Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let's start with 3rd place nosturtiums

We took a few ribbons at the fair this year. I posted them separately, but I wasn't thinking. I posted the third place at the top of the blog, so you'll have to scroll down to see the blues...

BTW, if you go to the fair looking for these, our family entered everything except my beer under my father-in-law's name, Jim Baillie.

3rd Place White Corn

The white corn was wasn't quite filled out yet, but in talking with other gardeners this year, many said their yellow corn hasn't even come in yet, so I entered it because I didn't think there would be much competition. I was right. We had the only white corn, and the third place reflects the youngness I believe.

2nd Place Russets Potatoes

As you will see below, we dominated the potato catergory. These are our Russet potatoes. We went pretty early with the spuds this year. You can scroll back on this blog to see the date we put them in, or you can wait until I do it later.

2nd Place Slicing Cucumbers

These are our straight eight cucumbers. The only difference we saw between ours and the blue ribbon cucumbers was size. We read the criteria that said the judges would essentially judge for the perfect eating size. We certainly had plenty of larger cucumbers, but we thought the size we went with would be more enjoyable on the dinner plate... to each their own I suppose!

1st Place Giant Orange Marigolds

When our sister-in-law said she was planting Marigolds I thought she meant the regular ones. When these babies came up I thought she got a pack of nuclear seeds. Turns out this is a popular flower...even though I don't recall ever seeing one before! BTW, those flowers are almost the size of a softball.

1st Place Giant Yellow Marigolds

These are very pretty in the garden. It's pretty cool starting everything from seed like this and then knocking down a couple of Blue ribbons for the effort.

1st Place Celery

When Sunny said she wanted to try celery, I told her she was crazy. I had read about how temperamental this stuff is, and it really wasn't recommended for our climate. Well, once again, Sunny puts me in my place. Not only first place, but first place in the miscellaneous category.

1st Place Pontiac Potatoes

Like I said above, we did pretty well with the potatoes. We had to harvest a lot of this variety to get the uniform sizes. But thats ok, becasue these make really good New England style steamed potatoes!

1st Place Yukon Gold Potatoes

If you add in the Super One Foods Ribbon we won with this entery, we took in a total of 10 ribbons this year. Pretty good showing for 25 enteries from the garden. This was our first year competing, and we learned a lot too. Watch out; next year we are going to rock that fair!

Oh, and BTW, my beer didn't do so hot. There were a lot of categories where no ribbons were awarded. I don't know why, but oh well... I'll try again at the Spokane fair, if I get the time to do it...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The harvest is on ...

We harvested a ton of corn, peppers and cucumbers yesterday. The garden is really maturing and the cool weather seems to have given it some additional strength. I think we'll wind up with a quite a haul this year. Does anyone need any cucumbers?

I went to Costco yesterday and bought a Foodsaver vacuum packing machine. It rocks. We blanched and froze a bunch of the corn we picked. I also have 41.5-quart pressure canner coming in the mail on Wednesday. I can't wait for that! It will can 19 quart jars at one time, and I think it will hold 32 pint jars! That is going to be a big time saver... just in time for the tomato harvest which should be in full swing within a couple of weeks.

Here is a picture of yesterday's haul...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What The Huck!

It's still early, but What The Huck is coming around. I hope I used enough berries. The taste is nice, but it doesn't scream huckleberry yet. I may have over hopped it and drowned out the huckleberry edge. But, there are still some sugars to deal with too. Once the sweetness fades, it may still come through. Definitely a drinkable beer nonetheless... I just hope it defines itself a little more by Sunday.

Stickman is going to love this batch of Faux Stella as well. It is probably the best batch I have made. It is a Really, Realy nice Lager. I am definitely going to enter this beer in the fair. If anyone wants to try these meet me in Stickman's driveway Sunday a 6 p.m. Hey marmite, I tried to send some from a US Postal Service station but they said I could send beer through the mail. I'll investigate further. There has to be some way to ship beer over seas...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Corn is ready...

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Giant pumpkins are so cool ...

I have always wanted to grow giant pumpkins, but ever since I was kid I've been told there isn't enough room in the garden.

Not this year, though. I have two plants. That pumpkin in the picture already weighs 30 pounds! The beauty is, we have another two and a half months to grow this baby...

Check out the baby corn...

Now I just have to figure out how to best preserve it. I'm leaning toward blanching and freezing it, but I will probably can some too.

BTW, we ate that ear in the picture. It was awesome. The cobs are really tender, and just like pretty much everything else, you just can't buy this quality in a grocery store!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Getting pickled!

We put up 40 quarts of pickles today! Lots of work, but it will be worth it this winter!