Saturday, November 28, 2009

Prepping for Frost - 2009

Well, it's finally that time of year - the time when at long last, Central Texas has to actually deal with the possibility of frost. Believe it or not, until today, I still had green beans, green peppers, and basil growing in the yard. All three were ripped out today to make way for another round of winter planting. You can see the green bean and green pepper plants made a nice addition to my compost pile.

Of course, I harvested every last nibble from all the plants. The basil became vegan pesto and is tucked away in the freezer. The green beans were picked and refrigerated, ready to be steamed perhaps later this weekend. The green peppers, well. There were 144 of them. Yeah. Not all of them were large - in fact, most were on the medium to small side, but since they were just going to end up in the compost bin, we harvested them all. Most ended up in one of three gallon-size freezer bags (washed, cored, and halved) to be stored until I need them for soups or stir fries later in the winter. And another half-gallon were prepped and are sitting in the fridge for me to use next week. Pshew. I've finally seen the last this of year's peppers.

We still have 6 tomato plants in the yard, but seeing that all the tomatoes are still green and we haven't harvested a single fruit from it, we're going to cover them on the colder nights to make them last as long as we can. Come on 'maters. Ripen, will ya?

Needless to say, with an extra 53 square feet of growing space cleared (and rain coming in with the cool front tomorrow), I went ahead and replanted the areas we harvested and hoed with another round of lettuces (3 varieties), cabbage, and radishes.

So, the garden is planted and the harvest has been stored. Bring on old man winter. We're ready!

9 comments:

sharli said...

You've been busy! I hope my tomatoes will survive a little longer! I can't believe we are still getting bell peppers.

Heather @ SGF said...

Sharli - I know. Those things went positively viral! Have you gotten any tomatoes off your plants yet? We have a couple dozen tomatoes, but not of them have ripened. I'll give them until right before our trip, then I'm going to have to rip them out and plant snow peas. I suppose we'll take any unripened ones on the trip with us in a paper bag and hope they eventually turn red...

sharli said...

I've got several tomatoes, but they are all green. I'll probably end up doing the paper bag method.

Heather @ SGF said...

Even Lois said that she probably won't do fall tomatoes again. You can't get them in until it cools down, but then you don't quite have enough time until first frost. At least we can cover them since we don't have many plants. I think she said she had 80 plants...

Krista said...

I made green tomato pickles this year, I got three quarts off. They also make a really verde sauce for enchiladas. ALSO I canned some green tomato mincemeat pie filling a few years ago. So even if they don't ripen they'll still be good.

Heather @ SGF said...

Krista - Do you have a recipe for the green tomato enchilada sauce? That sounds really good :) Does it matter how far along the tomatoes are in their growth?

Krista said...

I don't think it matters how old the tomatoes are. For my enchilada sauce I just whizzed tomatoes and cilantro in the food processor, but I'm sure salt, onion, and chiles would be welcome additions. It was still mighty tasty, though. I want to find a recipe for canning verde sauce for next year. Yum...

Oh, and I'm sure if your roasted the tomatoes first it would give you a great smokey flavor.

Heather @ SGF said...

Krista - Thanks for the ideas! I'm going to need them. With temps in the upper 20's later this week, I have a feeling those tomatoes will be coming inside.

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