Friday, September 28, 2012

Finally found a 'GMO Free' database for product search.

I found a site with a data base for GMO products!!!!! Finally. You can query by brand or product type to locate GMO free foods. I was on the Silk Soy website and found this link. I also found out that contrary to what I had been told, Silk does not use any GMOs in their soy products. Good on ya Silk!! Here is a link my friends. (does everyone get this excited about food?)

I have just downloaded their free iPhone app so I will have the information with me when I shop. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

One word...mildew

There really is nothing to add to this.
The dominant feature in the garden right now. 
Enjoy the photos.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Now that my bean question is answered...crookneck squash

I have another newbie question. I picked a crookneck squash and brought it to the kitchen. Here is a picture of it. I was pondering how to cook it and was handling it and realized it is literally as hard as a rock. I've googled it and I'm pretty sure I let it get way too old on the vine. How do you all know when your crookneck squash is ready to pick? And your favorite way to cook them? Bake?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I have been drooling over this Staub for a long time.

I have been visiting a certain 'Staub 6 quart Grenadine colored Coq Au Vin oval Dutch Oven' at Muffet & Louisa in Sidney for a long time. I would look at it, admire it, covet it....and walk away. Priorities you know.

I have been back to the store several times recently and they didn't have the exact Staub that I wanted, or the colour wouldn't be quite right. Yesterday I pulled Muffet aside and said, if you ever get the oval, with the chicken shaped knob, in THIS EXACT RED, please call me. 
Muffet: "I have seven boxes at the back, shall I go look?" 
Me: "Don't rush, open them when you have time and give me a call." 
I got that call within a couple of hours. So I am the happy proud owner of this gorgeous piece. I will make good use of it. Thank you Muffet.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The stupidest bean question ever.

As you all know, I had not had a bean in about 45 years or so. I am more than making up for it now. I am loving them. But, I have a question. Can anyone tell me why the beans squeak against my teeth? I know I am risking a lot saying that right out loud, but I'd really like an answer.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blackberry picking. Sure not like last year.

My daughter-in-law Amanda and I went out with our little ice cream buckets to pick oodles of blackberries. Last year, you could pick a full bucket in about twenty minutes. We were out for a few hours and Amanda got about a half a bucket and I got about a quarter bucket. It was hard to find berries. All I really wanted was enough berries to make a crisp. It is in the oven now. Smells wonderful!!!
Today's harvest. Look at those enormous carrots!!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Avoiding Monsanto while making seed selections

I'm sure most gardeners know about the monolithic company Monsanto. Think Agent Orange, the herbicide Round Up, Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO's, farmers in India committing suicide because of Monsanto's shady sales tactics, trying to put organic and small farmers out of business by suing when their horrid GMO seeds contaminate their crops by blowing in on the wind, buying up small seed companies and are the relatively new owners of Seminis Seeds. Seminis Seeds make up approximately 40% of all seeds sold. Now I'm only basing this on my own observations, but I think they are trying to corner the market on food. Globally. I believe their goal is to destroy heirloom seeds after genetically modifying them in some way, so they can get paid annually by every person planting any seed. It may sound very Conspiracy Theory, but that is exactly what it looks like to me. The more I read, the more I am convinced. I will never knowingly plant a Monsanto seed.

As seed catalogues start pouring in and our annual very fun perusing and selections are made for next years garden, you may want to have this handy list of seeds owned by Monsanto and their Seminis Seed Co.

Beans: Aliconte, Brio, Bronco, Cadillac, Ebro, Etna, Eureka, Festina, Gina, Goldmine, Goldenchild, Labrador, Lynx, Magnum, Matador, Spartacus, Storm, Strike, Stringless Blue Lake 7, Tapia, Tema
Broccoli: Coronado Crown, Major, Packman
Cabbage: Atlantis, Golden Acre, Headstart, Platinum Dynasty, Red Dynasty
Carrot: Bilbo, Envy, Forto, Juliana, Karina, Koroda PS, Royal Chantenay, Sweetness III
Cauliflower: Cheddar, Minuteman
Cucumber: Babylon, Cool Breeze Imp., Dasher II, Emporator, Eureka, Fanfare HG, Marketmore 76, Mathilde, Moctezuma, Orient Express II, Peal, Poinsett 76, Salad Bush, Sweet Slice, Sweet Success PS, Talladega
Eggplant: Black Beauty, Fairytale, Gretel, Hansel, Lavender Touch, Twinkle, White Lightening
Hot Pepper: Anaheim TMR 23, Ancho Saint Martin, Big Bomb, Big Chile brand of Sahuaro, Caribbean Red, Cayenne Large Red Thick, Chichen Itza, Chichimeca, Corcel, Garden Salsa SG, Habanero, Holy Mole brand of Salvatierro, Hungarian Yellow Wax Hot, Ixtapa X3R, Lapid, Mariachi brand of Rio de Oro, Mesilla, Milta, Mucho Nacho brand of Grande, Nainari, Serrano del Sol brand of Tuxtlas, Super Chile, Tam Vera Cruz
Lettuce: Braveheart, Conquistador
Melon: Early Dew, Sante Fe, Saturno
Onion: Candy, Cannonball, Century, Red Zeppelin, Savannah Sweet, Sierra Blanca, Sterling, Vision
Pumpkin: Applachian, Harvest Moon, Jamboree HG, Orange Smoothie, Phantom, Prize Winner, Rumbo, Snackface, Spirit, Spooktacular, Trickster
Spinach: Hellcat
Squash: Ambassador, Canesi, Clarita, Commander, Dixie, Early Butternut, Gold Rush, Grey Zucchini, Greyzini, Lolita, Papaya Pear, Peter Pan, Portofino, President, Richgreen Hybrid Zucchini, Storr’s Green, Sungreen, Sunny Delight, Taybelle PM
Sweet Corn: Devotion, Fantasia, Merit, Obession, Passion, Temptation
Sweet Pepper: Baron, Bell Boy, Big Bertha PS, Biscayne, Blushing Beauty, Bounty, California Wonder 300, Camelot, Capistrano, Cherry Pick, Chocolate Beauty, Corno Verde, Cubanelle W, Dumpling brand of Pritavit, Early Sunsation, Flexum, Fooled You brand of Dulce, Giant Marconi, Gypsy, Jumper, Key West, King Arthur, North Star, Orange Blaze, Pimiento Elite, Red Knight, Satsuma, Socrates, Super Heavyweight, Sweet Spot
Tomato: Amsterdam, Beefmaster, Betterboy, Big Beef, Burpee’s Big Boy, Caramba, Celebrity, Cupid, Early Girl, Granny Smith, Health Kick, Husky Cherry Red, Jetsetter brand of Jack, Lemon Boy, Margharita, Margo, Marmande VF PS, Marmara, Patio, Phoenix, Poseidon 43, Roma VF, Royesta, Sun Sugar, Super Marzano, Sweet Baby Girl, Tiffany, Tye-Dye, Viva Italia, Yaqui
Watermelon: Apollo, Charleston Grey, Crimson Glory, Crimson Sweet, Eureka, Jade Star, Mickylee, Olympia
Note: Not all of the veggie varieties in the above list are Monsanto/Seminis exclusives. Consequently if you spot some of these varieties in the catalog of an heirloom seed-seller,  just check with the seller to make sure the seeds were not purchased from  Seminis/Monsanto. But if you find these seeds on a rack at a big-box garden center, you have every right to suspect they were purchased from the evil empire.

My Galeux D'eysines Pumpkin is starting to form peanooots

I am so excited. I have been watching my Galeux D'eysines Pumpkins (pronounced gallo day seen) since they formed. This pumpkin is nicknamed Peanut Pumpkin. You can tell from the picture why. The peanuts, or warts, form from sugar in the skin. They are supposed to be a truly delicious pumpkin that keeps well. 
I just had to add this picture. Aren't they beautiful.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Bean blanching and freezing

I must thank my friend Brenda for telling me about Fortex Pole Beans. I could see there were quite a few beans on my bean plants. I had no idea there were this many. So not only are they delicious....they are abundant producers. So thank you Brenda. 

My gardeners assistant, Allan, did the chopping while I did the three minute boil and ice plunge. This is all new to me. I have never blanched anything. Does anyone else find the ice water so cold your hands hurt? Like an ice-cream your hands. 

UPDATE TO YESTERDAY'S POST: Once the beans were blanched iced and bagged. We placed the ten freezer bags in another bag labelled beans. Allan's idea. Then he says "if that's all there is, I don't think we need the freezer plugged in for that. I began to speak...something to the effect "oh I.....think.....Uh, You better not......" and my voice trailed away. I stopped speaking realizing that if I said what I was actually thinking, there would be a real chance we would end up in divorce court. The beans are in the chest freezer.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Bean blanching day and a totally full freezer

Yesterday we plugged in the freezer. You would have no idea why this is such a big deal. I have been trying to get Allan to agree to plug in the freezer for about a year. We bought a new fridge back then that has a much smaller capacity freezer in large part due to the freaking enormous ice storage bucket for the ice in the door. It takes up about a third of the freezer. I digress. Our freezer is SOOOO packed with stuff that you literally can't get another thing in it. I have been begging him to plug in the freezer since last year. Allan-"I'll rearrange things and make room". He is energy minded and a titch financially minded. aka....frugal. I have quite a bit of freezing to do and I want to freeze a lot of fruit. I cannot believe it...he plugged it in. Now I have an abundance of room. It's just a small freezer but to me, today, it feels like a walk-in.
Actual bean blanching pics to follow.