Corn Harvest Part 1, Berry and Grape “Maintenance”

Our early corn variety – Sugar Baby – is all picked…it took us a week, a few “buckets” each day during the work week, and then the remainder on Friday and Saturday.  Alltogether, this resulted in – we think – about 65 quart bags of frozen corn.  Not too bad, even though we lost count and were to tired to go back to the garage, where our extra freezers are, and do a recount.  This was the first time we had planted an early variety and we were surprised to find rather large ears of corn on these relatively short, stocky kind of plants.  (We had planted 2 lbs of this bi-color variety).

The Silver King corn is almost ripe – we are hoping for some rain to help the kernels fill out, but this is our project for the next weekend.  Expecting lots of relatives to comes and help pick and take corn with them 🙂  We planted 5 lbs of this one  (not sure what we were thinking).

Also spent time throughout the week to continue tying up bramble canes for next year’s fruit.  We are getting some blackberries off this year, although we had tried to cut back the plants a lot this Spring to discourage fruiting and encourage the growth of fruiting canes for next year.  Still, managed to make 2 pies and freeze 2 gallons of berries so far. We are irrigating the berries, since the weather has been extremely hot and dry.
Pretty much did the same “maintenance” on the grapes – continued tying up the vines, which are still growing at amazing rates, and continued irrigating.

Love the Tema Bean Variety

Have to say, our green beans did awesome this year.  We used the same variety we like last year and they did not disappoint us.  We picked over all the beans twice, and it looked as if they had not been picked at all.  These two quick pickings (the beans came off in hand fulls) resulted in 64 quarts of canned beans, and I don’t know how many meals and bags of beans for friends.  The beans all were long, slender and very tender.  Then the extreme heat and dry weather started and we decided not to irrigate, as we really had sufficient beans for this season – it was kind of a shame to see them whither away… Pretty sure I will plant the same ones again next year.

2011 Pea Harvest Final Results: Over 10 Bushel!

We picked 14 five gallon buckets (=10.5 bushel) of peas over the course of 4 days, with various helpers, including of course Lars and Sam, but also Jens, Grammy and Aunt Ruth (they came down on Sunday afternoon).  The reason we got all those peas processed was the “magical” electric pea sheller at a local Mennonite Farm.  We gave some of the peas to family and friends and froze and canned the rest.

  • 71 bags of frozen corn (each about 3 cups)
  • 20 quart jars of canned peas (one jar broke in the canner or there would have been 21)

Pea Picking Weekend!

We had our first meal of this season’s peas last night – together with new potatoes from the garden, and a fresh garden salad.  It was delicious!  This morning we got an early start with everyone helping to pick peas before it got too hot.  We managed to pick 4 buckets (about 3 bushel) – which is not even a quarter of the patch.
We took our peas to a farm outside Newville that has an automatic pea sheller.  In less than 10 minutes, all the peas were shelled – it was awesome!  Spent the hottest part of the day inside the air conditioned kitchen blanching peas.  We got 32 bags of frozen peas (each bag had between 3 and 4 cups of peas).  The plan is to pick more peas late tomorrow evening, so that Jeff can take them and get them shelled Monday morning and keep them refrigerated until everyone is home from work Monday night.

Had a Break from the Rain and Planted Some More…

After spending Saturday in Pittsburgh for Tina’s parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary, we had just part of Sunday for planting more garden.  At least we managed to finally get all the tomato plants into the ground – the poor plants looked rather peaky from too much water and probably not enough soil and nutrients any more.  We’ll see if they make it – if not we’ll have to go an buy a flat or two of plants at the greenhouse.

Also planted two rows of green beans (Tema), half a row of sweet potato plants and half a row of baby lima beans.  Then we got another rain shower – have to wait for another day to get the squash and cucumbers into the ground… I really think this is the latest we ever got tomatoes and beans into the ground, ever.