Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Frost and too many beans

Well we had been very lucky and escaped the early frosts. The beans seemed to know their days were numbered and they got busy. The Thai Red Roselle was a feast for the local bees. The flowers drew tame honey bees, bumble bees, all sorts of wasps and small bee I think were wild honey bees. I picked calyxs with a back ground symphony of buzzing. Oh and chicks underfoot.

October 27th had a frost forecast. Then we knew we were in trouble. You could feel the air. Frost was very close. Ralph tore all the bean plants up and put them in the shop. I chopped the Thai Red down with the limb loppers. They are a very sturdy bush at this stage. We saved the produce from the frost and made a lightning fast trip to Cabela's toget thenew dehydrator. It has been very busy. We had dehydrated Peppers, sweet and jalapeƱo. Wesalvaged as much of the That red as we could. Now I love the tea, it will be no where near enough for the year. I just had too much to do. Salvaging beans by freezing and canning was well worth it. We do have a wonderful assortment of beans for the winter. Blue Lake Several varieties of Roma. Jade, which are wonderful both canned and frozen.

I shelled the Horticultural instead of letting them dry on the vine. Then I pressure canned them with good results. Then bother sort of disaster struck....just as I was catching up on our own beans andthe like, Ralph went to the produce auction. A man with an itchy bidding finger.....a new dehydrator and a big all America canner. Yes you can see where this is going.

I have learned how to can Sweet Potatoes, grapes and layered mixed vegetable pickles. We have also jumped into fermenting and have a marvelous collection of crocks burping and bubbling away. Peppers, cabbage and green beans are acquiring new flavors and we wait with anticipation.

Ralph found a wonderful book called the Pickled Pantry. It is already looking quite well used. Today  30 quarts of plain tomatoes have been processed and the last shell beans are in pints. Tomorrow  more tomatoes and I will be getting Ralph to start moving jars to the basement. Yes there are holes to fill.

The grapes were a stroke of luck. There was a huge pallet of them at the second to last farm produce auction. We love grapes so we bought two of the big boxes full of bags of plump, firm green table grapes grown for Welches.

Far to many for us to eat so I researched canning them. We have a good winters supply of grapes, I love them and know I will have to practice self control.

Now off to take the last batch of tomatoes out of the canner. Do dishes and prepare for tomorrow and dealing with a temporary over abundance.

God Bless you all and enjoy the fall and all it brings you..