Tag Archives: cabbage

Harvesting the Cabbage

This was my first attempt at growing cabbage.  I never had the space before, so with the new vegetables beds I thought I would give them a try.  I first tried to grow them from seeds, but with the weird spring we had, like a lot of of my in-ground seeds I planted originally they didn’t sprout.  Luckily, I happened upon some organic seedlings at the nursery and planted them.  That worked much better.

The head is forming!

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You can see that the leaves had a number of holes in them. I never saw any cabbage worms, or other specific cabbage pests, and instead decided this was probably slug damage.  I put down some organic Sluggo slug and snail bait and that stopped any further damage.

This one is a little small, but ready.  You can’t visually tell when it’s ready.  A cabbage head is ready when when you give it a squeeze, it feels firm like a baseball.

cabbage

I was able to break the head off the stem, but if it’s got a really thick stem, use a knife to cut it off.

cabbage

Like everything I had read, cabbage take a fair amount of space.  I think mine were a little too close together, or maybe a little too shady.  I got 4 heads of cabbage, but they are really different in size.  The largest is about the size of a softball, the smallest, a little bigger than a golf ball.

cabbage

They should have all been the same, but that’s the fun of growing your own.  It’s rarely perfect.

cabbage

I used my first ever cabbage harvest to make my friend Kathy’s Freezer Slaw.   I used my own homegrown green peppers, but I had to buy carrots.  Bad year for carrots, great year for peppers.

freezer slaw

Did you grow anything new this year?  How did it turn out?

 

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After Vacation

Stephi Gardens

After a wonderful beach vacation and some college tours, we’re finally back home. As expected, the weather has been crazy while we were gone. The temperatures were just about average, but rainfall was almost double the normal amount. Included in this total was a single storm that dumped almost 2 inches of rain in under 2 hours and knocked out our power for almost 15 hours. Nothing like being on vacation and getting the call that the basement is flooded. Thank goodness for friends who went above and beyond to help.

So how did the garden fare? Quite well actually. With the fairly constant rain and average temperatures (and in some cases even a bit below average), I came home to a bit of a jungle. The last few years, by July we’ve been struggling with hot/dry conditions and the plants begin struggling. Not this year! I think I’ve had the sprinklers on once and that was just to test the system. Here’s some after vacation shots…

Many of the flowers are in full bloom and flourishing with the moderate temperatures and plenty of rain.  Although, I did miss most of the asiatic lily’s blooms.  They are mostly finished for the season.

zinnia

Notice how beautiful the creeping thyme looks (Problems with Creeping Thyme).  Still waiting for the hummingbirds to find my flowers and feeder.

Stephi Gardens

The Purple Rooster Bee Balm is still blooming and attracting bees.   But now the accompanying Jackmanii Clematis and Pardon Me daylilies are also blooming.

Stephi Gardens

 

Stephi Gardens

 

daylilies and Russian sage

With all the rain , this garden is doing well despite the change from full shade to full sun.

annabelle hydrangea

The sunflowers have become gigantic!  Before we left they were probably only about 4 ft tall (see Before Vacation), now they are easily 7 ft-8 ft and attracting lots of bees.

sunflowers

The vegetable gardens are flourishing, but need some attention to prune back some of the wildness.

Stephi Gardens

 

Stephi Gardens

I have a nice bunch of bush beans to harvest.

bush beans

The lettuce is still hanging in there. My idea to plant them in the partly shady corner of the garden has paid off.

lettuce

First time for cabbage and they’re looking great.

cabbage

Cucumbers were slow to get going, but I’ll have plenty soon enough.

cucumber

Zucchini and summer squash are plentiful.  Hoping to get some small tender ones harvested before they turn into baseball bats (see Giant Zucchini).  Somehow I’ve lost the garden markers labelling the squash varieties, so it’s a bit of a mystery what all the different squashes are.

zucchini

So, overall, I’d say everything fared pretty well this year (definitely better than the basement).   Looking forward to the continued blooms and vegetable harvests!

Me and my giant sunflowers!

sunflowers

What’s Going in My Freezer?

I have been very busy freezing whatever I can fresh from the Farmer’s Market for the winter. I seem to have a lot more freezer space than cupboard space, so I decided to forego the canning of the things I can freeze. Here’s just some of what I have so far:

Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries

Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries should be fresh, unwashed and checked over for damaged or generally yucky ones.   Then they are spread in a single layer on a pan, placed in the freezer until frozen and then put into freezer bags.  They can be used frozen or thawed, but need to be rinsed since you didn’t wash them before freezing.  I like to keep a bag of blueberries in the freezer, take out a few in the evening, rinse them, put them in my cereal bowl and put the bowl in the fridge overnight.  Fresh blueberries are all ready for my cereal in the morning.  Or you can thaw them quickly by putting what you want into one of those handy little berry colanders and rinsing with running lukewarm water.  Washed and thawed all in one!
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ZUCCHINI

In a previous post I talked about how to freeze zucchini, either shredded or in chunks.  I’ve got a whole winters worth of zucchini stored away!

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Tomatoes

I’ve used what I grew in the garden, then bought lots more (about 30 lbs worth–I got a great deal!) at the Farmer’s Market.  I now have many bags of whole cherry tomatoes (not blanched, treated like the berries), chopped and diced tomatoes,  tomatoes crushed for sauce, and ready to go sauce.  It was like a little factory in my kitchen!  I’ll talk more about all that in a later post, but you can see how to generally prepare tomatoes for freezing here.

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Green and Red Peppers

I didn’t have much luck with green peppers this year, but they looked great at the Farmer’s Market.  I’ve been buying a few at a time for freezing.  Like most other vegetables, you need to wash them, look and remove any blemished areas, blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes then plunge into ice water to stop any further cooking.  I left mine in pretty big chunks so I can use them as needed for a recipe, but in the past I’ve frozen them diced or sliced.  I freeze them in a layer on a pan in the freezer and then put into a freezer bag so they don’t freeze as one giant clump together in the bag.

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And more…

I also have a few bags of diced and sliced spring onions.  I’m thinking about freezing some corn if I can get some really fresh, otherwise it’s no better than the store bags.  I bought a head of cabbage today to make some “freezer slaw” from a family recipe from a friend.  Can’t wait to try that!  So, what’s in your freezer this year?