Friday, November 04, 2011

Putting it to sleep for the winter

We had a serious freeze last weekend; it got down to 26ºF. That was the end of the green peppers. I picked them right away in the afternoon, cut them up, and froze them. I ended up getting about 12 more that were of sufficient maturity.

I also decided it was time to harvest my cabbages. If you recall, the cabbage butterflies got a good meal out them. But, even so, I was able to get 8 decent sized heads out of the 15 plants that survived. I put them in the refrigerator to make into sauerkraut later. Later ended up being Tuesday night.

We bought a new hand shredder for the kraut; the old one was Debbie's from before we got married (33 years ago!). This new one is stainless steel and sharp. Very sharp. Extremely sharp. Painfully sharp. Ouch! The cabbage heads I got from the garden are much denser than the ones in the store. That translates into 5 1/2 quarts of sauerkraut from relatively small heads of cabbage. It also translates into more effort to shred them. It also translates into some serious cuts as I adjusted to the shredder being sharper.

It must be November, that's the only way I can think of to explain it. Last November, I tried to cut off my fingers. This year, I tried to cut off my thumb with the new shredder. As I said, it was extremely, painfully sharp. I have a nice flap of skin on the end of my thumb under a bandage. The next day at work, Marti noticed and asked if I had been playing with my lawnmower again. Nope, but the kraut might have a little extra iron in it :)

The garden—except for the hoop house—is pretty much done for the year. I dug the rest of the straw potatoes Wednesday night. We ended up with about a wheelbarrow full. Now, I just need to find a way to store them that is cool enough. Right now, they are in the garage, which stays cool. But, once the nights get colder, they will freeze. By then the basement will probably be cool enough I can move them there. But, I suspect I will get some growth on them come February...

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