Monday, September 14, 2020

Midwest Gardening Food: Freezing Green Beans


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Midwest Gardening Food: 

Freezing Green Beans

Since we have had little bursts of cooler weather in between the high 80's and low 90's, the beans were and still are going nuts! We planted beans on 8' trellises between the sunflowers. Mostly to give our neighbor some privacy. There sunken patio is a stones throw from our garden and no need to be seen every time we are in the garden, butts in the air weeding.

And YES sunflowers and beans are very compatible plantings...but who knew?

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...our Beans would grow as high as the Sunflowers. The ground was very hard so the ladder was sturdier and safer than it looks.

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You can see the thick growth of bean leaves, we have a fortress of beans. Three packets, 2 which were three years old.

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My daughter-in-law picked all the lower ones. We picked and picked and picked. 
She took a huge bag of 
GREEN DELICIOUSNESS home.


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Freezing beans is so easy. First, wash and prepare your beans. I clip off the ends and pull off any strings. You may cut them or leave them long. Even with the beans large inside the pods these were very tender, so I'm freezing almost all of them.

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Easy Directions for freezing beans: Prepare a clean sink 1/2 full with cold water and add a quart of icecubes or quart block of ice you have frozen. 

    Then set a deep kettle on the stove half full of water. Set to boiling with a lid. (Do not add salt this will discolor the beans).

    When at a rolling boil add 2 cups of beans to the water, bring to a boil and let them cook for three minutes.

    Scoop out the cooked beans and immediately chill to cold in the sink. Remove and drain.

    Do this with all your beans...then bag, removing as much air as possible from freezer bags.

    Label and freeze. Enjoy all year long, so delicious and fresh!

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Which is your favorite GARDEN FOOD?



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Sandi 



Friday, September 4, 2020

Midwest Gardening 2020: Upside down Sunflower Update

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Ever wonder why sunflowers tip upside down?


I thought it was from our drought...not enough water...even though I would faithfully water them every other day.



And then there was the mess on the ground ????


Squirrels!!! Flowers are upside down so squirrels can hang and feast!


This guy was quite in a hurry to reach all the succulent seeds.


I caught multiple photos...and he just would change his position.


See the tail?

Hope you have an upside-down/FUN/feasting weekend!

Hugs and Stay Safe! 


Monday, August 24, 2020

Midwest Gardening 2020: Sunflowers

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It's been so hot, I only stay outside long enough to water pots and pick a few vegetables and then there is the weeds. Today I decided to only take photos of the sunflowers.... Boy, do we have sunflowers.

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I'm always amazed opening my photos to edit. 

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Why is it the eye doesn't see the finesse of the light or the details captured by the camera's eye? The veins in the leaves, the hairs on the stems, the sunlight caressing the edges...and bouncing across the stems. 

I'm always amazed. This little sun face stem hides under some giant brothers next to our flagpole in the front yard. 

The subject today is simply SUNFLOWERS and boy do I have some HUGE sunflowers. Many of these were grown from seed in the greenhouse, but I also sowed directly into the ground. Not everything germinated...just as well...wait until you see!

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These look tall and straight, as I am taking the photo 12 feet below. These Mammoth Sunflowers are in a raised planter by our stairs. It has been so dry---here...even with watering everything droops, but the flowers heads are huge and heavy also.


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From up 6 feet from the last photo, you can see the heads as tall as the garage. You
can see how they have drooped over. 

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I'm surprised a raccoon hasn't discovered these, heavy and full of seeds and accessible from the porch railings.  

Strolling to the backyard garden...another Mammoth Sunflower. 
I planted two giant varieties, one ....up to 12 feet, and this Mammoth up to 15 feet.
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This big baby is planted next to the cucumber trellis with some smaller versions underneath.

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Here's are our Better Boy tomatoes in front of the north wall of sunflowers and trellised green beans.  I ran support wires and ropes between the trellises to support the very tall sunflowers.

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I planted this smaller variety of Sunset Sunflowers, some are just now starting to form heads. This area has sun all day, and it's very hot. The blossoms don't last very long.

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Here's how pretty this flower head is, only the size of your palm.

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Okay, here is where you say OMG! That is a 6 foot tall step ladder, I'm using to pick beans...Yes those flowers are almost into the power/telephone/cable lines. Easily 15 feet high or more?

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Photo taken from directly underneath...!

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See the power lines?

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Lower are the 6-8' foot basic Sunflowers and they are still very tall.

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Above the Mammoth heads drooping again!

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Another angle, with the smaller flowers on the left are almost kissing the power lines.

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Here you can see the Fibonacci sequence of the seed patterns. Fascinating, spiraling in prime number sequence. 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, ....etc.
        
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We lost a few tops last week from a windstorm, our last rain. I've hung them up for the birds to feast on. Birds can't hang upside down on those huge swaying heads fifteen feet in the air. I'm sure these two on the grill canopy will gone soon.

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Hope you enjoyed my smiling sunflowers. Just waiting for the raccoons to figure out they are ready to eat! 

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Smiles, and have a great week!





Sunday, August 9, 2020

Midwest Gardening: Early August Vegetables

 

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Hi, All! 

I haven't been posting photos of the garden, mostly because I have been too busy cooking. I totally missed last months vegetable garden post...so I had to retake photos for today.

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This is our Island in the Sun of 4 Yellow Summer Squash plants. 

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This was today, August 9th pickings. We have been eating yellow summer squash every day. Tonight I will bake some on the grill stuffed with Italian Sausage, and fresh garden greenbeans, zucchini and tomatoes.

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Nice bunch of green beans and a yellow tomato. Perfect for supper.

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Cherry tomatoes are everyday, now.

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This is what the inside of the 'Island in the Sun' looks like.

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Our peppers are just beginning to ripen. Nice and red, Carnival Peppers come in orange, red, yellow, green and occasionally a purple one.

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Despite the heat they are quite thick and heavy. 

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I will use some for supper and later this week, I will can some summer squash in tomatoes and peppers and onions with herbs: Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme, garlic, and some basil-maybe.

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Our Beans are fighting it out with the 14 foot tall sunflowers. I don't know who is winning, the beans are almost as tall.  Some SF stalks have broken.The Sunflowers are a post of their own.


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Green beans are also just starting. I have to pick every other day now, so many are out of reach, we may have to back to bush beans.

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I picked tomatoes heavy last week, so there are just a few now, but will be more in a few days. Only our San Marzano's are done, but they did poorly from the beginning.


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What do you think these bags are for??? Remember I try to do everything Green in the garden.


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We have winter squash and small pumpkins all around the perimeter of the garden wherever there is fencing to crawl up on.

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This one is a Halloween Pumpkin or a squash, not sure. I pulled the top edge of the wire fencing out for  as a support ledge. I think we will have quite a few on the shelf, as they take off so late in the season. But, winter squashes take longer, you just have to keep the vines alive! 

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From 12 broccoli plants we have 5 that didn't completely bolt. Now they are 
finally producing some tight florets. YAY! 

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We've had two cuttings of Swiss Chard, this will go nuts with the cool weather.

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I need a Fairy Godmother to turn this pumpkin into a carriage and take me away, LOL. It is no where near done growing and that is my size 11 shoe! We have it on three of those melon supports, YOWZA.  This one is a FairyTale Pumpkin, it will be pale orange and apparently HUGE!

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Another Fairytale?  Pumpkin, not sure! 

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I still have great dill. We will have to have some salmon with dill sauce on the grill.

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Our Carnival Peppers and Green Peppers are just beginning. 

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I had enough hot peppers to make hot pepper sauce last week. I got 9 1/2 pt jars. I can't share the recipe---because it is one of a kind, too many alterations and I lost track. I'd say that it all depends on how hot your peppers are.

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This cucumber pot has given up, despite being watered whenever it needed it. 

Lessons we learned in this Year's 
Very Cool wet Spring to Extremely HOT June and July.

Plants which thrived had some shade each day. 
Broccoli definitely needs to be in More shade each day.
Zucchini had a bad year-we had them in three locations and they failed. Eight plants produced only three zucchini so far. 
Next year, maybe plant cucumbers twice to extend the season?
After 2 years of virtually no yellow summer squash---WE have tons this year from only four plants.
No more Cucumbers on the front porch, too hot.

What is growing super in your garden this year?