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Topics - GopherBroke

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General Discussion / Question for northern gardeners???
« on: August 17, 2018, 12:37:12 PM »
My question is; are your tomatoes late coming on?  Here it is the middle of Aug an we are just getting enough tomatoes to eat, an it looks like we will be another week before we will hit full production!  As a rule we have tomatoes by the 4th of July an our tomatoes were in the ground about the same time as we usually get them in the garden.  This has been such an odd year especially for tomatoes.  Our gardener neighbors an church family gardeners  are in the same boat.  The rest of the garden has been right on schedule as always but not the maters.
Has anyone else up north had this issue this season?  I hope the tomatoes produce well into the fall at the rate that they are going. 

Recipes / A way to use ripe tomatoes. Fresh salsa
« on: August 17, 2018, 09:13:31 AM »
I used to make fresh salsa (chemo metallic taster now) so if I could I would be making it now.  A couple of omissions an additions I  would use.  1.  I can not handle cilantro so that would not be in my salsa.  2.  I never have used plum tomatoes or cherries either as we have an abundance of ripe tomatoes.  3.  I like a little sweetness so I use a ripe peach diced up to do this.  People will wonder why peaches but I am here to tell ya you won't be disappointed.  A small can of peaches would work if you don't have a fresh peach. 
This is fresh never cooked so let it set in the fridge for an hour or so an make sure you have a bag of tortilla chips handy!

This is very close to the recipe my 93 year old mother has made her whole life.  A recipe that has been handed down through the generations.  A couple of comments about how mom does is.  1 use golf ball size tomatoes because there are very few seeds an all you have to do is cut them in half.   2.  Use equal amounts of tomatoes, peppers an onions.  She just eye balls the amount of spices for the amount of ground relish.  3. mom likes to use some red bell peppers to make a pretty finished product.  4. To make it spicy add softened (cooked until tender) hot peppers an add them to the mix AFTER pouring the hot water over the mixture because the hot water will wash away the heat.  5 . Mom never water baths her relish as she uses clean jars an you are putting hot relish into the jars.  I don't have a clue what the difference would be to the finished product would be after the water bath? 
She generally does this at the end of the season cause the small tomatoes will not ripped when stored so they will go to waste otherwise, an by that time we will have red bell peppers.  Just a good way to use your garden veggies!   This a simpler recipe to do relish but I have never made this recipe so I don't know how the finished product compares to the top recipe.  All the remarks would also apply to this recipe . 

Happy Hour / The smell of corn!
« on: July 12, 2018, 03:28:50 PM »
Yesterday I was driving with my windows down an as I was passing a wooded area I thought that I caught a wiff  of honey suckle but I didn't see anything flowering.  As I continued to where I was going I had corn fields on both sides of a country road an I realized that the sweet smell was from the corn!  I may have smelled it before in my life an maybe it because of my health issues, or the conditions were just right?  I don't know but the sweet smell was very pleasant. 

Homesteading Skills / Peach freezer jam
« on: June 29, 2018, 09:44:51 PM »
We made one batch of peach freezer jam today from boughten peaches. We made several batches of strawberry freezer jam earlier but the berries were very small an few because it was an old patch an a general lack of rain made for few berries.  We eat jam every day an I like peach so to slow the consumption of the strawberry I chose to eat peach.

Are there other jelly or jam gardeners out there?

Happy Hour / Bucket list train ride
« on: June 25, 2018, 09:44:47 PM »
I am in the planning stages of a trip around the west, an I am liking for input from the forum, so that I can get the best bang for my buck.  I have to go about 50 miles to a small town to pick up the amtrak to Chicago.  I am taking my 28 year old grandson to help me get around.  We will get on the Empire Builder that goes through MN, ND, Montana, Idaho, an Washington State, to Seattle in three days.  There we will get on the Coast Starlight headed through Oregon, California to Los Angeles where we change to the Sunset Limited headed back east through AZ, NM, TX, LA to New Orleans for a night, an then change to the City Of New Orleans back north to Chicago, all in 7 days.  My health will not allow me to get off the train to explore, much of anything at all, but I am OK with that.  We will be in a sleeperette so meals are included, an I won't need to get off the train unless we are changing trains.

So given those facts are there any places or things that I should see or do?  I expect my grandson will head to the local restaurants when we have time so we can taste the local foods, an he can stretch his legs.  I will have my light weight wheelchair so I can get around with out having to walk much. 

Like I said that norther route has been on the bucket list for years, but just never happened,  an I have seen most of the rest of the trip while in my motor home but you miss a lot while driving.  My grandson has not traveled much an I am looking forward to showing him this great country that we were blessed to be born in! 

General Discussion / white butterfly control
« on: February 13, 2018, 05:20:10 PM »
I was talking to an old friend an he gave me a tip that may help some of use that have this problem.  The tip was to place a bluebird house close to the garden as one of their favorite foods is white butterflies!  He also said that he hasn't had a hornworm on his maters ever since he placed the house near the garden.  For you inside growers your going to have to train them to go inside the gh!   :)

Recipes / A way to use up some of your excess citrus fruit.
« on: January 23, 2018, 08:00:43 PM »   I wintered in South Texas a few years ago an there was all sorts of citrus fruit going to waste, an I found this recipe.  It is like most other preserving our garden bounty as it is a little time consuming but a good product results.  Since there is always excess fruit I juice that fruit an use the fruit juice where the recipe calls for water.  So the only thing that goes in the jar is fruit an sugar. 

Recipes / A couple of unrelated but tasty recipes
« on: January 23, 2018, 07:50:21 PM »  I have sent a few dozen recipes to Woodchip an this is an excellent burrito recipe that I have made several times over the years.   Y'all catfish people need to try this recipe, an once the fish is fried toss in some tatertots, cause some of the seasoning from the fish flavors the oil an it takes tor to a new level.    This is not nearly as spicy as you might think. 

Happy Hour / Best restaurants in south Louisiana?
« on: December 12, 2017, 10:53:57 AM »
I am looking for what Y'all think is the best restaurant in south Louisiana?   I have a grandson visiting over Christmas break an he is a talented cook for a kid an I want to expose him to Cajon food.  I have 2 very talented home cooks lined up to show him so fine Cajon cooking, but I am looking for restaurants too, from hole in the wall cook shack to fine dinning.   

Homesteading Skills / Canning failure
« on: September 25, 2017, 10:50:39 AM »
We have canned all of the tomatoes that we need, an gave away a truckload or two, but our tomatoes are still producing an mom is making tomatoe gravy for herself an me, an I said to her that I wondered if you could can tomato gravy.   Well the next time she made gravy she bottled a pint an water bathed it for a short time.  She showed it to me but I didn't take it home at that time.  Several days later mom started smelling something rotten an it was that pint of gravy!   When we talked about it I had told her we should look up the recipe in a canning book, but she didn't an luckily the jar went nasty before the I was killed!   So until I look at the proper way to do it I will have to make my own. 

General Discussion / Hover flies?
« on: September 19, 2017, 03:16:25 PM »
The last two years we have had a ton of hover flys in an around the garden.  They look very much like what we used to call sweat bee's which would sting or bit when they landed on ya.  I looked up these hover flys an they are supposed to be good pollinators, so I try not to get them when I sprayed.  Last year I visited a guy about 75 miles away in Illinois an they had more hoverflys than we have.  Is this something that is wide spread?   

Recipes / Cream style vegetable soup without the cream
« on: September 18, 2017, 01:21:02 PM »
I been making this versital soup recipe for years.
Vegetable of choice, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, etc
Chicken broth or water

Use twice as much veggie of choice as potatoe add to your soup pot an add broth to Just cover the potato an veggie.  Bring to a boil an cook until the potatoes are tender. Use a stick blender in the pan to blend until smooth an your done.  The starch in the potatoes will thicken the soup.  I do add a little milk to give it a richer taste an texture but it is not nessary. Season to taste. 

I used up a bunch of celery that needed to be used yesterday but I only had red potatoes on hand an russet potatoes do a much better job thickening because of their higher starch content. 

This is easy as, an just about any veggie can b used. 

General Discussion / Things that I have learned from Donald, an this forum
« on: September 06, 2017, 08:18:52 AM »
I have been thinking about writing this for a while, because of how well our garden has produced not just this year but since I have been reading this forum an watching videos. 
On a normal year our tomatoes would be history by now, but with information I learned here, they are still mostly healthy, an still producing.  Last week we pick nearly a bushel of maters every other day off of 35 plants.  The weather has slowed them down but we picked nearly 2 pecks yesterday.  I tribute this to learning to use high nitrogen fertilizer every couple weeks, an copper spray to control disease, our tomatoes look healthy this year rather than the usual look like ya used a flame thrower on them. 

Mr. D your videos on the proper way to fertilize has greatly increased our whole gardens production.  Two years ago my brother was giving me a hard time because I was tilling the corn stalks back into the soil, rather than pulling them an taking them to the woods to dump as they had been doing for 30 years.  Mom told him to back off cause we had 2 ears of corn on most ever stalk an she hadn't seen that in many years.

We have started using raised beds, for radishes, leaf lettuce, an spinach, with good to great success too.  I am trying to convince the family that this will be the way to have a few vegetables when mom is no longer able to have her garden, but it is a work in progress. 

So thanks to you Mr. D. an the forum members for the knowledge, guidance, and videos, an friendship as y"all have made me a better gardener over these last few years. 

General Discussion / My phone took a dive
« on: August 21, 2017, 05:40:50 PM »
I know that this topic has nothing to do with gardens an such but I know heaps of members an I thought that I would reach the most on the general topics thread.   I have lost all of my contact info in my dogs water dish this morning an I would appreciate a PM or a phone call so I can get back the info. 

Happy Hour / Wireless dog fence?
« on: August 14, 2017, 02:58:29 PM »
I have been trying to train my city dog to be a farm dog so she can be off the hook while I am outside.  The training seemed to be going good, but she has reverted to the old city ways an has taken off into the wild, an that in itself wouldn't be bad except she doesn't come when called a we have a health population of coyotes on the farm.  Since I move around I would like to use a wireless dog fence, do any of you have any experience with the wireless systems?   

General Discussion / New to me planter an system
« on: August 11, 2017, 10:52:49 PM »
I am sorry that this is on FaceBook as I know many on here are not on FB, but it is really late an I think maybe some one will know more.

I tried the link an you have to scroll down to where it says "hand powered machine" 

General Discussion / When to pick watermelon?
« on: August 02, 2017, 07:21:44 AM »
This is our third year of growing melons, an we have yet found a reliable way to tell when the melon needs to be harvested.  We picked our first one the other day an it was just past perfect but still sweet.  I used the dried trindle thing which seems to be the preferred way, but am i missing a better way?

Recipes / Looking for a copy cat V8 recipe?
« on: July 25, 2017, 10:29:07 AM »
Does anyone make their own V8 juice care to share their recipe. 

General Discussion / Someone picked our tomatoes
« on: July 24, 2017, 10:23:30 PM »
We picked tomatoes last Friday an like many of you we pick tomatoes that are turning red be not fully ripe so we reduce damage from birds an bugs, but there are always tomatoes that are just starting to turn, but not enough to pick.  Well this morning as usual we are expecting to have many of those tomatoes ready this morning, but not one tomato with any color in the garden!  I looked for foot prints an found one that was odd, so we have a midnight gardener helping their selves.   I guess planting the tomatoes very close to the road was not a good idea. 

I took part of my frustration out on another garden thief this evening with a pellet rifle.  One less bunny munching on our garden.  The little blighters were eating one of the biggest watermelons or at least the rind.   

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