Starting the Seedlings

I vowed to start earlier this year–no dragging my little feet, making excuses, or just not doing it.  So this past weekend JGL graciously installed my grow lamp in the basement, and after procuring some fresh potting soil I began pulling out my trusty seed starting supplies:  pots, tray, soil, seeds and popsicle sticks.  There are several varieties of tomatoes, jalapenos, and the seeds I saved from the super hot peppers.  We’re about a month and a half ahead of schedule, compared to last year, and I’m really hoping that it will pay off in terms of helping the seedlings get bigger and stronger so we’ll get fruit out of them sooner.

 

Freezing Jalapenos

We had more jalapenos hanging from our poor little plant than we knew what to do with.  And waay out back we have more extra hot peppers than we can truly handle (although the second round of them haven’t ripened yet).  So after some Googling and researching, I learned today that freezing hot peppers does not reduce their heat, and is actually a really great way to store our excess peppers.

The process was the same for both the extra hot and the regular peppers–after getting washed and patted dry, I sliced them open and cleaned out the seeds using my favorite pepper tool:  the grapefruit spoon.  For the extra hot peppers I was careful to remove all of the pith and all of the seeds.  With the jalapenos I wasn’t as picky.

aAfter that, I sliced and diced until all we had left was a finely diced pepper pile.  I used a mug to hold the plastic freezer baggie open while I loaded it up, which proved to be incredibly helpful.

All in all, the processing and packing took maybe a half hour.  There are still more peppers on both plants that aren’t quite ready yet, so I’m hoping that if they do make it to maturity we’ll be able to repeat the process and just add on to these already frozen baggies.  I’m excited to have “fresh” hot peppers to spice up our mid winter chilies and soups!

 

 

 

Blackberry Pork Chops

I’ve been helping out our hockey team after work, and let me tell you, it’s kind of amazing.  Not even kind of, it IS amazing.  It’s been incredibly rewarding, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity.  And the added oomph to my sweet sock line.

It hasn’t been leaving as much time for homesteading, though, as I originally anticipated.  Things are still looking great, thanks in large part to JGL, and we’re still cranking out veggies (there are still tons of green tomatoes hanging out, and we have a small forest of jalapenos just waiting for me to dream up something to do with it).  But unfortunately I don’t have a whole lot of fabulous new updates for you.

BUT, we did have a fabulous dinner tonight–rosemary-pecan encrusted pork chops with a blackberry-vinegar reduction.  And some asparagus.  And some beans that JGL found buried under some of our marigolds.  Not bad for a Monday!

Filling up the Cold Frame

After our weekly trip to WW, we ventured down to our Fabulous Farmer, Seed and Supply Store and picked up seeds to start.  I can’t believe it’s only February 26th and we’re starting seeds, but the weather has been beautiful and it looks like it will continue to be as such for the foreseeable future.  We’ll certainly take it!

We filled up the fabulous cold frame with our reusable seed starting containers we inherited from my family, and filled them up with potting soil.  After that we put in several varieties of tomatoes (Rutgers, Jubilee, Roma and Yellow Pear), a few jalapenos, basil and petunias into about 24 pots.  So here’s to starting early and fingers crossed for a FABULOUS yield!