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N&C Midwest: August 2020

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/1/2020, 8:53 am

Can you believe it’s August?  Woke up to a nice gentle rain, that is a gift let me tell ya! It has been very hot and dry this summer so far.  August is a month of work in our gardens in the Midwest; lots coming on at once.  Canning, eating, freezing, cooking!  

Need to plan some Fall crops and check on the melons and stuff; potatoes will get pulled, and I’m sure there are cukes and maters and beans out there eating for attention.  

What’s up everybody?
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/1/2020, 9:13 am

No, I can't believe it! August already!  We're very busy with the gardens with harvesting produce, cleaning out exhausted plants, succession planting in the open spaces. Froze a lot of green beans, and today we're canning tomatoes and pickled Jalapenos.

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Post  sanderson on 8/2/2020, 5:37 pm

Recipe for pickled jalapenos? I pickled some banana peppers and have lots of jalapenos.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/2/2020, 6:38 pm

@sanderson wrote:Recipe for pickled jalapenos?  I pickled some banana peppers and have lots of jalapenos.
This is the best thing I have ever done with my end of the season bonanza of jalapeños!


https://www.chilipeppermadness.com/chili-pepper-recipes/desserts/sweet-candied-jalapeno-peppers/

I canned mine.  Some were red; that made it gorgeous and kinda cool for Christmas gifting!  Served with Ritz or Town House crackers and cream cheese—you are a hero!!!!  Plus it’s gorgeous.
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/2/2020, 7:08 pm

@sanderson wrote:Recipe for pickled jalapenos?  I pickled some banana peppers and have lots of jalapenos.

I make some Cowboy Candy Peppers like the recipe SR posted, but I mostly can just the Jalapenos for use in recipes and scrambled eggs.  My recipe is super simple, and easy to do.

2# Jalapeno Peppers, stems removed and sliced 1/4" with seeds
2.5 Cups White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar (5% Acidity)
2.5 Cups Water
6  Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp Peppercorns
2 Tsp Non-Iodized Salt


  • Sterilize 4 Pint Jars
  • Prepare Brine: Combine all ingredients except Jalapenos in porcelain or glass sauce pan, and bring to a boil.
  • As soon as brine is boiling, add enough sliced Jalapenos to keep covered with liquid, and bring back to a boil.
  • Pack peppers, garlic, and peppercorns in pint jars, wipe rim, place lid and band on jar and finger tighten.
  • Process jars in Hot Water Bath Canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars from canner, sit on absorbent towel and allow to cool.
  • Let peppers sit canned for at least 6 weeks to pickle before consuming
  • When consuming peppers, remove peppercorns before using.


Note 1: If not desired to can them, jars can be placed in refrigerator after cooling instead of processing in a hot water bath. Keep jars sealed in fridge.

Note 2: For a little added flavor, 1 Tbsp sugar can be added to brine. I personally do not add sugar.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/2/2020, 7:55 pm

will definitely try this, OG!  Love pickled peppers!  Thanks for the recipe!
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Post  nrstooge on 8/4/2020, 2:27 pm

Been harvesting a handful at a time of cherry tomatoes.  First time planting Japanese black cherry.. delishous!  
I've got a few green peppers on the patio. The eggplant is blooming. 

Time already to plan for fall lettuce/greens/peas and also more green beans  Smile
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/4/2020, 8:22 pm

I know it!  Time...my boss said today he heard that August is the Sunday of the school/work week.  Kinda sad, really.  

I too have a bunch of eggplants that I plan to make into sn]mall casseroles and freeze.  Same thing I do with the pepper bounty that happens late!  

If I'm canning this weekend, it's outside.  warming up here again.
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Post  RainyG on 8/5/2020, 9:16 am

We have been doing some ferments in the past few years.  Last year my husband made a green sriracha - we used serranos & jalapenos (mostly grown by us), our own walking onions and garlic, and I don't recall what all else.  Half-gallon jar (use whatever size holds the goods!), rinse and prep all veggies (we cut the peppers in half length wise, the onions into pieces about the same size, left garlic cloves whole). Weigh all the veggies (I find the metric system much easier), calculate 2% and weigh out that much pickling salt (not iodized, not table salt with anti-caking additives), and thoroughly mix it with the veggies (use a stainless, glass, or ceramic container).  Put the mix in your jar or crock, tamp it down a bit (we make our own maple tampers), put a clean towel or layer of muslin (sheet) or several layers of clean cheesecloth over it, let it sit for about 20 minutes.  In the meantime, prepare a 2% brine - boil water, add the right amount of salt for the weight of the water (2 Tablespoons per quart works well if you don't have a scale, but you need one to weigh the veggies, so . . .) and stir to dissolve.  Check your veggies, they should be giving up their juices, mash again, add brine to cover, add a weight, cover with a clean towel and let it bubble.  

There are some great sites for fermenting information:  https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/
https://www.fermentationrecipes.com/

Before folks say "yuuuch!" think about these facts: yogurt, many cheeses, wine, beer, kombucha, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and traditional pickles are all fermented foods made without the use of vinegar.  Naturally occurring beneficial bacteria do the work of turning raw ingredients that would spoil quickly into healthy foods that can be kept over the winter until the next years harvest is available.  People who eat fermented foods have healthier intestinal environment than folks who don't, and scientists and doctors are now learning that unhealthy intestinal environments lead to all sorts of health problems (possibly/likely contributing to diabetes and other metabolic disorders, depression and other neurological dysfunction, susceptibility to infections, etc.). Countries/cultures/communities that eat a lot of fermented foods tend to live longer, healthier lives.  Our Western diet, high in simple sugars and refined starches, full of preservatives and artificial sweeteners, promotes the growth of "bad" bacteria, which can lead to a multitude of problems.
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/5/2020, 6:50 pm

Pulled all of the onions today, and have them drying in the garage. Had a very good crop this year in spite of the long hot, dry period. They are all Bridger onions, which store really well through the winter.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/5/2020, 8:25 pm

Hi RainyG!  Welcome, glad you found us!  I have done some fermented things, mostly cabbages, not exactly sauerkraut but sort of—I do enjoy the taste however it is labor and stuff/time intensive.  I lack time! 

OG, I pulled mine about 10 days ago—I think they are ready to be stored.  I grow “Candy”, its an Amish onion—it isn’t really sweet!  Stores well.  

Marching on!  In the oven: tomato Pie!
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Post  RainyG on 8/6/2020, 6:42 am

We are finding that fermenting can take less time than freezing or canning veggies, it doesn't use electricity (which can fail, causing that whole freezer-load of frozen berries, veg, meat, herbs, etc. to go bad), or gas, doesn't heat up & steam up the house, etc. BTW, we just bought a 2-burner propane stove for canning on the back deck. Some things do keep and taste better canned.

Your produce usually has to be washed and cut up before you eat it, frequently you cook it and add seasoning, so the time is about the same. For freezing, you need to blanch many veg, drain them then dump in an ice or cold water bath, get them out, drain them, pack them (and if you are trying to vacuum pack, that extra water is a PAIN!!!).  With fermenting, you can pack a pint jar or a quart & add the salt in about the time it takes you to prep the same amount for a meal. When you get more comfortable with the process, you can use larger jars, a 1-2 gallon crock, or do 21 lbs of kimchi in a real Korean ongii.  Even in the heat of the summer, part of our basement is in the 50s, which is a good storage temp once the active fermenting has stopped.
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/6/2020, 8:26 pm

Tomatoes are coming in pretty heavy since getting several inches of rain, and the temperatures cooled back down into the 70's and 80's.  Red Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine, and Rutgers. Also getting a lot of Sungold cherry tomatoes.


N&C Midwest:  August 2020 Tomato49

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Post  OhioGardener on 8/7/2020, 3:11 pm

An abundance of Sweet Banana Peppers this year. Will make a Banana Pepper Sausage Casserole for dinner.

N&C Midwest:  August 2020 Banana26

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Post  OhioGardener on 8/8/2020, 10:39 am

The Rutgers tomato is doing great on the arbor trellis. Picking 8 to 10 tomatoes a day off of this plant, and it is still blooming.

A picture from the outside of the arbor
N&C Midwest:  August 2020 Rutger11


A pciture from the inside of the arbor
N&C Midwest:  August 2020 Rutger12

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/8/2020, 7:21 pm

I watered my annex tonight; there are a couple patty pans and zucchini squash to pick in the AM.  Brought cured onions in; need to pull potatoes tomorrow.  I was waiting on it to dry out—and boy did Mother Nature oblige!  

The Pineapple Ground Cherry plants are sooo much taller/bigger than Aunt Molly!  I can’t  wait to taste them; all green so far.  

I am going to pickle some of the banana peppers this year.  Too many!  Also planning to try a Chili Relleno Casserole recipe when it cools off a bit!  Found a bag of frozen Ancho chilis from last year!  SCORE!  

Ordered my garlics and a few seeds to replenish the coffer.
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/8/2020, 7:36 pm

Picked 6.5# of beans this evening. Such a beautiful day that I just couldn't stay inside today. Refreshed a couple beds with new compost that had finished, so those beds are ready for fall planting.

N&C Midwest:  August 2020 Green_31

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/11/2020, 5:01 pm

Oh my gosh!  The produce is getting ahead of me and my fridge capacity!  Need to put some things up this weekend!  

Just picked 2 Zucchini’s and 2 Patty Pans—will probably make and freeze a casserole this weekend.  Also need to make some Eggplant Parm.  EEEK!!!!!

Maters are easy.  And my potatoes are waiting patiently for me to get them out of the MM!  Peppers can chill.
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/12/2020, 12:11 pm

The gardens are producing far more than we can consume now, and we have canned/frozen about all we need for the coming winter. So, we're giving a lot of tomatoes, kale, swiss chard, peppers, and green beans to neighbors and the food pantry.

Never have we had such healthy and delicious Romaine Lettuce as we have right now, which is amazing considering the scorching hot weather we have had for the past six weeks.

N&C Midwest:  August 2020 Romain14


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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/12/2020, 9:02 pm

Agree, OG,this year has been amazing, despite the strange weather abnormalities!

So tonight I got the taters out, Yukon Gold—lovely!  I would say about 20# from 4 seed taters.    My best ever!  

Curing in the garage.

Picked some cukes.  And watered.  DRY here.  So hopefully, that will give me a minute to get maters and peppers!

Days noticeably shorter...seasons
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Post  OhioGardener on 8/13/2020, 7:50 pm

Canned 5 pints of Rutgers Tomatoes today. They are ready for making some great chili this winter.  Smile 

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/14/2020, 8:52 pm

I watered my peppers tinoght, and the poor cold frame which was suffering.  And all peppers, which i did not pick, they are ready...but they can hang.

I did pick cukes and tomatoes.  Big pickling weekend planned for tomorrow! 

Did a quick perusal of my pantry: i will definitely do bread and butters, and dills.

Heavy lifting in my future!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/14/2020, 8:53 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:Canned 5 pints of Rutgers Tomatoes today. They are ready for making some great chili this winter.  Smile 

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Nice!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/15/2020, 6:54 pm

Put up 5 quarts of Mrs. Wages Kosher dill mix with my cukes today.  Still have beets and peppers for tomorrow.  

I did spears for the first time!  Just a style thing...

It was HOT!  I used my camp stove, on the patio!  Winner!
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/16/2020, 6:53 pm

And 3 pints of peach freezer jam—very  fruity.  It will taste so good in January!!!
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