Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2008

Well, it's been seven years since 9/11, and things in NY are still not right.  And things will never be right for those touched by this tragedy.  But we can all remember and celebrate this great country and how we came together to help those affected.  Now we can come together to stop giving our money to oil producing countries by conserving and taking mass transit and using our feet to go places and shop locally and if I'm forgetting anything, stop by  and they'll fill you in. 

This afternoon my brother called to tell me that he had 5 pounds of cukes that he was going to pickle. He'd found a very popular recipie on the internet for dill pickles without the month-long marinade.  Instead you pack the jars with marinade and then store the pickles for two months before eating.  I couldn't get him to hold off since he had some past peak cukes and needed to do it today.  Apparently he's got more cukes ready soon to combine with mine for the next batch.  After going out and skimming off a ton of scum, I think I'm ready to can these as-is and do the next batch the post-canning marinading way.

Anyway, this evening I was trolling the boards and happened upon the GW canatloupe thread again.  I've posted there because all cubrits are pollinated the same and I've had great experience with my cucumbers by hand pollinating.  Well, re-reading it I got curious if I had any female flowers. I've read they follow in about two weeks and I figured it was close.  So I went out at twilight and presto! I've got female Minnesota Midget cantaloupe! (no cracks Granny!)

Again, sorry for the burry photos, I zoomed in all the way to take these and it is very touchy at that resolution.  But you can clearly see the baby cantaloupe there.  I won't bore you with the two others I found, but they weren't nearly as open as this one.  So I pulled the most open male and tickled it, and it's siblings too. You never know if it will work.  I've done it with the cucumbers so why stop now.

Anyway, I highly doubt we'll have the weather to take these to maturity, so I think I'll go for one per plant and pick the rest off to force all the energy into the one cantaloupe.

And while I was out there, I heard my eldest ask "Please can I you pick me a carrot daddy?"  So I couldn't help but grab him one on the way back in...

Not bad, and of course tasty!  He loves them. Now to get my youngest to eat his veggies.  Odd how kids are so different.

Well, lastly tonight, after wasting two days getting a new car, I finally broke down and made up a box for the potatoes.  I followed DoubleD's advice and used a banker's box and drilled 2 inch holes in various spots for ventilation.  Then I drilled tiny holes all over the top.  Then I grabbed some of my compost fodder, you know, the shredded paper and bills and covered the bottom with it.

Then I dumped the bag of yukon gold potatoes in the newly built bin.

See the dirt on them.  I think it was DoubleD that said not to brush off too much of the dirt until I need them.  You don't want to damage the skin.  Though I do have to find the one that I peeled a bit of the skin back hitting it with a shovel when harvesting.  That I'll use first.  Then, I put some more paper over the top to absorb moisture.

Finally, I found it fits on the bottom shelf of the storage shelves we use to store toys.  It's not completely dark but it's shaded from the natural night.  I sure hope these store well. I haven't had any yet, but I hope to find some good recipies for yukon golds.  All I know of is to mix them into mashed taters with russetts or new potatoes. 

Well, as always, let me know if I'm making mistakes.  I'd hate to learn from my mistakes after my potatoes rot or sprout too early.

I can't wait until I can store my second box right next to it filled to the brim with russetts. Here's to hoping I can make that happen!  The bin is dying a bit more and more each day, but I've kept watering it in case it's a water issue.  That's the beauty of Mel's Mix.  It retains moisture well, but it drains incredibly well, so I don't worry about overwatering. It just drains through.

Well that's it for me tonight. Enjoy your garden!


  1. Sinfonian, would Granny make wisecracks about your little female thingies? Never!

    I've found my Yukon Golds pretty much turn to mush if I boil them for mashed potatoes, and Mr. H doesn't like baked potatoes, he says they are too dry (the YGs really aren't, I love them baked). The two ways he likes his best are 1. wrapped in foil and tossed into the crockpot to cook on low all day or 2. as I did last night, scrubbed, cut in half, salted and peppered and placed on the nifty (and cheap at Bed Bath & beyond) vegetable steamer, with about 1/4-1/2 cup of water in the bottom. Cooked on high, cut sides up, 6 minutes, flipped them over and cooked another 6 minutes. These were really big potatoes, probably 8-oz. each. I whipped up some butter and low-fat sour cream (half and half) and stirred in fresh snipped chives for the topping. Mmmmm, good!

  2. Those cantaloupes have done really well and I bet with some coddling on the few cold nights ahead they will produce beautiful fruit . I planted zucchini's late and they have hardly grown at all, you must be doing something right.

    That mel's mix grows some nice straight carrots as well.

    I would also be betting on getting a good yield out of your russet bin, those plants are massive. Are russets a late producer like you were recommended to grow?

  3. Granny: thanks for the comment on how you prepare yukons. I'll try that and when I mash them I'll pay close attention to the mush point.

    Dan: I was not sure I would cover the cantaloupe, but I could and would if the pollination works. And the massive growth is a result of the unseasonably warm weather that my brother predicted. Lastly I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the late season russetts. They seem perfect for bins. I hope my harvest agrees.

  4. Good job with the potato box Sinfonian! Just the way to do it. Best if you have them in essentially no light and cool but not freezing temps - but the box does a good job of blocking light and potatoes will handle moderately warmish temps. I like to use the boxes because they really do fit well on shelving and are easy to get into etc.

    I will be doing my Yukon Golds and Caribe potatoes myself this weekend. Got the boxes out and ready to go!

    Nice comments on 9-11 too. I was at ground zero in late October 2001 (there for a bond sale) and took time out and walked down to the site. It was still in the very early stages of clean up at that time - still smoldering in fact. Very sobering experience.

  5. LOL, I probably should have mentioned that 12 minute steaming time for the Yukon Golds was in the microwave, and that the steamer has a lid!

  6. Still trying to catch up after a couple weeks. Double D and Sinfonian, love the idea for storing the yukons. They are my favorite potatoes and I hate losing them to moisture and light. GREAT idea.

    Granny, wow you really made me hungry. I love the foil and crock pot idea. I'm definitely trying it.

    Very touching reminders about 9/11. We do have a great country, we just need to all stick together and conserve and help save it.