Veggie Gardens
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Author:  Catherine [ Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:59 pm ]
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I canned 21 quarts of lovely white-half runner green beans today. I'll be making bread and butter pickles and something called India Relish over the next few days. Never tried that before, but it ought to be an adventure. :confused2: :home: :help: :sleepy3:

Author:  lefty [ Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:08 pm ]
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My gardening has been a disaster this year. We had a bunch of drenching rains for a few of the very first weeks of the growing season that kept the ground too wet and cold and now my crops are set back by a good month. I picked my FIRST red tomato yesterday! Usually that happens around the end of may, beginning of June!! Oh well. Things are back to the usual dry, mugginess of MS, but to the detriment of my hard work. Hopefully I will get enough from the garden to make me feel that it was worth it this year. Though, I am not going to ever quit, just learn from my mistakes and try again next year.

I am jealous of you Cat. Though, I am guessing in about a week or so, I am going to have about 300 ripe tomatoes all at once. So, I will be learning to can very soon.

Author:  A Proud Liberal [ Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:01 pm ]
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lefty wrote:
I am jealous of you Cat. Though, I am guessing in about a week or so, I am going to have about 300 ripe tomatoes all at once. So, I will be learning to can very soon.

The great thing about canning tomatoes is they don't require anything more than a water bath, no pressure cooker/canner required. Their high acidity aids in killing many harmful germs(I use germs in the generic form meaning any harmful microscopic entity.). The times I have canned tomatoes, I went so far has to make my own sauce, so the end result was pretty much like buying jars of sauce at the grocery store.

Author:  Catherine [ Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:49 pm ]
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My day started early...with half a bushel of beautiful, South Carolina peaches a friend gave to me. I dipped them in a kettle of hot water and then plunged them into a large bowl of cold water and the skins came right off. I filled seven quarts and seven pints with golden slices and then processed them in my canner for ten minutes at 6 pounds pressure. During the processing time, I worked with the India Relish I'd put together last evening, filling 7 pints and a few half-pints. It just required a water-bath of five minutes. India Relish is very good on beans and in potato salad.

The clean up, though! I must have used every pot and stainless steel bowl I have in the house!

Author:  lefty [ Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:47 am ]
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Sounds awesome Cat. Yummy on the peaches especially.

I definitely plan to make loads of sauce. Its my specialty. I make it all throughout the summer fresh, so I figure I'll use that same recipe to can it. Since I grow everything, from the garlic and onions to the basil, it will be very neat to have totally "homemade" sauce for the year. I'm excited. Let me ask you this though. The first few times I made sauce I spent forever trying to separate the pulp from the seeds and it was a freaking mess. Do I really have to keep the seeds out?

Author:  A Proud Liberal [ Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:42 pm ]
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lefty wrote:
The first few times I made sauce I spent forever trying to separate the pulp from the seeds and it was a freaking mess. Do I really have to keep the seeds out?

That's a matter of personal preference. I use a food mill that removes skins and seeds leaving only the meat of the tomato for the majority of my sauces.

Author:  Catherine [ Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:43 am ]
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If any of you check out jaspar's Hot News forum, you would have seen this op-ed piece link from the NY TIMES:

The Great Illusion by Paul Krugman

....Consider how things have played out in the current food crisis. For years we were told that self-sufficiency was an outmoded concept, and that it was safe to rely on world markets for food supplies. But when the prices of wheat, rice and corn soared, Keynes’s “projects and politics” of “restrictions and exclusion” made a comeback: many governments rushed to protect domestic consumers by banning or limiting exports, leaving food-importing countries in dire straits.

And now comes “militarism and imperialism.” By itself, as I said, the war in Georgia isn’t that big a deal economically. But it does mark the end of the Pax Americana — the era in which the United States more or less maintained a monopoly on the use of military force. And that raises some real questions about the future of globalization.

Most obviously, Europe’s dependence on Russian energy, especially natural gas, now looks very dangerous — more dangerous, arguably, than its dependence on Middle Eastern oil. After all, Russia has already used gas as a weapon: in 2006, it cut off supplies to Ukraine amid a dispute over prices.

And if Russia is willing and able to use force to assert control over its self-declared sphere of influence, won’t others do the same? Just think about the global economic disruption that would follow if China — which is about to surpass the United States as the world’s largest manufacturing nation — were to forcibly assert its claim to Taiwan.

Some analysts tell us not to worry: global economic integration itself protects us against war, they argue, because successful trading economies won’t risk their prosperity by engaging in military adventurism. But this, too, raises unpleasant historical memories.

Shortly before World War I another British author, Norman Angell, published a famous book titled “The Great Illusion,” in which he argued that war had become obsolete, that in the modern industrial era even military victors lose far more than they gain. He was right — but wars kept happening anyway.

So are the foundations of the second global economy any more solid than those of the first? In some ways, yes. For example, war among the nations of Western Europe really does seem inconceivable now, not so much because of economic ties as because of shared democratic values.

Much of the world, however, including nations that play a key role in the global economy, doesn’t share those values. Most of us have proceeded on the belief that, at least as far as economics goes, this doesn’t matter — that we can count on world trade continuing to flow freely simply because it’s so profitable. But that’s not a safe assumption.

Angell was right to describe the belief that conquest pays as a great illusion. But the belief that economic rationality always prevents war is an equally great illusion. And today’s high degree of global economic interdependence, which can be sustained only if all major governments act sensibly, is more fragile than we imagine

Go to the link to read all of Mr. Krugman's comments.

Our abilities as Americans to be self-sustaining are probably at their lowest, although I know some of us here at TVNL have been discussing growing our own foods and trying to make sure we can take care of ourselves when the food crisis gets worse...and it will. I know that I have worked all summer long, canning and freezing foods I've grown in my own veggie garden, and lefty has done the same. PT has been stocking up for some time. I'm glad we're doing what we can, but what do we do when we can't get things we can't grow? One thing I think we should learn about is how to save seed from this year's crops to make sure we can grow next year's.

Author:  Catherine [ Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Veggie Gardens

I knew this thread was still somewhere around! :D But I have just found an incredible article in this month's Carolina Country magazine about growing a STRAW BALE GARDEN. Apparently, a vegetable garden planted in bales of straw can produce good-looking healthy plants without weeds. :shock:

The article says that a straw-bale garden is especially convenient for people who don't have a large plot of ground to till or who are physically unable to do a lot of kneeling, bending, and hoeing. Any type of straw or hay will work, but pine straw will NOT work.

Read the info for yourself at

Author:  dori [ Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Veggie Gardens

What an interesting idea. My soil is clay with shale, next to impossible to work without a lot of added compost, and I do mean work! I have lots of deer droppings to sweeten the soil right now though.

I love the idea of strawbales for planting.

Author:  Catherine [ Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Veggie Gardens

I have been canning green beans, tomatoes, and today I canned my favorite salsa. This time, I added a bit more jalapeno, which gave it quite a bite. I ended up with ten half-pints. It's such a lovely red color, tastes great, and is so much better than anything sold at the grocery store. I've also made two herbal jellies, one called sweet basil jelly and the other is lemon thyme jelly. Spread some of either one over some cream cheese and serve with a favorite cracker. YUM! :mrgreen:

The hot temps we've been having haven't done my garden much good, but we've kept it watered as much as possible. Fortunately, we've had a few rain showers come through now and then, but I don't think the corn is going to do much. :(

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