last updated on: 09.01.2008 at 04:35 pm

RE: Homemade vinegar? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: Daisyduckworth on 08.06.2005 at 06:56 pm in Harvest Forum

I've never tried it, but this is how you do it.

Wine Vinegar
1 bottle red or white wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon pot barley

Combine wine and barley in a wide-mouthed jar or crock and leave in a warm place for several days. Test after 2-3 days, by which time it should be right, strain and bottle. Keep a small amount as the ‘mother’, feeding occasionally with dregs of wine, making sure to use the same kind of wine each time.


clipped on: 08.25.2008 at 01:06 pm    last updated on: 08.25.2008 at 01:06 pm

RE: Habanero Gold recipe question about pectin (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: usmc0352 on 08.23.2008 at 09:07 pm in Harvest Forum

Here are the two different recipes. The first one is the one I used.

Habanero Gold Jelly Recipe #132932
Love the hot and sweet of this jelly. Like most hot pepper jellies, it is wonderful spread over a block of cream cheese. I also sometimes melt it down and use as a final baste on grilled back bacon, pork chops or chicken. Prep time does not include sitting time for apricots and vinegar.
by Jan in Lanark
45 min : 30 min prep
3 250 ml jars
· 1/3 cup finely sliced dried apricot
· 3/4 cup white vinegar or cider vinegar
· 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
· 1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
· 1/4 cup finely diced habanero pepper, with seeds or finely diced jalapeno, and scotch bonnet peppers combined
· 3 cups white sugar
· 1 (3 ounce) envelope bernardin liquid pectin
1. Cut apricots into 1/8 inch slices and measure into large stainless steel saucepan with the vinegar; let stand for four hours.
2. Cut onions and peppers into 1/8 inch slices; cut slices into a 1/4 inch dice.
3. Add to apricots and stir in sugar.
4. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil.
5. Stirring constantly, boil hard for one minute.
6. Remove from heat and immediately stir in liquid pectin, mixing well.
7. Stir for about 3 minutes to mix solids, but put into jars before it gets too firm.
8. Pour into hot sterilized jars, dividing solids equally and fill to within 1/4 inch from top of jar.
9. Apply snap lids and process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes if you choose.
10. Once sealed you can rotate or invert jars while still warm to distribute solids if needed.

Big Batch Habanero Gold (Carol calls it Hot N Sweet Confetti Jelly)
1 cup minced dried apricots (1/8" dice)
Note: Could use dried peaches or pears instead.
1 1/4 total cups minced red sweet pepper and minced red onion (1/8" dice), approximately half-and-half.
1/4 cup Habanero peppers
Note: For extra-hot, increase Habaneros to 1/2 cup and reduce red sweet pepper/red onion combination to 1 cup total.
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 3-oz. pouch liquid pectin (I used Ball, which I've decided I like better than Certo.)
Prep apricots, peppers and onion. Place in a large, stainless or other non-reactive pot. Add sugar and vinegar. Bring to the boil and cook 5 minutes. Pull off the burner; allow to cool, cover and let sit overnight.
Stir occasionally if convenient.
Note: 4-6 hours would be plenty, so the time doesn't need to be any greater than the soaking time for apricots in the original recipe.
Next day, bring the mixture back to the boil. Stir in liquid pectin. Boil hard 1 minute. Pull off the heat. If necessary, skim foam. (I did need to skim a bit.) Let cool 2 minutes, stirring to distribute solids. Pour into jars. Stir to distribute and remove air bubbles. Do the usual with the jars and lids, BWB 10 minutes.
When jars are sealed, "agitate" to distribute solids throughout the jelly.
Yield: 6 8-oz. jars.


clipped on: 08.25.2008 at 12:16 pm    last updated on: 08.25.2008 at 12:16 pm

RE: Disappointing tomato season (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: dangould on 07.08.2008 at 10:28 am in Growing Tomatoes Forum

I suspect the opposite. I suspect her problem is too much water and the roots are rotting. adding more salty water is not going to help. You might spray epsom salts on the leaves. but I will never add salt to the soil.

I suspect she needs the ground to dry out and the roots to grow again. hope for the best.

If you live in a wet area then you should probably graft your tomatoes onto eggplant rootstock. The professionals do that for wet areas. The roots of eggplant do much better in soil that is too wet or gets flooded out.

Here is a link that might be useful: toms on eggplant roots


clipped on: 07.09.2008 at 02:29 pm    last updated on: 07.09.2008 at 02:29 pm

RE: Your Greatest Hit Recipes for Leesa (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: annie1992 on 09.17.2005 at 03:56 pm in Harvest Forum

For apple and pear season, here are a couple of my favorite chutney recipes. I double the pear one and have left out the brandy when I didn't have any. It was good anyway:

Pear and Currant Chutney

Makes 2 ½ - 3 cups
1 cup dried currants
6 tbls pear brandy
4 pears, peeled, cored and cut into ½" pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into ¼" pieces
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 – 3 ½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
pinch cayenne

Put currants and brandy into a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat until currants are plump and have absorbed most of the liquor, about 7 minutes. Add pears, celery, sugar, lemon juice, ginger and cayenne and stir well. Return to simmer, reduce head to medium low and simmer until pears are very soft and translucent and juices are thick and syrupy, about 1 hour.

Put chutney into a clean jar with a tight lid or hot water bath 10 minutes. If not processed, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Allow chutney to sit for a couple of weeks, the flavor improves with age.

Pear Apple'n Cranberry Chutney

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Makes 6 half-pints

2 Cinnamon Sticks , broken in half
1 teaspoon Whole Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Whole Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Whole Black Pepper
2 pounds pears, peeled, cored, and finely chopped, (about 5 cups)
1 1/2 pounds green apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped, (about 4 cups)
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 package (6 ounces) dried cranberries or one 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped, (1 cup)
1/3 cup Crystallized Ginger, finely chopped
1. Tie cinnamon, allspice, cloves and pepper in a cheesecloth bag.
2. Combine all ingredients in 6-quart saucepot; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cook until thickened, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. As mixture starts to thicken, stir more frequently. Remove spice bag; discard.
3. Ladle into hot half-pint-size canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Run thin, non-metallic utensil down inside of jars to remove air bubbles. Wipe rim of jars clean with damp cloth.
4. Cover jars with metal lids and screw on bands. Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.


8 C chopped apples (I use Northern Spy's)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 XL sweet red pepper, chopped (or 2 med)
1 lb golden raisins
1 lb black raisins
2 jalepenos, chopped
2 Tbsp mustard seeds
4 C apple cider vinegar
2 med onions, chopped
4 C brown sugar
1/4 C fresh ginger, chopped (no need to peel)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp grd allspice
2 tsp grd cinnamon
2 tsp grd cloves

Combine all in a large kettle and bring slowly to a boil, stirring often to keep from sticking. Boil till thick. Pour into hot jars, adjust lids and process in BWB 10 min.

Yield: 12 to 14 half pints (maybe?)



clipped on: 07.08.2008 at 09:12 pm    last updated on: 07.08.2008 at 09:12 pm

RE: Your Greatest Hit Recipes for Leesa (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: annie1992 on 07.28.2005 at 11:38 pm in Harvest Forum

OK, here are my favorites. The salsa is my own recipe, the soup is Katie C's and the Habanero Gold is wonderful, but I don't know where in the world I got the recipe.


8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
2 ½ cups chopped onion
1 ½ cups chopped green pepper
3 – 5 chopped jalapenos
6 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
16 oz. tomato sauce
16 oz tomato paste
Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil, boil 10 minutes. Pour into hot jars, process at 10 lbs of pressure for 30 minutes for pints.

Makes 6 pints

Roasted Tomato Garlic Soup
Recipe By :Katie
12 tomatoes -- *see Note
2 carrots -- cut in 1" pieces
1 large onion -- quartered
2 whole heads garlic -- peeled (or more, to taste)
olive oil
2 cups chicken broth -- (or 3)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil -- (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
Core tomatoes and cut in half. Place, cut side up, on foil covered cookie sheet with carrots, onion and garlic. Brush with olive oil. Bake at 400F for about an hour, or until vegies are roasted and a little blackened. Place in a large saucepan with the chicken broth and basil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Blend with a stick blender (or in small batches in a blender) until almost smooth. To can: Process in a pressure canner, pints for 60 min. and quarts for 70 min.For dial gauge canners use 11 pounds pressure at 0-2000 ft., 12 lbs. at 2001-4000 ft., 13 lbs. at 4001-6000 ft. and 14 lbs. above 6000 ft. For weighted gauge canners use 10 lbs. pressure at 0-1000 ft., and 15 lbs. over 1000 ft. *Note: These measurements are approximate...I use whatever it takes to cover the cookie sheet. This makes 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of soup. Cream may be added to taste when the soup is served.

Habanero Gold Jelly

1/3 cup finely sliced dried apricots
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 up finely diced red onion
1/4 cup finely diced sweet red pepper
1/4 cup finely diced habanero peppers, including seeds
OR 1/4 cup diced, combined jalapeno and Scotch Bonnet peppers
3 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch Certo liquid pectin

Cut apricots into 1/8 inch slices. Measure into a large deep stainless steel saucepan with vinegar; let stand 4 hours. Individually, cut onion and seeded peppers into 1/8 inch slices; cut slices into 1/4 inch dice. Measure each ingredient; add to apricots. Stir in sugar.
Over high heat, bring to a full roiling boil. Stirring constantly, boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat. Immediately stir in pectin, mixing well.
Pour jelly into hot jar, dividing solids equally among jars and filling each jar to within 1/4 inch of top rim. Wipe rims. Apply lids.

Process 10 minutes in BWB. Cool upright, until lids pop down, about 30 minutes. When lids are concave but the jelly is still hot, carefully grasp jar without disturbing lid and invert, twist, or rotate each jar to distribute solids throughout jelly. The jar can be inverted temporarily but do not allow it to stand upside-down for prolonged periods.

Repeat as necessary during the cooling/setting time, until solids remain suspended in the jelly.



clipped on: 07.08.2008 at 09:04 pm    last updated on: 07.08.2008 at 09:04 pm

RE: Your Greatest Hit Recipes for Leesa (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: MellyoftheSouth on 07.28.2005 at 03:16 pm in Harvest Forum

This is my husband's favorite. We've made it when we cut all the green tomatoes off the vines before a hurricane (the vines lived to produce many more) and then at the end of the season when it was going to freeze.

Pickled Sweet Green Tomatoes
10 to 11 lbs of green tomatoes (16 cups sliced)
2 cups sliced onions
1/4 cup canning or pickling salt
3 cups brown sugar
4 cups vinegar (5 percent)
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tbsp allspice
1 tbsp celery seed
1 tbsp whole cloves
Yield: About 9 pints

Procedure: Wash and slice tomatoes and onions. Place in bowl, sprinkle with 1/4 cup salt, and let stand 4 to 6 hours. Drain. Heat and stir sugar in vinegar until dissolved. Tie mustard seed, allspice, celery seed, and cloves in a spice bag. Add to vinegar with tomatoes and onions. If needed, add minimum water to cover pieces. Bring to boil and simmer 30 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent burning. Tomatoes should be tender and transparent when properly cooked. Remove spice bag. Fill jar and cover with hot pickling solution, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Pickled Sweet Green Tomatoes in a boiling-water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints 10 min 15 20
Quarts 15 20 25

This document was extracted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA. Revised 1994.

As much as I hate to post it, being a Gator and all, the Univ. of Georgia has a great website.

Here is a link that might be useful: National Center for Home Food Preservation


clipped on: 07.08.2008 at 09:03 pm    last updated on: 07.08.2008 at 09:03 pm

RE: Dill pickle recipe (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: linda_lou on 06.22.2008 at 03:56 pm in Harvest Forum

Some of the refrigerator pickle recipes can allow listeria to grow, so you need to be careful with instructions and recipes.
Claussen are a fermented type pickle.
Fermented Dill Pickles – Refrigerated "Clausen" Type

1 Gallon Jar
Pickling Cucumbers
12 Fresh Dill Flower heads, or
2 Tbsp Dried dill weed and
2 Tbsp. Dried dill seed
10 to 12 Cloves Garlic
6 to 8 Peppercorns
1/4 Cup Vinegar
1/2 Cup Salt
1 1/2 Quarts Water

In 1 gallon jar add pickling cucumbers Rinse but do not wash the cucumbers. Add Dill flower heads or dried dill weed and seed, garlic, peppercorns, and vinegar. Dissolve salt in water and add to jar. Fill jar the remaining way with water. Add weight to keep cucumbers under brine.

Fermentation sequence
1. Clear brine – no cloudiness for 1 to 3 days
2. Cloudy brine with gas formation, 2-3 days
3. Cloudy brine – no gas formation, 5 to 6 days

Pickles ready to eat after 10-11 days.
Refrigerate pickles if you do not want to process them.

To process the pickles
Fill clean, sterilized quart jars with pickles to within 1/2inch of the top. Wipe, seal, and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove and place on towel in a draft free area. Let jars stand for 12 hours. Label and date. Store in a dark, cool area.


clipped on: 07.08.2008 at 08:57 pm    last updated on: 07.08.2008 at 08:57 pm

RE: help me schedule for fall crop (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: sewobsessed on 06.30.2008 at 05:10 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

give the Grow Guide a try. Just pick 'Fall Garden' and the dates and it will tell you what to start when.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grow Guide


clipped on: 07.01.2008 at 12:46 pm    last updated on: 07.01.2008 at 12:46 pm

RE: Non-crossing Bean Species (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: zeedman on 05.12.2008 at 01:25 am in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

-Winged bean (same climate as hyacinth)
-Tepary bean
-Black gram (will not cross with green gram)
-Peas (as in "English" peas)

So while all of the legumes listed so far may not be appropriate for every location & climate, any gardener could easily grow one each of several, and save pure seed.

As to inter-species crosses... Several years ago, I requested a runner bean from Seed Savers Exchange. The seeds, upon examination, had some purple coloration, and appeared to be small runner beans.

When I planted them, however, the cotyledons emerged from the soil - and runner beans are, by accepted definition, hypogeal. It appeared to be a cross between P. coccineus (runner bean) and P. vulgaris (common bean). Since I wasn't sure how to isolate it from my other beans (too late to change plans), I chose not to grow it & destroyed the seedlings. I still have seed remaining, which I intend to plant this year... I'm very curious what the blossoms will look like.

Curious, I scanned through the USDA's database of runner beans, looking for something similar. I found one that appeared to be nearly identical to mine - and was epigeal. And much to my surprise, I also found other epigeal runner beans, all of which appear to be possible inter-species crosses within the Phaseolus genus. I intend to write the curator, to request her opinion on this... I hope they respond.

I remember having a similar discussion some time back, and a GW member came forth, claiming that they had a cross occur in their garden between runners & common beans. I believe it was a European member. While inter-species crosses do occur, they are statistically very rare; very few of those are viable, and even fewer are able to produce seed. When it does happen, such a cross represents an opportunity to breed a new variety.


clipped on: 05.19.2008 at 05:12 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2008 at 05:12 pm

Non-crossing Bean Species

posted by: jimster on 05.11.2008 at 04:21 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

For many of us who save seed and don't grow too many different beans each year, one strategy for keeping the strains pure is to grow only one of each species. That way, they don't get crossed up. For example, grow only one common bean, one lima, etc.

This is a follow-up on the thread about hyacinth beans. I have a general idea of the types of beans which would work under this strategy but want to check it with the more hard core beanophiles. Here is my list of what I think could be grown together with no crossing:

common bush or common pole, (but not both)
cow pea or yard long (but not both)

Any corrections? Additions? Refinements?



clipped on: 05.19.2008 at 05:12 pm    last updated on: 05.19.2008 at 05:12 pm

RE: What to do with Bok Choy (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: readinglady on 06.22.2007 at 11:27 pm in Harvest Forum

I love bok choy and have all kinds of recipes. About the only thing I don't use it in is dessert! Here are some, mainly Asian, but not all.

Braised Baby Bok Choy
Recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine

2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds baby bok choy, trimmed
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Pepper, to taste
Bring broth and butter to a simmer in a deep large heavy skillet. Arrange bok choy evenly in skillet and simmer, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy with tongs to a serving dish and keep warm, covered. Boil broth mixture until reduced to about 1/2 cup, then stir in sesame oil and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over bok choy.

Stir-fried baby bok choy

Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Note: From Vicki Fan. Baby bok choy is available at many local farmers markets and Asian markets. Use the smallest baby bok choy you can find, about 2 1/2 inches long if possible. If larger, cut them in half lengthwise. Keep a saucepan of simmering water or chicken or vegetable stock on the stove, to add to the bok choy while cooking.

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
12 baby bok choy, whole (trimmed)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a wok over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and swirl the wok around to coat the pan. Heat until you see a wisp of smoke. Add the garlic and ginger and quickly stir fry for just a few seconds, stirring with chopsticks.

2. Add the bok choy and stir to coat. Add 2 tablespoons hot water and cover. Let the bok choy steam about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring a few times and checking to make sure the vegetables don't burn. Add a little more water if necessary and a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Bok Choy with Sauteed Mushrooms and Shallots

If you've never tried bok choy, this recipe is a good place to start.
2 teaspoons canola or olive oil
8-ounce package sliced mushrooms
2 shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 pounds bok choy, rinsed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons "lite" soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic and stir-fry until mushrooms darken, about 5 minutes.
Add bok choy and stir-fry for about 8 to 10 minutes until tender. Sprinkle with soy sauce, lemon zest and pepper, to taste. Serves 4.
Adapted from "The New American Plate: Veggies," by the American Institute for Cancer Research

Roasted Roots With Winter Greens
Makes 8 servings
This recipe, which makes good use of winter vegetables, comes from Shari Sirkin of Dancing Roots Farm in Troutdale. She encourages cooks to vary the ingredients -- it can be made with all of the vegetables in the recipe or just one or two. She makes a big batch on the weekends, providing lots of healthy leftovers for the week.

2 pounds potatoes, cut into large pieces
6 medium carrots, cut into large pieces
4 medium parsnips, cut into large pieces
4 medium rutabagas, peeled and cut into large pieces
4 medium turnips, cut into large pieces
Olive oil
3 large beets, cut into large pieces
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary, summer savory or thyme, or a mixture
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups thickly sliced greens, such as collards, kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, spinach or arugula
11/2 to 2 cups crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas and turnips in 1 or 2 large roasting pans; toss them with olive oil to coat lightly. In a separate pan, toss the beets with a little olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and your choice of herbs to all the vegetables. Roast for about 1 hour or until the roots are tender.

When the roots are almost done, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until it is soft. Add the greens and 1/4 cup water; cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are just tender and still bright green, 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve, place a large scoop of roasted roots on an individual plate; top with a large helping of greens and 3 to 4 tablespoons crumbled feta. -- Adapted from "Recipes From America's Small Farms: Fresh Ideas for the Season's Bounty" by Joanne Lamb Hayes and Lori Stein

Grilled Pork and Mango Salad with Warm Asian Greens
From "Sensational Salads" by Barbara Scott-Goodman.

¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tablespoons corn or safflower oil
2 pounds center-cut boneless pork cutlets or chops, about ½ -inch thick
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and thickly sliced
2 tablespoons corn or safflower oil
1 head bok choy, trimmed and coarsely chopped
½ pound baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Dash of hot sauce
4 scallions, trimmed and minced, for garnish

In a food processor, combine the mint, cilantro, basil, garlic, pepper, sugar, lime juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, fish sauce, and 2 tablespoons corn or safflower oil and pulse until well combined. The marinade can be made up to 1 day ahead of time.

Put the pork in a shallow nonreactive pan. Pour the marinade over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, turning occasionally.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. When it's medium-hot (coals are covered with a light coating of ash and glow deep red), grill the pork, 4 to 5 minutes per side, for medium-rare, or until desired doneness. At the same time, grill the mango slices until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Let the pork and mango cool for a few minutes. Cut the pork into ¼ -inch slices and dice the mango; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons corn or safflower oil in a large skillet or saute pan. Add the bok choy and stir-fry over medium-high heat until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach to the pan and stir-fry until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the greens to a large platter or individual plates. Top the greens with the pork slices and diced mango.

In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, sesame oil, and hot sauce. Drizzle over the pork and mango. Garnish with scallions and serve at once.
Serves 6.

Vietnamese-Style Beef and Noodle Broth
Makes 6 servings

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound beef flank steak, very thinly sliced against the grain
4 cups chopped bok choy (about 1 pound)
1 2- to 3-inch piece unpeeled fresh ginger, sliced
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
8 ounces wide rice noodles
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
11/2 cups fresh bean sprouts
4 tablespoons chopped basil, or to taste
4 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or large soup pot over high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring often, until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate using tongs, leaving the juices in the pot.

Add bok choy to the pot and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add ginger and broths; cover and bring to a boil. Add noodles and soy sauce; simmer until the noodles are soft, about 4 minutes. Return the beef to the pot and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with bean sprouts, basil, green onions and cilantro. Top with lime wedges.
-- Adapted from Eating Well April/May 2005

from Cook's Illustrated
serves 4 time: 25 minutes

½ C maple syrup
¼ C soy sauce
1 Tabsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tabsp plus 1 tsp veg. oil
1 large head bok choy (about 2 lbs) root end removed, cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces
4 center-cut salmon fillets (each about 6 ounces and 1¼ inches thick) remove pin bones and pat dry
2 tsp sesame seeds

Adjust one oven rack to the lowest position and a second rack to the upper middle position. Heat oven to 500°
Bring the maple syrup and soy sauce to a simmer in a small saucepan over med-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to ½ cup, 8-9 min.

Meanwhile, combine the grated ginger and 1 tabsp oil in a large bowl. Add the bok choy, ¼ tsp salt, and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Spread the bok choy on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Grease a second rimmed baking sheet with the remaining 1 tsp oil and position the salmon fillets, skin side down, on the sheet, with at least 1 inch between them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the bok choy on the lower oven rack and the salmon on the upper oven rack. Cook for 5 min, then pull the salmon from the oven and spread a thick layer of the maple glaze over each fillet, top and sides. Use a pastry brush. Return to the oven. Continue to cook until the bok choy leaves are wilted, stems tender and the salmon is firm to the touch, about 3 min. longer.

Transfer bok choy to a platter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Brush the fillets with another layer of glaze and transfer to individual plates. Serve immediately, with any remaining glaze.

I have more if there's something in particular you'd like to try. The idea of a search is also a very good one, especially sites like epicurious, which provide cooks' ratings for many recipes.


Here is a link that might be useful: Epicurious Bok Choy Recipes


clipped on: 05.14.2008 at 07:48 pm    last updated on: 05.14.2008 at 07:48 pm

RE: another question (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: rodger on 10.20.2006 at 09:47 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

The only other question is will the image stay on GW if it is deleted off photobucket?. And I have to add another picture. This shows Chicken and Dumpling crowder with the Black Crowder
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


clipped on: 05.01.2008 at 09:36 pm    last updated on: 05.01.2008 at 09:36 pm

RE: My Red Bed - Second Year ( *9 photos*) (Follow-Up #52)

posted by: gottagarden on 02.08.2007 at 12:22 pm in Cottage Garden Forum

I put this info on another post, but thought it would be useful to include here for any future readers.

Color is so subjective. When does red cross into orangish red? When does red slide into purplish red? What’s the difference between burgundy, maroon, scarlet, crimson, ruby, claret, vermilion? (not to mention smoky red, cherry red, tomato red, etc. – those terms at least are a little easier to envision.) And just exactly which shade is the "true red" anyways?

I’m sorry but I won’t be answering these questions. I just bring it up to help describe my "red bed". My goal was to have it be "true red", more or less, and also have lots of dark or reddish foliage. I have since come to the conclusion that there are lots of orangey-reds and lots of purply reds, but few "true" reds. In order to have more than five specimens, I have relaxed my standards and include many flowers that are "pretty close" to true red. If they stray too far from that section of the spectrum, they have been usually been removed. Not because I’m trying to be a purist, but I find that orange red next to pink red really clashes. I have a couple photos of these that show what I mean. But, you could decide to focus instead on burgundy reds altogether, or the orange reds.

Here are my observations on plants and colors in this zone 5 red bed. Your garden may differ.


Amaranthus – not sure what kind I have, I got it in a trade. It is the backbone plant of the garden. Looks like amaranthus cruentus Hopi Red Dye.
Castor Bean "carmencita" – wow! The new mainstay, a huge success this year. Highly poisonous seeds.
Impatiens – edging plant
Petunia – edging plant
Salvia coccinea "Lady in Red" – must have. Blooms early and all summer long
Salvia splendens "Flare" – somewhat orangish, but worth it for the long bloom season.
Icicle Pansies – dark burgundy, long bloom when nothing else going on.
Marigold "scarlet starlet" – really dark orange. Gone next year
Pennisetum Fountain Grass – got buried by faster growers
Iresine – so beautiful, but way, way too hot pink
Nicotiana – true red
Gerber Daisies – true red

Sweet Potato "blackie" – great trailer, annual
Cypress vine – true red, small stars. Fabulous ferny foliage, worth growing just for foliage.
Rhodochiton – burgundy, but exotic and unusual. Delicate and small
Sweet 100 cherries. Grew them in the veggie garden but they are joining the fray next year.
Clematis "Asao" and "Niobe" – both too pink. They’ll get moved.

Anemone coronaria – true red!! Wonderful, long blooming, very early.

Dahlia "Arabian Night" – deep smoky red, reliable
Dahlia "Bishop of Llandaff" – deep red AND reddish foliage! Doesn’t overwinter in my cellar though L
Dahlia "Akita" – red, orange and yellow cactus. Gorgeous
Dahlia "swapper special" – don’t know the real name of this dahlia I got in a swap, but super hardy, early and long bloomer, nice true red. Can’t give them away I have so many of them.
Iris "Samurai Warrior" – more burgundy, but stays because very little else is blooming at that time.
Gladiolus – Black Jack – nice smoky red
Gladiolus - Sensation – true red
Gladiolus – Trader Horn – orangy, removed
Crocosmia "Lucifer" – more red than regular crocosmia, but still kind of orangy
Calla Black Beuty – deep smoky burgundy red. A keeper
Lilies – Monte Negro – nice red!
Lilies – Fangio – too pinkish
Lily "Blackout" – a knockout! True red.
Martagon Lilies – too orange
Tulips – red emperor, red riding hood – deer food, sigh . . .

Astrantia Moulin Rouge – love it! Can’t wait for it to "bulk up". Technically more burgundy, but oh well, too nice, have to keep it.
Primrose cherry red – double, beautiful, slow to bulk up, unlike my other primroses
Daylilies – "Ruby Throat" and so many wonderful true reds, but I can’t find my notes right now.
Burgundy gaillardia – despite the name, I consider it true red.
Hollyhock – almost black. Next year trying a seed swap red.
Knautia macedonica – burgundy, but just the right form – airy, bulbous flower heads swaying in the breeze
Geum Mrs. Bradshaw – too orange. Removing.
Poppy – Allegro – too orange
Poppy Brilliant – too orange
Lobelia Cardinalis – true red! Wonderful
Lobelia Cardinalis "Queen Victoria" – true red! AND smoky red foliage. Perfect for the red bed.
Heuchera Ruby Bells – true red bells! But leaves burned by too much sun.
Heuchera Palace Purple – leaves too burned
Penstemon Husker Red – flowers are completely wrong shade of lavender, but stems and leaves have a great smoky cast to them, and flower seedheads stay all year, even through winter.
Phlox – Tenor – too pink and removed
Potentilla Fire Flames – too orange, removed
Peony "Karl Rosenfeld" – pinky red, but so little else is blooming at this time of year, so it stays
Fushcia magellanica – orangy, but kept anyways because it’s the only hardy fuschia here
Firecracker flower (dichelostemma) – ho hum
Monarda – one true red, one burgundy red. Keep them both because they’re so nice.
Sedum – Autumn Joy – flowers go from light pink to dark dusty pink. Not quite right.
Sedum – Matrona – red stems! And flowers are better than autumn joy. Will replace AJ when large enough
Sedum Red Emperor – nice dark foliage! Susceptible to root rot.
Hibiscus "Luna Red" – very short, so I need to move to front of border. Have just bought new taller one, "Lord Baltimore". Ask me next year
Chrysanthemum "Helen" – wonderful dark smoky red. Need to propagate more of these.
Sweet Williams "sooty" – dark, smoky red, long blooming and early
Poker Plant (Kniphofia) – too orange

Foliage Plants

Canna – Red King Humbert ( dig tubers annually)
Cordyline – Red Star Spike (annual)
Japanese Blood Grass
Bloody Dock
Smoke bush "purple robe" – great foliage!
Weigela "wine and roses" – ho hum
Weigela "midnight wine" – ho hum
Red Barberry – gorgeous fall foliage, tough, nice background
Red-leaved euphorbia

Next year’s list of plants to find and try are:

Red Sunflower
Scarlet runner bean
Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes on my obelisk
Ruby chard
Red clover

Phew!! That’s it for now, rather exhaustive list, don’t you think? Sorry it took so long. Let me know what I’m missing! Prefer perennials to annuals at this point. If you want seeds of anything email me late next summer and I will start saving.

Here is the location of my new redbed album on picasa.

Also, next year before the seed swaps let me know! I'll be happy to fill up a big package with lots of red seeds. 3 years on gardenweb and I never knew about the seed exchange!

Here is a link that might be useful: Red Bed Album


clipped on: 04.28.2008 at 11:52 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2008 at 11:52 pm

RE: What are Southern Butter Beans? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: fusion_power on 01.16.2007 at 10:47 am in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

The "butter beans" you are talking about are more a matter of how they are cooked than a particular variety of bean. I like butterpeas but rarely grow them because there are so many more varieties I like better. Baby Lima's (as in store bought dry beans) are also good but the flavor is not up to par compared to homegrown and properly harvested beans. My preference is a medium sized pole type bean that develops good flavor and has been harvested at the green shell stage. Here are some of the better examples of each:

Dixie Speckled Butterpea - A very fat deep reddish brown speckled bean that grows on bush plants. About 100 feet of row planted 3 seed per foot will produce 2 to 3 gallons of beans.

Henderson Lima and Fordhook lima - medium size flattened limas that grow on bush plants. These are pretty much industry standard varieties. They are noted for good flavor and canning/freezing properties.

Carolina Red - One of the most interesting and tasty beans I've grown. Its medium sized with a bright red color at maturity. Heat tolerance is outstanding and production is very heavy. This is a pole lima that makes an exceptionally good bean when harvested at the green shelly stage. Sandhill Preservation has a limited stock of seed this year.

Cooking limas is a special art. Here is one of my recipes.

Cook a large pot of lima beans in a pot using 3 times as much water as the volume of beans. I like to boil them about 20 minutes, then pour the water off and put fresh water in to finish cooking. You can add a sliced onion if you choose. Once the beans are done, add parsley, a pinch of garlic powder, salt, a tiny amount of HOT pepper powder, and if you choose, a small pat of butter. I put the spices in to my personal taste, its not measured.


clipped on: 04.14.2008 at 10:06 pm    last updated on: 04.14.2008 at 10:06 pm

RE: What are Southern Butter Beans? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: gardenlad on 01.16.2007 at 07:30 am in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

What you've done, Nancy, is walk smack into a controversy; leading with your chin.

There is a perennial argument as to whether or not limas and butterbeans are the same thing. Basically they are.

Both limas and butterbeans are common names for Phaseolus lunatus, a large seeded annual plant. What you are probably being served, in North Carolina, are Sievas--which is source of another argument. Because they are smaller (like so-called baby limas) some people class them as a subspecies. But Sievas are native to the Carolinas, and are what most Tar-heelers think of when you say "butterbean." They're smaller, and speckled tan when raw.

There are an unknown number of butterbean/lima varieties, but they number at least in the several dozens, with variations in size, color, number of beans to the pod, etc. They're available in both bush and pole types.

The controversy stems from a related bean, sometimes called the "potato lima," which is a perenial, with large seeds. This, however, is a different species, Phaseolus limensis.

The argument has been fairly well settled among botanists. It's chefs, home-cooks, and other culinary enthusiasts who can't make up their minds.

When you hear the word "pea" or "crowder" you're talking about something else. These refer to cowpeas---of which there are something like 240 varieties. Crowders are called so because they are crowded into the pod. As a result, the individual peas are misshapen, most often squared off like little dice (with common beans we call this same phenomonon "cutshort"). Cowpeas are Vigna unguiculata.

All of which is probably a little more than you wanted to know. :>)


clipped on: 04.14.2008 at 10:05 pm    last updated on: 04.14.2008 at 10:05 pm

RE: Winter Squash Spacing and Growing Tips (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: Ray_Scheel on 05.27.2005 at 02:15 pm in Square Foot Gardening Forum

1/sqft, preferably on a trellis wider than the bed and plenty tall. Pinch the main runner when it gets tot he top of hte trellis to encourage side shoots. In July, you can replant staggered between the initial vines and get a second crop growing, just cut off the first vines at the base as (if) they die back / fade out and the new vines look ready to start producing themselves.


clipped on: 01.31.2008 at 07:42 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2008 at 07:42 pm

RE: which bell peppers did the best for you (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: angelstiger on 01.12.2006 at 05:26 pm in Heirloom Plants & Gardens Forum

Big climate difference between us. I have tried "California Wonder" a few times. Thin walls, not much production, of course thats up here in NH. It seems to be the only pepper plant the greenhouses carry. Wonder why? It is one of the reasons I started growing my own seedlings. I have grown "King of the North" for a few year. Great pepper, thick walls good size, not huge but market size. Last year I tried "Big Bertha". It impressed me alot. Last year was not a good year for peppers up here in the northeast (cool & wet), and BB still gave me some nice big peppers 7"+ by 4"+, with nice thick walls. It has earned a permament spot in my garden.

As far as keeping peppers from getting brown spots and raising productivity, I do what an old timer taught me:

1: Don't over fertilize, once before setting out, never side dress.
2: Peppers like to be touching their neighbors. I plant them 1 foot apart in a triple row.
3: Put a book of matches under each plant (sulfur).
4: Foliar spray them every week or two with epsom salts (about a Tbs. per Gal.) (magnesium)
5: If the temperature is heading for triple digits and the sun is shining high in the sky, throw a shade cloth over them to prevent sunscald. Remay works well or an old lace curtain. You dont want all the light blocked, just to cut down the intensity.


clipped on: 01.28.2008 at 12:38 pm    last updated on: 01.28.2008 at 12:38 pm

RE: Need ideas to germinate old old beans (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: zeedman on 06.15.2007 at 08:59 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

I agree with Fusion regarding the covering of the seed container. At warm temperatures, the dead seeds will rot very quickly; and with the high humidity of an enclosed environment, fungus could quickly engulf any good seeds (I say this from experience).

Carol, my germinator is home-made. I converted a "Germinette" collapsible greenhouse, which I covered outside with space blankets & moving blankets for heat retention. The unit came with 6 full-length shelves, under which I mounted shoplight flourescents on chains. These are turned on & off by a timer.

The temperature is regulated by a small electric heater, hooked up to an adjustable thermostat (the type used for electric baseboard heaters). This type of thermostat will not handle the inductance of large motors, so the heater plugged into it must have no fan, or a very small one (I used a Patton, which has a very weak blower). Some basic electrical knowledge is required to wire the connections.

(A sealed greenhouse thermostat is more reliable under high humidity, but much more costly (and harder to find) than the baseboard thermostat.)

To regulate the temperature effectively, the unit must be placed in a moderately cool location (basement or garage), the heat from the lights will cause over-heating indoors. You might be able to use it indoors with the use of controlled venting (to conserve energy), but I have not tried it.

This setup will control the temperature within a 3-4 degree range of the setting. I set mine to 75 degrees to germinate most vegetables, it would get closer to 80 with all lights running, then drop down at night to just below 75. Once germination is completed, I either lower the temperature to 70 (for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant) or move the seedlings to a solar greenhouse.

For the small lots of seed that I receive through swaps, sometimes every seed counts. The germinator has given me a very high germination rate for beans, often 100%. The final rate for the beans I mentioned previously was 84% (after 0% last year).

My plots are fully planted, so I would also be unable to grow your beans this year. Besides, at this point it may be too late in the season to guarantee a successful seed crop here (or in your location?), so it could be a waste of seed to try. If you still have seed remaining next year, I could try to germinate some of them for you then... just contact me through my member page.


clipped on: 01.26.2008 at 01:58 am    last updated on: 01.26.2008 at 01:59 am

RE: Need ideas to germinate old old beans (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: fusion_power on 06.15.2007 at 05:09 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum


The seed tray should be half full of water when you put the seed in. That should be enough to prevent evaporation for at least 2 or maybe 3 days. I would not cover the top because the seed seem to prefer exposure to the air. If you are very worried about the surface drying, I would start the tray indoors for the first 3 days. They put it out in the sun. The seed will not do anything until they have absorbed enough water. Then they will grow if they are viable.



clipped on: 01.26.2008 at 01:58 am    last updated on: 01.26.2008 at 01:58 am

RE: Need ideas to germinate old old beans (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: zeedman on 06.07.2007 at 10:04 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

>"How effective is this? I planted some 8 year old seed this year and got 1% germination in soil. I put some of the same seed in a seed tray and got 60% viable plants. That is a dramatic difference."< - Fusion Power

I was able to duplicate those results this month, with a rare yardlong bean ("Long White Snake") that last year had 0% germination out of 50 seeds. Fortunately, I still had a good quantity of seed remaining. This year, I planted them in a sterile soil-less mix in Jiffy strips as I did last year, but with two changes:
(1) After planting, they were watered by bottom-soaking with a solution of liquid fertilizer & boiled rain water, in the proportions listed by Fusion; and
(2) The tray was placed in a lighted, temperature-controlled germinator set at 75-80 degrees F. (as opposed to a solar greenhouse last year).

The difference is remarkable. Thus far, over 30 of 50 have germinated - and more are still emerging. This from seed that was shriveled, cracked, and appeared to have been harvested immature. The source has since dropped this variety, so I now have real hope of salvaging it. Should it prove too difficult for my climate, I still have enough seed to send to a serious collector further South.

As to old bean seed... I planted a runner bean this year that I last grew in 1998. It was planted directly in the garden in late May. The germination rate was nearly 80%! The seed had been stored in a zip-lock bag in a filing cabinet... so much for the myth of zip-locks killing seed.

Carol, could you update us on the results of your efforts so far?


clipped on: 01.26.2008 at 01:58 am    last updated on: 01.26.2008 at 01:58 am

RE: Need ideas to germinate old old beans (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: fusion_power on 05.01.2007 at 12:20 am in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

Here is a simple method that is highly successful at germinating old bean seed. It will work if the seed are alive but obviously if they are dead, nothing will help.

Mix 1 teaspoon of miracle grow with 1 gallon of water. Any highly soluble fertilizer with high nitrate will work. Seaweed emulsion in the 5% nitrate range could be used. Use 2 tablespoons of seaweed emulsion because it is less concentrated than miracle grow.

Start seed in a high quality seed mix. It is very important to have air circulation around and through the seed mix. It must be light and highly absorbent. I prefer seed trays because the water can be put in the bottom and will saturate the mix but will not puddle around the seed. Moisten enough mix with the water to fill and lightly pack the tray.

Pour the rest of the gallon of water into the bottom of the tray and let it set for at least an hour. The seed mix should be totally saturated. Pour off enough of the water so the seed tray is only half full.

Now plant the seed. Gently push seed into the mix until just level with the soil. The seed should NOT be covered up. Put the tray in a very warm area, 80 to 85 degrees is just about perfect. They should also be exposed to very bright light. Full sunlight is best but a high quality seed start light will work.

If the seed can grow, it will break the seedcoat within a few days. Because the seed is at the surface, the cotyledons will be exposed to light from the beginning. The seed will send a root down into the mix and start to absorb nutrients. This is the point where you have to watch carefully for weak attachment to the soil. If a seed starts to grow but leans over, put some more seed mix around it to prop it into position until the roots are strong enough to support the plant.

Keep the plants in the tray until the first true leaves have formed, then transplant into prepared soil.

How effective is this? I planted some 8 year old seed this year and got 1% germination in soil. I put some of the same seed in a seed tray and got 60% viable plants. That is a dramatic difference.



clipped on: 01.26.2008 at 01:57 am    last updated on: 01.26.2008 at 01:57 am

RE: Pure seed by isolating from pollinators? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: zeedman on 10.17.2006 at 11:01 pm in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

I tried using isolation cages for bush beans, the same ones I use to get pure seed from peppers. Unfortunately, the conditions under which peppers thrive (heat & humidity) promote disease in beans... so I was forced to discontinue the experiment, to save the plants. I used floating row cover; a screen cage might allow greater air flow, and avoid the disease problems.

For common beans, since they self-pollinate, all that is needed to produce pure seed is a little distance. The distance necessary is a topic of considerable disagreement; search GW for "bean cross", and you will find many discussions of the issue. In general, if you grow two beans on opposite sides of your yard, the seed should be reasonably pure - for your own use. Grow one in pots in your front yard as well! But if you are preserving an irreplaceable heirloom, I would use a greater distance, or grow only that bean for one season.

My yard is just over an acre, and I grow three beans for seed each year at home, 100+ feet apart. In my main plot (on a friend's property) I grow several others in a 100-foot square; but I trellis other plants between them, and plant flowers throughout to act as "cleaning stations" for pollinators. So far, no crosses.

But I can tell you that I grow many beans obtained through swaps, and I have yet to go a year without seeing crosses... so they do occur. Sometimes they are so bad that even after roguing out the plants with obvious differences (which is a good practice) the remaining seed is still impure, and can’t be saved.

I nearly lost a rare variety that was sent to me this year; only _one plant_ was true-to-type. It may take me several years to clean it up to the point where I can re-offer it to others.

Limas & runner beans are more difficult than common beans. Bees are strongly attracted to the blossoms, so if you grow more than one, they _will_ cross... and that also includes any of your neighbors within at least 1/4 mile. I have never tried caging them; but it is my observation that while they are both supposedly self-fertile, they seldom self-pollinate without assistance from insects. You might be able to grow them under a cage, if you "trip" the flowers to simulate an insect visit.


clipped on: 01.03.2008 at 04:00 pm    last updated on: 01.03.2008 at 04:00 pm

RE: To Tweak or Not to Tweak (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: mellyofthesouth on 07.28.2006 at 02:51 am in Harvest Forum

Sounds like you have been busy with the alternative harvest. I only have 2 under 11 but I understand what you are saying about safety. Not only can you not risk their health, but you can't take risks with your own. This is a recipe from a book that is generally considered safe, Small Batch Preserving. After the Blue Book (as a reference) it is usually everyone's favorite. I have also been happy that I purchased the new book, Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. It seems to combine their Bernardin Canadian version with the Ball American version.

Seasoned Tomato Sauce
12 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (about 6lbs)
1 cup chopped onion (subsitute a smaller amount of powder if you like)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (you could safely leave that out)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, sugar, pepper and bay leaves in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered until very thick, about 1 1/2 hours; stir frequently. Press through a food mill or coarse sieve to remove seeds and skins. Add lemon juice and salt.
2. Remove hot jars from canner and ladle sauce into jars within 1/2 inch of rim. Process 35 minutes for half-pint or pint jars. Makes about 4 cups. (Apparently it is not safe to can in quarts.) Personally, I don't see why you couldn't reduce the tomatoes in the oven rather than on the stove. Sounds less messy. Alot of folks use the same oven method to make apple butter. Just don't add any oil.

Here are another two from the same book. Booberry posted it in another thread.

* Exported from MasterCook *
Chunky Basil Pasta Sauce
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
8 cups (2 L) coarsely chopped peeled tomatoes -- (about 9-12 tomatoes or 4 lb/2 kg)
1 cup chopped onion -- (250 mL)
3 cloves garlic -- minced
2/3 cup red wine -- (150 mL)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar (5 % strength) -- (75 mL)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil -- (125 mL)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley -- (15 mL)
1 teaspoon pickling salt -- (5 mL)
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar -- (2 mL)
1 6-oz/156 mL) can tomato paste
Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, wine, vinegar, basil, parsley, salt, sugar and tomato paste in a very large non-reactive pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until mixture reaches desired consistency, stirring frequently.
Remove hot jars from canner and ladle sauce into jars to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of rim (head space). Process 35 minutes for pin (500 mL) jars and 40 minutes for quart (1 L) jars in a BWB.
"8 cups"
Note: This sauce also makes an excellent base for a quick pizza.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
* Exported from MasterCook *
Multi-Use Tomato Sauce
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
10 plum tomatoes -- (about 2 1/2 lbs./1 kg)
10 large tomatoes -- peeled and chopped (about 4 lbs./2 kg)
4 large garlic cloves -- minced
2 large stalks celery -- chopped
2 medium carrots -- chopped
1 large onion -- chopped
1 large zucchini -- chopped
1 large sweet green pepper -- chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes -- (125 mL)
2/3 cup dry red wine -- (150 mL)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (5% strength or more) -- (125 mL)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon pickling salt -- (15 mL)
2 teaspoons dried oregano -- (10 mL)
2 teaspoons dried basil -- (10 mL)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar -- (5 mL) (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon -- (2 mL) (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper -- (2 mL)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley -- (50 mL)
Combine tomatoes, celery, garlic, onion, zucchini and green pepper in a very large non-reactive pan. Add 1 cup (250 mL) water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and boil gently, covered, for 25 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally.
Soak sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water until softened. Drain and dice. Add to sauce with wine, vinegar, bay leaves, salt, oregano, basil, sugar, cinamon and pepper. Continue to boil gently until desired consistency, stirring frequently. Discard bay leaves and stir in parsley.
Remove hot jars from canner and ladle sauce into jars to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of rim (head space). Process in a BWB 35 minutes for pint (500 mL) jars and 40 minutes for quart (1 L) jars.
"12 cups"

Linda Lou posted this one in another thread:
Seasoned Tomato Sauce
Makes about 5 half-pints

10 pounds washed, peeled, cored and chopped tomatoes
3 medium onions, chopped fine
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
Hot Pack

Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Press mixture through a food mill and discard seeds. Return to sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat until thick, stirring frequently. Add lemon juice or citric acid to hot canning jars and pack with hot prepared tomato mixture leaving ½-inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim and screw threads and adjust lids and screw bands.

Processing Methods

Boiling Water Bath Canner
Half-Pints 35 minutes
Pints 35 minutes
Pressure Canner

Dial Gauge Type @ 11 pounds pressure or Weighted Gauge Type @ 10 pounds pressure.
Half-Pints 15 minutes
Pints 15 minutes
After processing, remove jars immediately, place on a rack to cool.
Test for Seal.

You can leave out the onion. Do not increase the garlic amount as it is a low acid food and will change the ph level. Some herbs become bitter when canned. This sauce recipe should give you a good basic sauce to can.

Hopefully this will help!!


clipped on: 12.20.2007 at 10:27 pm    last updated on: 12.20.2007 at 10:27 pm

Question - Tomato Sauce

posted by: gamecock_girl on 08.04.2006 at 08:28 pm in Harvest Forum

I'm trying to get my recipes organized for canning on Sunday!

I'm down to two basic tomato sauce recipes from which I'm deciding (below). They are extremely similar! So, I was thinking that I really could probably combine them. 1. I like the idea of roasting the tomatoes before I use them, so couldn't I just roast the tomatoes for the Italian Seasoned Sauce?

2. I would also like to use fresh herbs from my herb garden. Can I use the typical 1 teaspoon dry = 3 teaspoons fresh substitution for herbs in canning? Do they have an effect on the acidity?

3. Speaking of herbs, can I use some thyme in the Italian Seasoned Tomato Sauce eventhough it doesn't call for that, or should I just add it in when I use it?

4. Going by another tomato sauce recipe that I've seen, I'm assuming 20 (good size) Roma tomatoes are about 5-6 lbs. Do you think that's a good assumption?

Thanks so much for all your help! I'm going for it on Sunday - Next week...Bellini Jelly, Annie's Salsa, and I'm starting the Tomato Sauce. ~ Paige

Italian Seasoned Tomato Sauce
10 pounds tomatoes
3 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon each basil, oregano, Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
Bottled lemon juice or citric acid

Prepare Ball® or Kerr® jars and closures according to instructions found in Canning Basics.

Wash tomatoes; drain. Peel, core and cut into small pieces; set aside. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in a large saucepot. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Press mixture through a sieve or food mill; discard seeds. Cook pulp in a large, uncovered saucepot over medium-high heat until sauce thickens, stirring to prevent sticking. Add 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid to each pint jar.


Roasted Tomato Sauce
20 Roma tomatoes, halved – 5-6? lbs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Bottled lemon juice or citric acid
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place tomatoes on a large baking sheet cut side up. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, spices and herbs. Bake uncovered 2 hours. Turn oven to 400 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. Remove from pan and process through a food mill.


clipped on: 12.20.2007 at 10:21 pm    last updated on: 12.20.2007 at 10:21 pm

RE: Tomato Sauce Question (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: readinglady on 09.09.2007 at 06:21 pm in Harvest Forum

The Ball Italian-Style Tomato Sauce calls for only 2/3 cup finely chopped onion and 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots plus 2/3 cup celery (the 1/2 cup parsley in your recipe is similarly low-acid) per 8 cups of fresh tomato puree. 4 T. lemon juice for that amount.

I would be careful not to exceed those amounts of low-acid vegetables. The problem with old recipes like that, as Ken mentioned, is they aren't very precise in their measurements compared to volume or weight measures.



clipped on: 12.20.2007 at 10:19 pm    last updated on: 12.20.2007 at 10:19 pm

RE: Is this pizza sauce recipe for canning safe? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: readinglady on 09.17.2007 at 07:41 pm in Harvest Forum

OK, I THINK I understand the issue.

I'll let you figure out the math; it's been a long day here. Too many paint fumes, I think, LOL.

1 pound of tomatoes = 2 cups CHOPPED or 1 1/2 cups CRUSHED or PUREED.

I posted the "tomato equation" on two different threads for two different forms of prepped tomatoes. Crushed or pureed tomatoes will have less volume than chopped ones.

I hope this makes sense. By the way, I should have cited my source on the equivalents: the new "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving."



clipped on: 12.20.2007 at 10:14 pm    last updated on: 12.20.2007 at 10:14 pm

RE: Is this pizza sauce recipe for canning safe? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: prairie_love on 09.16.2007 at 01:14 pm in Harvest Forum

Here is a safe recipe from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving. I make several batches of this and use if for pizzas all year.

Seasoned Tomato Sauce

12 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (about 6 lb.)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano OR 1 tsp dried
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

1. Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, sugar, pepper and bay leaves in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, until very thick, about 1 1/4 hours; stir frequently. Press through a food mill or coarse sieve to remove seeds and skins. Add lemon juice and salt.

2. Remove hot jars from canner and ladle sauce into jars to within 1/2 inch of rim. Process 35 minutes for half-pint or pint jars.

Makes about 4 cups.

After some discussion on this forum, I would make the following change to this recipe. The amount of lemon juice and salt is correct for the expected 4 cups. But because you may or may not boil it down to the same volume, I would suggest adding the lemon juice and salt to each jar rather than to the mixture. In other words, add 1/2 tbsp lemon juice and 1/8 tsp salt to each half-pint.

Someone please jump in if I am wrong on the lemon juice and salt.


clipped on: 12.20.2007 at 10:13 pm    last updated on: 12.20.2007 at 10:13 pm

RE: what variety do you like best for tomato sauce? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: zeedman on 11.04.2006 at 02:58 am in Harvest Forum

All of my tomatoes have been OP, so I can't vouch for the hybrids.

I'll second the motion for oxhearts, they have found a permanent place in my garden. Some of the best eaten fresh too, and very few seeds. "Hungarian Heart" and "Sojourner South American" are both very good, and high-yielding.

Very similar would be the "banana" types. They are elongated paste tomatoes with pointed ends, larger & later than most pastes, and with fewer seeds. "Federle" and "Gilbert Italian" are two of the best. Really good for salsa too, since they tend to ripen along with the peppers in late summer / early autumn.

"San Marzano" can be good, but there are many strains out there using the same name, some of which are inferior - it's a crap shoot. Your best bet is one of the named strains, such as "Super Marzano" or "San Marzano Redorta".

There are _hundreds_ of other "paste" tomatoes out there, with great variations in quality. Checking with your local Extension agent, or Master Gardeners, might give you a list of the best cultivars for your area. Or, you can just try 1 or 2 new ones each year.

Many of the smaller, otherwise unremarkable tomatoes can make great sauce; it depends on your taste, and what the sauce will be used for. One I grew last year, "Landis", made a surprisingly good sauce. And the acid/sour tomatoes can actually be preferable when you want a strong flavor, or as a blend with sweeter tomatoes.

I agree with those who shy away from the yellows; I haven't had much luck with them either. They usually are either too sweet, or tasteless. I did find one heirloom, "Yellow Pasta", that makes a wonderful, deep-yellow sauce with a sweet but rich flavor. I hope to make a good yellow ketchup from it next year.

No one has yet mentioned the purple or "black" tomatoes; they are strong, often with fruity, unusual flavors. I haven't tried canning them as sauce yet, but they cooked down to a rich, dark broth in several dishes prepared by the spouse.


clipped on: 12.20.2007 at 10:07 pm    last updated on: 12.20.2007 at 10:07 pm

RE: Coin Envelope question (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: pitimpinai on 09.02.2006 at 10:06 am in Winter Sowing Forum

You can make seed envelopes yourself too. I've made a whole bunch like these:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Told ya, I am cheap. :-)


clipped on: 01.31.2007 at 05:27 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2007 at 05:28 pm

RE: Coin Envelope question (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: pitimpinai on 09.02.2006 at 10:47 pm in Winter Sowing Forum

Thanks, Dee. :-)
Here goes, Vera:

Making seed envelopes:
Cut a 3" square from seed or plant catalogs. (Recycling is my main reason. Saving money and reducing plastic in landfills are other reasons.) You can make the square larger is you prefer a larger envelope:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Fold the square in half – diagonally:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Fold down the triangle a little under halfway:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Fold in the two angles at the base of the triangle overlapping the tips a little bit:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Place a small piece of sticky tape over the tips of the folded triangle:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Seeds go in between the flaps:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tape down the flaps or insert the flaps into the bottom part of the pocket. Notice the flaps are not quite triangular. This will keep tiny seeds from leaking out:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I made a lot of these envelopes on the train to and from work. I can make a lot of these envelopes in one day. It's quite relaxing for me.

Give it a try. :-)


clipped on: 01.31.2007 at 05:27 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2007 at 05:28 pm

So, what's working, and what isn't?

posted by: kristin_williams on 07.19.2006 at 03:21 am in Hummingbird Garden Forum

This spring, I expanded my garden, and planted a lot of new flowers in the hopes of attracting more hummingbirds. It's working, somewhat, but they still are addicted to the feeders. I'm starting to see what I think are young birds, and they are fun to watch as they explore everything. They seem more inclined to use natural flowers than the adults, who seem to fall into behavioral patterns of hitting a particular feeder, ignoring the flowers, then zipping off to parts unknown. Certain adults often seem to follow the same flight paths.

Anyway, I thought I'd list the flowers that have definitely been visited, and also list the ones that I thought would work, but don't seem to be getting any action. I have other flowers that I won't mention, because I don't think they are known to be attractive to hummingbirds.

Bleeding Hearts--Not sure of genus and species, probably just the common one.
Native columbine--Aquilegia canadensis
Scarlet Sage--Salvia coccinea
Bee Balm--Monarda didyma "Gardenview Scarlet" with bad case of mildew
Fuchsia "Billy Green" I'm not sure if they're exploring or actually feeding
Trumpet Vine--Campsis radicans var. "flava"

I must say, the Bee Balm is probably their favorite, with trumpet vine second. I haven't gotten a clear look at the Fuchsia, but I'm pretty sure they're using it. These three flowers are getting visited, even when the feeders are up. As far as I know, the others were visited only when the feeders were inside for cleaning. Of course, I can't be sure I'm not missing visits, but I'm a pretty patient observer, and this is what I've observed.

Petunias--bright red ones
Verbenas--annual ones, red with white centers
Verbenas--perennial ones "Homestead Purple"
Lobelia speciosa "Fan blue"
Zinnias--Pom pom ones and cactus-flowered ones
Snapdragons--Mixed colors in planters, traditional shaped blooms
Impatiens--shades of red, magenta, and pink. Don't know species, but they're the regular annuals you see everywhere, not the New Guinea ones
Oriental Lilies--Lilium
Daylilies--Hemerocallis--Orange wild-looking ones
Agastache "Pink Panther," and "Big Bazooka"
Cypress Vine--Ipomoea (?)

I must say, I really thought I'd see them at the Impatiens and also the Agastache, but if they're visiting, I've been missing it. The Cypress Vine so far has had only a few blooms at a time, so maybe it's just not a sufficient draw. In the past, I saw hummingbirds exploring my "Casa Blanca" lilies, but so far haven't seen any action at my pale yellow ones.

Hardy Hibiscus "Fireball"
Cardinal Flower-Lobelia cardinalis
Cardinal Climber--Ipomoea x multifida

I have high hopes for these, but will just have to wait and see. All are showing signs that they will soon be blooming.

Can anyone else share their experiences?


clipped on: 08.01.2006 at 05:00 pm    last updated on: 08.01.2006 at 05:00 pm