Friday, January 23, 2009

Some tips about growing green onions

It's great planting a garden with green onions in the spring, you till the soil and plant your seed in a long row and wait for the sprouts to come up, now the best thing about this is you get to thin the rows so the plants don't get crowded. These onions in there infant stage are the sweetest onions you will ever taste, I wish I could have a boat load of them. But make sure you give them enough room to develop. I like to thin them a little at a time and have onions from the beginning of the garden season right up to the time of harvest.

Be sure to let some of the onions go to seed so you will have seeds to plant in your garden in the spring. This works great because you buy the seeds once and you have seeds forever.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Spring is just around the corner

Spring is just around the corner as the saying goes. But it is time to prepare for spring gardening and getting everything ready as far as ordering seed or getting the seed from last year’s garden sorted out and ready to plant. You also may want to get the medium ready to start the seeds.

My grandfather used egg cartons to start most of his seeds, he would fill each carton with top soil and plant the seed and water it and put it on the window seal to let germinate in the warm sun, his tomatoes were great they were so meaty and juicy, the flavor was fantastic and to this day I believe the way you start your seeds makes a difference in the end product. He even took clear wrap and put it over the egg carton to give it a greenhouse effect. You will need to have things ready so you don’t have to scramble when the time comes to start seeds. Sometimes getting ready for spring planting can be as much fun as putting in the garden it’s self. I just love getting the garden catalog out and looking at all the seeds and figuring out what you want to plant this season.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Home Canning

To preserve foods by canning two things must be done. First, sufficient heat must be provided to destroy all microscopic life that will cause spoilage in food; and second a perfect seal must be made which will prevent the re-entrance of microorganisms. These problems of preventing spoilage have been practically solved by the improved methods of canning which are explained below.
Only the freshest of fruits and vegetables should be canned. Canning does not improve the taste of the product; it only preserves it for future use.
Methods of Canning
Open Kettle: This method involves cooking the product completely and pouring it into sterilized jars, using sterilized equipment throughout. The jars are then sealed and stored. The open kettle method is recommended only for preserves, pickles, and foods canned in thick syrup. For other foods use the following methods.
Cold Pack: Cold, raw foods are put into jars and covered with boiling-hot syrup, juice of water. (Tomatoes are pressed down in the jar so they are covered with their own juice.) Jars are partially or completely sealed, following manufactures directions. Jars are then processed in boiling water or in steam to simultaneously cook the food and sterilize the jars.
Hot Pack: Fruits and vegetables are preheated before packing causing shrinkage before food goes into jars. This is the preferred method as preheating the food before packing prevents “floating”, (especially with fruits) and assures a full pack. Processing time is also lessened when food is hot-packed.