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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 11

My Sunday night was not a typical one as I was up until 1am in washing, cutting, and blanching kale for the freezer. If I could have one super power, it would be to control time.
Freezing Kale
Step 1: Harvest (My favorite part!!)
Step 2: Remove leaves
Step 3: Chop remaining stems into 1-2 inch pieces
Step 4: Cut leaves into smaller pieces and leave to the side

Step 5: Steam kale for 3 min.
Step 6: Place in ice water for 3 min.
Step 7: Drain excess water 
Step 8: Place on a towel and let rest
Step 9: Freeze

Step 10: Steam or boil kale stems for 6-8 min.
Step 11: Place in ice water bath for 6-8 min.
Step 12: Drain excess water
Step 13: Place on a towel and let rest
Step 14: Freeze
Bugs are a necessary evil in organic gardening. Removing bugs by hand is important and so is leaving some for the good ones to eat. Last year, we bought our house which came with rows of grape vines and the occasional vegetable plant in between rows. The squash I kept picking were big and beautiful, which was exciting until I started finding each squash plant had been eaten by bugs that burrowed inside and left jelly-like trails. I am trying to prevent this from happening by utilizing plastic planters around the squash to keep a barrier in place between the delicious squash and the ground to reduce the risk of intruders. I'm hopeful, "but one never knows" as one of my employers use to say.

Broccoli Head 4" (Harvest at 6 to 8")

The bush beans having been blooming for roughly a week and just started showing baby green beans. The curiosity and excitement of not knowing how many beans they will produce is killing me. There are roughly 20 bushes and I'm getting good vibes as all the plants are looking healthy. 
The early peas that I planted have been producing, but showing some discoloration in the leaves and have black spots on the pods, yet leave the peas on the inside beautiful and elegant. If you know what the discoloration is, please leave a comment. I add them fresh to my salads each day and they have a bitter sweetness to them. 
Discoloration on early peas
Marigolds repel pests

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