Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fruits and Veggies

 This is our first year trying to grow artichokes. I'm rather impressed by the show. It's a nice sized globe.
 It wasn't alone though and has a second smaller stalk growing along side.

I think the red cabbage heads are probably ready to pick. I really only grew these with the plan to use them as a natural dye for the yarns. The yarns I thought I'd use them with are off at the State Fair. So I'm just letting them grow, though Greta asked me Thursday night if I had let them bolt.....
Twin orange cherry tomatoes! They are totally separate from each other, but joined by a single stem. They were yummy to eat, so sweet its like candy.
I bought a flat of Boysenberries to make into jam. These are the processed (truly canned) jams waiting to be put away. I was kind of disappointed in the farm stand. I had called and asked for a flat, they said they would pick them fresh the next morning and then call me when they were ready. I picked them up Saturday early afternoon and started canning them. Sunday early afternoon. I ended up throwing around almost 3 pints of moldy fruit - top, middle and bottom moldy fruit. 
I came up with enough leftover that I was also able to do a freezer jam. Plus the trays of individual berries went into two quart bags, so some summer love in the winter months.
The blackberries on the other side of the fence looked like they were ripening, so Dawn-Marie and her daughter Samantha joined William and I in picking some. They took theirs to Sport of Kings to eat with their yogurt. I discovered I had 5 cups of berries, pre-crushing and so added in some frozen raspberries and made a yummy batch of jam with them. No pics of those jars but they look very similar to the Boysenberry jars.
Since we were kind of in a picking mode and I had William's help to reach the higher limbs, we picked the figs. I ate a couple fresh and warm from the tree, then peeled their green outer skins and filled dehydrator trays.

The blueberries are slowly ripening this year and several of the bushes really, really need to be moved to better locations.  I've eaten handfuls, but have also started freezing the picked ones for summer love in the cold winter months. Nothing like a nice berry smooth with berries from your own yard. ;-)
These are the tomato bushes overgrowing their metal cages. There's Romas and orange and yellow cherry tomatoes in that mess. You can kind of see gleams of the ripening orange cherry tomatoes. Brandon has since pulled them up and given them support to the roof overhang. Now it just has to stay nice for the Romas to have a chance at ripening. I plan to use the dehydrator on at least half of them for some 'sun-dried' tomatoes.

It's very weird. I looked up how to do 'sun-dried' and everyone says the best way is to use a food dehydrator. So that's what I'm going to do. I can pack them closer to the holidays in some nice olive oil and give jars as gifts.
This is our heavily laden Chehalis apple tree. They are also ripening early this year, I can see picking some before the end of the month.  I'd like to put away some in the freezer for pies over the year. Brandon also likes making cider. I need to shop for another apple tree. The gala has always been a weak producer - very small apples that are spotty. I'll need a semi-mature replacement. Towards the back of the Chehalis is a Black Turkey Fig that also needs to be moved this fall. It tried growing fruit this year, but needs to have a better location than under the apple tree.

Not pictured is the Asian Pear. It's branches are also full of fruit. I'll enjoy one of the varieties and send off the other to people who like them. I can't remember which varieties we have, it started out as a four and I think we've lost the grafted branches of two.


  1. Oh yum! Our farmer's market is starting to get apples and pears but I'm still enjoying the peaches! It stinks to get moldy fruit, especially when you've bought a flat, but I'm glad you were able to get what you did!

  2. Chehalis apple tree? I grew up near Chehalis and didn't know there was a type of apple named for it. :P

    Heirloom trees give the best apples. My aunt had a Gravenstein-King tree that I swear made the most crazy ridiculous apple pies. Would be curious to try one from your tree when they're ready...perhaps in trade for some of the fluffy stuff. ;)