Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tomatoes, squash and sauerkraut

The weather in September is always a mixed bag. We had a near frost this past week but the tomatoes all survived. But we're looking at another near frost tomorrow night so I decided to call it a year and picked all of the large tomatoes this afternoon.

I decided to leave the squash out, including this butternut that is just too small to pick. This was supposed to be a cucumber! Oh well.

The buckwheat was flowering out front so Jess got a lesson is sickle operations.

 Jess and Jess also made may a huge and rich lemon cake for my birthday.

I did some processing this week. The red cabbage sauerkraut tasted about done so I pulled it out of the crock and jarred it for the fridge. I will make another batch in a few weeks.

We had lovely weather Saturday so I spent the afternoon outside transplanting raspberry suckers from the front yard to the back fence. I also moved a bunch of dirt (in the background of the picture below) to close off these rows and get a few extra feet of garden.

I have more to do but need a hard frost to kill off the wasp nest in the front yard. There are many fewer wasps, but enough that I don't want to fool around with it!

To make room for the tomato harvest, I pulled out my tomato mill. Being an INTJ, I kind of can't help myself when it comes to experimenting with process improvement.

Today I didn't skin the tomatoes (just rough cut them) and that worked fine. I also moved from freezer bags to these one-cup plastic tubs I found. These store much better (stacking) in the freezer and mean I don't have to measure volume. So far, these are good improvements and I haled the processing time.


  1. I hope Jess was careful with that sickle! I stabbed my ankle the first time I ever used one ;) (I worked on a research farm one summer, and we had to harvest wheat, oats, and barley by hand)

    Frost comes sooner to Athabasca, and we've already lost a lot of plants. I pulled off a everything last week to be safe, but unfortunately the refrigerator decided to be fussy and froze almost all of my cucumbers - no pickles for me this year! (though, to be honest, I have too much going on to find an afternoon for pickling anyhow). My next step will be to find a small freezer to preserve the fruits of my labours.

  2. Yes, highly supervised by a safety conscious dad! Next step is for her to learn how to use a hammer at the same time. Sorry to hear about the earlier frost. Im thinking about trying melons next year and wondering about moving around some of my cold frames to get a jump on the season and using rocks as heat sinks to drive up soil temperature through the spring.