August 2009 Garden Update ~ Sparks, Nevada

Well…it’s almost the end of August and here is what is left of my garden. I don’t think it produced as well as last year, but I tried different plants than last.

Cucumbers…I’ve oodles of cucumbers. The best producing ones have been the Lemon and the Homemade Pickles. Both I bought as seedlings from the UNCE Plant Sale, and that particular Master Gardener got her seeds from Botanical Interests in Colorado.

Cucumber ~ Homemade Pickles Seeds

homemadepickle_august

They have made many many many pints and quarts of pickles (picture shows lemon and homemade cucs):

august_pickles

Lemon Cucumber Seeds ~ These are tasty little cucumbers!

lemon_cuc

Spacemaster Cucumbers round out my cucumber plants. It’s not producing as many as the other two…but supplies us with great cucs to slice into salads and add with red onions and vinegar.

Squash…I’ve diddly-squat in the squash department. Squash bugs ate my whole crop. I couldn’t smoosh them fast enough.

I do have a mystery volunteer that is coming up in the decomposed granite in between two of my boxed tomato plants. I’m thinking it’s a winter squash of some sort…or a mutant. Anyone have any ideas?

mysterysquash1

Tomatillos…I’ve tomatillos coming out of my ears. 🙂 They grow well here in Northern Nevada, that’s for sure. I think I may decrease to 2 plants next year. I’ll be making more salsa soon. I’ll add a bunch into pesole that I plan on canning (going to break out that pressure canner that I got for my birthday soon).

Peppers…peppers ALWAYS do well here! I’ve been picking bell peppers, hungarian stuffing peppers, yellow pickle peppers, jalapeno, cayenne, and sweet italian. I’ve borrowed my sister’s dehydrator and plan on using it and the pressure canner to put up my peppers after roasting them. I read that you can dehydrate peppers even after roasting them. Will be making sauces up and canning them too.

Sweet Italian peppers starting to ripen

Sweet Italian peppers starting to ripen

The corn did ok, not as well as last year. I planted it in a different spot, guess it didn’t like it much.

The heirloom Brandywine tomatoes did not do well at all. The plant looks ok, it blooms, but then they drop. The heirloom Siberian tomatoes are producing very well.

Beets did great. Carrots not so well. Radishes did well. Brussels sprouts not so well…I finally yanked them as they were full of bugs. Cabbage did great. Cantaloupe got eaten by squash bugs. Horseradish is doing great…well, the top part is really big, not sure about the root part yet.

Herbs do great in my yard. You should see my one sun room…loaded with brown lunch bags of herbs drying. Basil, fennel, chamomile, oregano, thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sage.

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Salsa & Relish Canning

Spent part of last Saturday afternoon canning…again. Imagine that! 🙂

I had about 2 more pounds of Tomatillos that I picked from the garden and wanted to make a salsa verde this time with them. I can not for the life of me remember where I got the recipe, will have to look at my paper work at home.

tomatillo_salsa

It has tomatillos, onion, jalapenos, green chiles, garlic, salt, sugar, lime juice, cumin…and I think that is it. Will post a link to the recipe as soon as I figure out where it came from. It did make four pints and one half-pint jars. I opened up the half-pint jar last night and we LOVED it! The flavor was wonderful! But…me thinks I’m going to use some hotter peppers next time to step it up a notch.

OOOOHHH!! I found it! It came from New Mexico State University!

I used lime juice and no oregano…and I kept the seeds in the peppers in.

RECIPES
Tomatillo Green Salsa
Yield: 5 pints

5 cups chopped tomatillos
1 1/2 cups seeded, chopped long green chiles
1/2 cup seeded finely chopped jalapeños
4 cups chopped onions
1 cup bottled lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin*
3 Tbsp oregano leaves *
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and stir frequently over high heat until mixture begins to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot salsa into pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner 15 minutes at 0-1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes at 1,001-6,000 feet; 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.

You may use green tomatoes in this recipe instead of tomatillos.

*Optional

Also had lots of Lemon Cucs and a few Spacemaster Cucs so I tried a recipe I found on Sharon’s site for Sweet Pickle Relish, I met Sharon over at Tasty Kitchen. My relish is a bit different looking as I used red bell pepper instead of green.

sweet_pickle_relish