It’s Pepper Canning Time!

I’ve never grown peppers. Back in 2013 I saved a lot of seeds from the peppers I bought from our local organic grocery store. Sprouted the seeds this last spring, planted the sprouts and prayed over them all summer long and this is what I got! Lots and lots of sweet, hot, spicy, yummy peppers. So far I’ve made salsas. With this last batch I am going to make pepper jelly and pickled peppers. Let’s get our canning on!

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The Last Of Our Tomatoes

Rain is coming and  bringing  the cold weather with it here in the foothills of the Oregon Cascades near Eugene. I can feel it in my bones.  We, that is my husband and I, picked all our tomatoes, red, green, and in-between! After we picked our tomatoes we pulled half the bushes leaving the other half for the flea beetles. If I pulled everything the flea beetles would move into my green leafy veggies like collards and kale. I pull the rest of my tomato plants after the first frost. Next year I am growing a small garden at the other end of our property just for the flea beetles. They love radishes. If they have radishes to eat they leave everything else in my garden alone!

My husband doesn’t get involved in the canning process but he is a big help with the garden. He is doing pretty good being a city boy and all. He has learned a lot about gardening and caring for chickens these last four years. I bet next year I’ll get him in the kitchen as my prep-boy. He is so cute, I will have a hard time staying on task!  We have also grown closer working on our little garden projects together. Working as a quality engineer my husband has also helped refined some of my gardening and food preserving processes. I am very grateful for his help and his keen interests in all things healthy and organic. We both have become so healthy together, working out in our gardens and eating organic foods we look and feel like different people. We are so happy and man do we sleep good! Out like a light as soon as our heads hit our pillows.

As the tomatoes ripen I will be making tomato sauce and having ripe tomatoes to eat through the end of November. I check the green tomatoes every day for mold and fungus. Pulling the ones that are ripe for processing. If I keep the green tomatoes in a cool room they ripen very slowly. I wash them in vinegar to prohibit bacterial and fungus growth. I also will be drying the cherry tomatoes as they ripen. Dry Cherry Tomatoes make excellent toppings for pizza and ground to a powder a wonderful tasty addition to soups and stews. You can see my garlic braids hanging over the green tomatoes. We had a bumper crop of garlic, both braiding and hard neck varieties.