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Tomatoes Wintered Over

I pulled all my green tomatoes in Mid October right before it frosted real hard. I put them in a box wrapped in newspaper and put them in the basement. I have done this for several years now and this method works pretty good for preserving and saving the green tomatoes for use later.

This photo is of a few of my tomatoes that I am still pulling out of the box this week for use. Some are a bit wrinkled but they sure taste much better than those store-bought plastic tasting tomatoes that you get at the store this time of year.

A few tips if you try this wintering over idea. Check the tomatoes frequently to remove any overripe or spoiling tomatoes from your storage box or bag. I normally just cut off the bad part if any and use the remaining tomato in making sauces or condiments. Also make sure you keep the box or bag in a cool, dry and dark basement or area for storage. I found this works best. This year I used long, low boxes which I found worked out very well for the tomatoes to be stored. If you stack tomatoes on top of each other they tend to spoil faster in my opinion. Use newspaper to wrap them separately as this helps extend the wintering over process.

It truly is enjoyable to eat my own fresh tomatoes in January from last year’s garden. I plan to expand on this wintered over tomato idea again this year.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and time for some final thoughts for 2022. It has been a challenging year in many ways. Prices are up, supply has been down on many things, and there is a lot of divisive, mean-spirited stuff out there these days. But as we near Christmas, I want to share with you a special greeting.

Snoopy Christmas Hug

So my year-end useful idea to share is love. May you and your loved ones be blessed with peace and love during this most special time of the year.

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Harvesting Radish Seeds

Have you ever wondered how to harvest radish seeds from your radish plants? Many times my radishes bolt and go to seed but I had never tried to harvest the seeds for future use. This year I had several radish plants that bolted so I set out to harvest the seeds for next year’s radish plantings.

Radishes Gone to Seed with Pods

After the radish plants go to seed, they later develop these green pods which is where the radish seeds form. You have to let the pods grow and then dry them out to be able to harvest the little seeds inside. Here is a photo of a big bunch of radishes with the pods drying. It works well to cut the vines with the pods attached and leave them out in the sun to dry out.

The pods turn white in color and are hard when ready to harvest the seeds as shown in this next photo.
Radish Seeds in Pods

Here is a photo of just some of the seeds I collected from the radish pods I harvested.
Harvested Radish Seeds

It is a slow process to open the pods and collect the seeds. I found it works well to put the vines and pods on a Continue Reading →

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Garden Netting

I want to share a great tip for protecting your strawberries and other garden plants from birds and critters. Last year something keep eating all my strawberries just as they were ripening. It was so frustrating to see a strawberry just about ripe one day and gone the next. So here is my solution.
Garden Netting

It’s called garden netting. I found that you can buy a large sheet of it fairly reasonable. It is very fine netting similar to bridal netting. It’s light enough that you can water through it and your plants still get sun too. The best part is that it keeps birds, most bugs and other critters away from your fruit.

As shown, I just cut a big piece and placed it over my plants. I tucked in the netting under the sides of my raised boxes to protect my strawberries. It works and so far I haven’t lost any ripen strawberries this year.

So if you have been experiencing similar problems with something eating your fruits or veggies, check out this useful idea and save yourself a lot of heartache and lost harvest items.

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Preparing for the 2022 Season

How does one prepare for this 2022 season? A season where we are already seeing severe grocery price increases, soaring fuel costs, shortages on the store shelves and wars raging in other countries.

I have been busying thinking about the additional efforts and ways I can save money and prepare for the challenges that we all are facing. It can be overwhelming but we must consider what we can control and focused on the things we can do rather than the things we can’t control.

To break things down, I have created a short list of things I can do.

  • Stock up on additional staples
  • Have a well stocked food pantry
  • Buy extra things when on sale or with coupons
  • Plan on expanding my garden for the coming season
  • Drive less and plan my trips wisely to save gas
  • Save money and keep additional cash on-hand

I know many people are saying that these are things that they already do or that we should always be focusing on but with the urgent situations that we are facing, I think that additional emphasis should be made on these basic ideas.

Remember the old adage “One is none and two is one.” I think 3 or 4 is one now. Watch for sales and stock up. Cut out those coupons and watch for store discounts. If you use retail apps, use them to save money and get discounts where ever and whenever possible.

Buy garden seeds even if you have a stock of them. You may need them in the near future and prices are only going higher. Buy fertilizer and other garden supplies now for the coming year(s) as who knows what you can buy with these shortages in the future. Prepare to plant a larger garden than you had last year. If you didn’t have a garden in the past, plan to have a least a small garden or some container pots to grow some veggies this year. Every little bit helps and homegrown veggies are so much richer in nutrients and tastier than store-bought ones.

Lastly save some money. Have some cash on hand. Cash is king and it’s always a good idea to have some extra money should things get tight as I believe we are all seeing in our world today. But one final useful idea to share, plan now and don’t be anxious for anything but pray about everything.

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Roasted Tomatoes

I had many green tomatoes still when it was time to pull up the tomatoes plants for the season. Just like last year, I saved all the green tomatoes and wrapped them in newspaper for ripening. You can read about those tips here. This idea works well and given a little time, the green tomatoes turn red while stored in a bag.

But on with this post and how I roasted some tomatoes that were ripe and needing processed. I have frozen tomatoes, made salsa and tomato sauce and used many of my tomatoes already this year. But I hadn’t tried roasting in the oven yet.

First I washed and cut up the tomatoes in about quarters. I placed them on a baking sheet that had just a bit of olive oil spread over it. I sprinkled the tomatoes with a dash of garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. You can use any spices that you like to season your roasted tomatoes. I dribble a little more olive oil over the tomatoes and tossed them a bit to cover them with all the seasoning and oil.

Here is my pan ready for the oven.
Roasted Tomatoes Ready for the Oven

Bake at 400 F degrees for about 30-40 minutes. Just check them at 30 to make sure them aren’t burning or overdone. I think mine took Continue Reading →

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