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Weekly Gardening Thread 2011 (Vol. 32) August 19
Free Republic | 08-19-2011 | Red_Devil 232

Posted on 08/19/2011 5:01:37 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232

Good morning gardeners. Weather has been great here in East Central Mississippi but my garden is basically done for the season. I do have some paste tomatoes coming along just fine and hope they produce before the first frost. They have a good chance to produce because the first frost around here is usually in late October or early November.

If you are a gardener or you are just starting out and are in need of advice or just encouragement please feel free to join in and enjoy the friendly discussion. Our Freeper community is full of gardeners, each with varying interests and skill levels from Master Gardener to novice.

I hope all your gardens are flourishing.


TOPICS: Agriculture; Food; Gardening; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: garden; gardening; recipes; weekly
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Weekly Gardening Thread

gardeningtools_Full-1.jpg picture by wjb123


1 posted on 08/19/2011 5:01:42 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232
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To: Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; billhilly; Alkhin; ...
Ping to the Weekly Gardening Ping List.

I hope all of you will stop by.

This is typically a low volume ping list. Once a week for the thread and every once in a while for other FR threads posted that might be of interest.

If you would like to be added to or removed from the list please let me know by FreepMail or by posting to me.

2 posted on 08/19/2011 5:03:18 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Red_Devil 232

The garden has yielded so little this summer I have been canning one quart jar of tomatoes at a time. What a hassle.

Same with the dill pickles but I must do it or my adult children will be disappointed. They even drink the pickle juice when all the goodies inside are gone!

My huge watermelon split on the vine - irregular watering and maybe too much on my part - still have 5 more growing though.

Lots of green bean blossoms so hoping for the best.

I will be putting in my fall broccoli this afternoon.

Still and all it has been fun - my flower beds are still producing bounteous lettuces - I share a lot with my chickens. :)


3 posted on 08/19/2011 5:11:24 AM PDT by 30Moves
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To: All

NEW ZEALAND SPINACH!!!!!!

Try it, try it, try it!

If I water it, it grows even faster.
If I don’t water it, it still grows!

Took a while to really get going here near Seattle, but should grow in all continental US regions no problem.


4 posted on 08/19/2011 5:16:12 AM PDT by djf (One of the few FReepers who NEVER clicked the "dead weasel" thread!! But may not last much longer...)
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To: Red_Devil 232

We actually got 1-1/2 inches of rain last week. It was absolutely amazing what that did for my garden. It had been watering heavily, but I think it was the cooler temps and the humidity.

It was too late for some of my young trees, but the okra and squash in my garden really got a boost.

At our farm we got 1.9 inches of rain and that was a real blessing.

I Thank God for the rain.

The 105+ temps are back and I have had to be careful about watering frequently again.


5 posted on 08/19/2011 5:16:12 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Good Morning. Plenty of zucchini and tomatoes. I cannot seem to catch the zukes before they are giant, but I’ve managed to find homes for them all. I harvested one watermelon, but I haven’t tasted it yet. I also have lots of cucumbers, but after the first bitter one I’m afraid to taste them. They may all be a loss.


6 posted on 08/19/2011 5:19:46 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Red_Devil 232

Good morning, Red Devil and all my gardening FReepers! We are still getting some nice tomatoes but I am wondering how long it will last! There is a certain “Fall smell” in the air in the morning. I am beginning to wonder if Fall won’t be early this year?!

I have gotten a ton of compliments and two neighbors have stopped their cars to ask about the lilies in my front yard. I guess a lot of people have never seen “Fairy lilies” or as some call them... “Resurrection Lilies”. Either name is fine with me and the kids seems to love them. I guess they are sort of magical in their own way!


7 posted on 08/19/2011 5:20:09 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: Red_Devil 232

Over cuked here! LOL! It’s going to be pickle city here this weekend... More rain last night with more on the way here in northern mid West. The tomato leaves are getting a bit yellow in the lower end rows, but the rest of the garden doing great.


8 posted on 08/19/2011 5:23:15 AM PDT by JDoutrider
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To: afraidfortherepublic

“... after the first bitter one, I’m afraid to taste them”.

My Mom used an old trick on large eggplant that was bitter. She would peel them, slice them and load salt on them. You leave it like that for a good twenty to thirty minutes. The salt “draws” out the bitterness. She would then rinse them very well and make whatever dish she had planned. I am thinking perhaps you could try this on the cucumbers (if you are planning on using them for salads etc). The crazy thing is if you taste the liquid that is expelled by the salt.. you taste pure bitterness. Just a thought!


9 posted on 08/19/2011 5:24:35 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: JDoutrider

My lower tomato leaves are also yellowing. Is that bad? I find that the yellowing leaves allow me to find the tomato tags to identify the varieties.


10 posted on 08/19/2011 5:25:28 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Red_Devil 232
This brutal hot weather has actually been wonderful for my Ghost Chiles and other hot peppers I grow: Image and video hosting by TinyPic I'll have plenty of seeds so if anyone wants to start their own crop next season send me a PM
11 posted on 08/19/2011 5:25:59 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: momtothree

I’m going to try that. Everybody else says that there is nothing you can do.


12 posted on 08/19/2011 5:27:43 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Red_Devil 232

Good morning. Lovely day in eastern Virginia, although we do have air quality warnings out. There is a huge wildfire in the Great Dismal Swamp, which straddles the VA/NC border. Even 150 miles (or so ) north of it, we are aware of the smoke.


13 posted on 08/19/2011 5:27:54 AM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

There’s no crime in trying (LOL!). I find it a shame after all the hard work that you can’t enjoy the “fruit” of your labor. Be very liberal with the salt... really put it on and see if the bitter juice doesn’t expel itself. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you!


14 posted on 08/19/2011 5:30:14 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: Red_Devil 232
Greetings from southern New Hampshire! Two of the Indian Runner Duck hens have started laying! One is still not participating in the grand experiment.

We had some soaking rain this week and the garden is beginning to tail off. Next year, we will be more prepared.

We had our strangely-shaped lot surveyed a few weeks ago and our neighbors to the north are interested in a swap to take the 33' strip across their back lot line in exchange for an equal area between us. That would give us a nice stretch for new fruit trees and a large asparagus bed. Hopefully, we can make it happen.

15 posted on 08/19/2011 5:34:31 AM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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To: Red_Devil 232

All my herbs are flourishing.
I harvest a few at a time and dry them on the kitchen counter. I have lots of old bottles for them when they are ready.
I have
parsley
sage
rosemary
thyme
chives
Thai Basil
Sweet Italian basil
cilantro.

In the spring I expect the mangoes, bananas, avocados, oranges, limes, lemons, figs, and muscadat grapes.

All on a postage stamp of land. LOL!


16 posted on 08/19/2011 5:39:04 AM PDT by left that other site (Psalm 122:6)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

my tomatoes are starting to ripen in larger numbers...picked 7 last night before work...:)


17 posted on 08/19/2011 5:51:06 AM PDT by stefanbatory (Insert witty tagline here)
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To: Oshkalaboomboom

They look beautiful. What are you going to do with them?


18 posted on 08/19/2011 5:59:40 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Those yellow leaves are from too much water! I need to build that area of the garden up a foot or so for the next years crop. That row of maters are the beefsteak, yellow lower leaves or not, they are LOADED with fruit!


19 posted on 08/19/2011 6:08:35 AM PDT by JDoutrider
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To: Red_Devil 232
They look beautiful. What are you going to do with them?

Some of them get put in sandwich bags and frozen until we want some chopped pepper but most will be dried out then crushed into a powder with a mortar and pestle. We store the powder in little jars (we keep sample jars we find during the year, clean them out and take off the labels) then use the powder in anything we want to spice up. We do this with Ghost Chiles, Habaneros and Tabasco Peppers. When I have an abundant supply and am feeling frisky I'll do something wild like throw a few peppers into a bottle of Vodka and let it sit for a few months (gives a whole new twist on a flaming shot) or pickle them with cloves of garlic and cherry tomatoes.

My next project is to try and find some Datil Pepper seeds so if anyone in Florida grows them and would like to donate or trade send me a PM

20 posted on 08/19/2011 6:26:47 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: Red_Devil 232
Good morning RD. Could you please put me back on the ping list please?

I didn't have a garden this summer because I thought my back finally went out for good. Turns out all the pain was from a disintegrating hip. Full replacement in 2 weeks, full rehab by the end of September. I have the garden solarizing and hopefully prepared for a Fall garden.

Hope you, spouse and the dogs have been well.

21 posted on 08/19/2011 6:28:43 AM PDT by poobear (FACTS - the turd in the punch bowl of liberal thought!)
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To: Red_Devil 232

It's supposed to hit 107º today and will be day #65 of triple digits in central Texas. The record is 69 days, so this area will easily surpass that within a week. No rain in sight.
22 posted on 08/19/2011 6:43:27 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, please let it rain in Texas. Amen.)
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To: poobear

No problem you are back on the list. It is good to hear your problem will be taken care of. I pray for a successful operation and rehab. Rehab from these types of operations can take time so don’t rush things.


23 posted on 08/19/2011 6:44:31 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Red_Devil 232
90+ heat for weeks on end and a dry spell during June slammed my Tomatoes and bell peppers. Tomatoes are splitting (combo of me watering and heat still in high 80s) and the red bell peppers are just deformed, small and ugly. The yellow bell peppers took forever to go from green to yellow and they were just as ugly. The green peppers were smaller than last year and my cukes are half bitter and mostly deformed. The cukes are planted in the ground, the peppers in 5 gal. buckets, and the tomatoes in about 35 gal containers. All sit on my deck and get a soaking every day. Am I over watering or is this just a sucky year for growing in Guilford county, NC (north central)? I plan to increase my lime in all containers next year. I mulched the tomatoes but not the peppers. We refreshed the potting mixture this year with cow manure. I'm not looking for prize winners, just good peppers and tomatoes.
24 posted on 08/19/2011 6:47:14 AM PDT by cashless (Unlike Obama and his supporters, I'd rather be a TEA BAGGER than a TEA BAGGEE.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Hundreds of green tomatoes FINALLY starting to ripen...wife and I made our first batch of ‘Purple Haze Salsa’ a few days back...NOM-alicious!


25 posted on 08/19/2011 6:50:36 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Glad to be back on board RD. Believe me, I’ll take it easy. Anything to get back on my feet. The thought of sweet onions and collard greens in my fall garden keeps me motivated!

Thank you for your kindness.


26 posted on 08/19/2011 6:52:27 AM PDT by poobear (FACTS - the turd in the punch bowl of liberal thought!)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Still waiting on tomatoes to color up. Some have, and I’ve made a tiny amount of sauce, but I’d so rather just do a big batch. Some of the plants, all the same variety, are rotting from the blossom end. I think we have four of those plants - 1/3 of our “crop”. Roma-but I’d have to double check that. Lovely plants, loaded with tomatoes - go rotten.

Hubby got lots of basil last night and made his pesto - about a quart. He said his oregano has no flavor. Fennel is still struggling along. Rabbits.

One pumpkin is orange, four or five others are all still green, which is fine. I just wish we had gotten seeds for a larger variety.

Once again our “leeks” appear to have kept the Japanese beetles at bay. I have no idea what variety they are, so we leave some to winter over to make sure we have them again.

I have decided that I do not care for “bush” style green beans, although they are now producing nicely (only three that the rabbits left me) so next year it’s back to the pole beans.

Cucumbers are very good, but about half the volume I had expected and hoped for. Three pints of canned pickles and one quart of refrigerator pickles. Picking more today to make relish.

Six acorn squash. A couple of cantaloupes. Various peppers. One cabbage looks viable. Potatoes. Small row of carrots-about another month or so on those. They take forever here.

I have finally convinced my husband to PLAN the garden next year. He likes to just stick things in the ground haphazardly. He forgets that they GROW bigger. Bless him. It makes weeding a nightmare. I did stake out a small 1/4 of the garden before he got there, and my patch is nice and sensible. And weeded.


27 posted on 08/19/2011 7:18:55 AM PDT by Ladysforest
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To: Oshkalaboomboom

I grow Datils and have found some seed sources:

http://www.regalpeppers.com/datil_pepper.html

http://www.amazon.com/Datil-Pepper-Seeds-Distinctive-Taste/dp/B002WVOHWC

http://pirtykitty.ecrater.com/p/575380/datil-heirloom-hot-pepper-seed

http://www.reimerseeds.com/datil-hot-peppers-yellow.aspx

http://www.ecrater.com/p/9171745/organic-datil-yellow-pepper-seeds-25

http://www.smartseedstore.com/capsicum-chinense.html


28 posted on 08/19/2011 7:20:13 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Obama/Biden '12: No hope and chump change.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

I had three watermelons that are getting heavy enough that I had to make little “melon bras” for them this week. My green beans are slowing down, but my cucumbers are picking up, and the raspberries are ripening a few a day, just enough to nibble while I work. Same with the sweet peas.

My tomatoes still seem stunted. Only one has any green tomatoes on it, and those haven’t gotten any bigger since last week. I might try pinching off one of the green ones, that trick worked on the zucchinnis.


29 posted on 08/19/2011 7:28:43 AM PDT by Ellendra (God feeds the birds of the air, but he doesn't throw it in their nests.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

Earlier this year I had one tomato almost ripe that got smooshed in a hail storm. The plants in the garden got set back too. Yesterday I got a surprise when checking progress. I got a 1 lb 6 oz zucchini and a banana pepper. Lots more zucchinis on the way.


30 posted on 08/19/2011 7:36:29 AM PDT by MtnClimber (A government powerful enough to tell you what to eat can tell you when you can breathe.)
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To: Red_Devil 232
Surprise! After only a year and a few months, I've got a pineapple bloom, the beginnings of setting the fruit! The rest of the plant, and most of the pineapples I planted last year aren't looking too good, but we'll see.

Photobucket

31 posted on 08/19/2011 7:48:12 AM PDT by Tatze (I reject your reality and substitute my own!)
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To: poobear

My goodness!! I hope you feel better soon!


32 posted on 08/19/2011 7:52:47 AM PDT by Ellendra (God feeds the birds of the air, but he doesn't throw it in their nests.)
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To: Free Vulcan
I grow Datils and have found some seed sources:

Thanks for the info, I will check them out

33 posted on 08/19/2011 7:55:42 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: Red_Devil 232; All
Reporting ffrom Benderville (formally Eureka Ca) where the weather continues to be more like Eureka than Benderville. Still digging potatoes as needed, the pumpkins are a bust, Raspberries are done, Strawberries have slowed down, one bush of Blueberries to pick, Garlic & Shallots are in storage. My wife shucked a Corn cob yesterday and proclaimed ONE MORE WEEK! I said, honey that is the third week you you have said that. LOL

The big news here on the Bender Estate is we have picked 5 Diva cucumbers and they are delicious but the plants appear to be waining...

My lone Siberian Tomato plant now has 6 tiny tomatoes but the older 3 don't seem to be sizing up. We buy our fresh tomatoes at the Farmers Markets and they farm in the warmer parts of the county. I am on a Cherokee Purple kick for the past 3 years. The ocean caught Salmon my wife caught Monday is the best we have ever eaten and this port is the Salmon capital of the west coast. Grandson borrowed my Big Chief Smoker and brined and smoked about 3 pounds yesterday but hasn't eaten any yet.

34 posted on 08/19/2011 7:59:43 AM PDT by tubebender (The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some very good ideas)
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To: Red_Devil 232; All
Thanks for the thread. It started raining last night and continued this morning. We are at 72 degrees on the way to a high of 86.

So far, produce has been really small this year. I finally picked one ripe tomato and a cantaloupe yesterday. Got a mess of corn a little over a week ago.

Hubby has had some cukes and vine peaches. The late corn looks promising. It doesn't look like we will get any walnuts or butternuts this year. We had plenty last year, so we still have some vacuum packed in the freezer.

Next month, I will start the winter garden of lettuce, onions, spinach, and carrots. Hard to believe the summer is almost over.

Have a great weekend, and God bless.

35 posted on 08/19/2011 8:10:33 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Ellendra
>>My tomatoes still seem stunted. Only one has any green tomatoes on it, and those haven’t gotten any bigger since last week.<<

Try throwing a hand full of Epsom Salt around each plant and water it in. I do that every other week and it gives them a pick me up.

36 posted on 08/19/2011 8:17:44 AM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: Red_Devil 232
Greetings from Maryland. We have had some great rainfalls and beautiful weather so life is good. I've had some great tomatoes and peppers this year - beautiful and tasty as well. I've put up lots of tomatoes, tomato juice and salsa. I pretty much gave up on my broccoli and cabbage as it got too hot too soon, although I did not pull up the plants yet. So I was surprised to find a couple of cabbages, and although small they have a very good flavor and made great cole slaw.

Happy gardening (or in my case, weeding)!

37 posted on 08/19/2011 8:23:10 AM PDT by gramho12
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To: tubebender

Looks like a chipmunk got a taste of one of those cukes!


38 posted on 08/19/2011 8:27:19 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: All

Sure sounds like a lot of us had a bust year with some area our gardens. In my case, it was probably the very late start I got putting my tomatoes in. And then the weather went into an early heat wave that the young plants just could not survive. My whole gardening experience revolves around my tomato plants and it really had me bummed out when they just conked out even after I provided some shade for them.

I have vowed to get an early start next. Watch it come a late snow! I am so glad I don’t have to rely on my gardening skills to make a living.


39 posted on 08/19/2011 8:57:25 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: JDoutrider

Mine are already in a raised bed, but we’ve had unpredictable weather this year. It’s either been drought or a deluge. My tomatoes are also loaded with fruit, and it seems to ripen nicly. I’m not too concerned about the loss of leaves because too many leaves leave too many places for the mosquitos to hide.


40 posted on 08/19/2011 9:00:08 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Red_Devil 232
I am so glad I don’t have to rely on my gardening skills to make a living.

That makes 2 of us.

41 posted on 08/19/2011 9:01:14 AM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

The older leaves on the bottom of my tomato plants yellowed over time as well. Didn’t seem to affect the rest of the plant.


42 posted on 08/19/2011 9:03:53 AM PDT by hattend (The SEALs got Osama. The only thing Obama killed was our childrens future - NoLibZone)
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To: CynicalBear

Thank you!! I’ll try that this afternoon.


43 posted on 08/19/2011 9:03:59 AM PDT by Ellendra (God feeds the birds of the air, but he doesn't throw it in their nests.)
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To: Gabz
There is a huge wildfire in the Great Dismal Swamp

There's a fire in DC?

44 posted on 08/19/2011 9:05:34 AM PDT by hattend (The SEALs got Osama. The only thing Obama killed was our childrens future - NoLibZone)
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To: hattend

LOL! Don’t we wish.


45 posted on 08/19/2011 9:10:04 AM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: tubebender; Red_Devil 232; All; greeneyes

I had enough produce to deliver a bag of tennis ball sized tomatoes, a sandwich bag of the sweetest cherry tomatoes, 2 medium zuchini, and 2 cucumbers to the owner of the bagel shop where we often eat.

The veggies are for his dear wife who is undergoing chemo — on her 4th round — for a recurrence of B cancer. I told him that the cukes were likely to be bitter and to just throw them away if that turned out to be the case. But, these veggies have had no sprays and no additives — strictly organic. I think she’ll like that. She’s had no time for her own garden this year.

He wanted to give us breakfast in return, but I told him no. His mom is with them to do the cooking while Debbie is sick. So far, I’ve given away more veggies than I’ve eaten, but we’re not going hungry, so that’s a good thing.


46 posted on 08/19/2011 9:17:49 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Ellendra

I’m counting on it!

I canned so many vegetables last summer we’re still eating out of our pantry. Maybe the Man Upstairs had a little something to do with last years harvest. It was extremely bountiful, almost unimaginable ;D!

Can’t wait to get back to my garden.

Please enjoy yours! Summer is short in most of the country.


47 posted on 08/19/2011 9:28:57 AM PDT by poobear (FACTS - the turd in the punch bowl of liberal thought!)
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To: left that other site

“I harvest a few at a time and dry them on the kitchen counter”

I usually just plant tomatos but this year grew several types of basil. Any hints on properly drying and bottling? Do you just leave it out on the counter? in a bowl? how long? any advice will be welcomed.

BTW, have been canning 5 pints a week of huge grape tomatos. (It’s nice like having freshly grown tomatos in a recipe during a Massachusetts blizzard)


48 posted on 08/19/2011 10:14:24 AM PDT by Mrs. B.S. Roberts
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To: afraidfortherepublic

That’s good that you have had such success. I love to be able to eat food that I know has not been contaminated by pesticides. Every little bit helps with the grocery bill too.


49 posted on 08/19/2011 10:23:21 AM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: Red_Devil 232

The weeds got the better of me during that stretch of 100° temps we had here in Central Missouri, but the tomatoes, peppers, melons and okra don’t seem to mind living in a weed patch.


50 posted on 08/19/2011 10:30:02 AM PDT by Augie
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