Summer harvest

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Well it hasn’t been a great year here in the Northwest for summer vegetables but got enough tomatoes and peppers to make some salsa and get stocked up with enough jalapeno pepper powder (been great on omelets) until next year.

With a larger abundance of ripe jalapeno peppers this batch of peppers have a more festive look to them.

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Here are the peppers ground up, as you can see above this time I kept the seeds in for a little extra bite.

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While picking my tomatoes I also picked some less ripe tomatoes which were not quite ripe but vines no longer were green.  I will let these tomatoes ripen indoors, though the flavors will not be as good as garden fresh tomatoes still better than what I can get in my local grocery store.

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How to peel a tomato

 

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I always settled on making salsa leaving the skins on, knowing there had to be a better way I did a little research and learned a simple way to get those pesky skins off with minimal effort.

The process is very simple, get a pot of boiling water, drop in your tomato for 10-15 seconds ad immediately remove and drop in a bowl of ice water.

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This submersion not only stops the tomato from cooking but this blanching process reduces the bond of the tomato skin.  It was so easy to remove the skins my 6 year old also helped me and removed the skins without any issues.

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The great part of this method it is very easy and given you only lose the thin skin with almost no waste to the tomato.

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I used these tomatoes to make a modified version of my garden salsa which was my best batch yet.

Ladybug in the grow box

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One problem with growing plants indoors is you don’t always get the benefits of beneficial insects, but as you can see above it doesn’t always have to be that way. At least one little lady bug snuck into the grow box and seems to have found some snacks on a basil plant.

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If anyone is curious I also have one of my jalapeno pepper plants in the grow box with hopes of getting a few more ripe red jalapeno peppers before things get too cold.

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The winner of the Annabees giveaway is

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The winner of the bottle of Annabees bee attractant is Mary C.  That is the last of our current wave of contests but I am always out looking for new ones.

The winner of the Gar’n Grow Filter is

Congratulations to the winner of the Gard’n Gro filtermeemsnyc.

Getting some great deals on gardening supplies

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With stores making way for Halloween and Christmas decorations, now is the perfect time to find some great closeout deals at your local grocery store or garden center.  I had meant to imitate the Topsy Turvy planters above, but at 60-70% off I was not even cheap enough to pass up on these deals for the Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter (picked up two at $1.99 each) and the Topsy Turvy Hot Pepper Planter (picked up one for $4.99)

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Given my desire to grow even more peppers next year the pepper planter will work great to try out a few new plants.

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And no, there was nothing wrong with camera on the picture above that’s what the boxes actually look like.  I combination of too much sun and then getting heavily rained on over the past couple weeks led to an even bigger discount.  Hoping to fill these with the strawberry runners that are trying to escape their garden bed.

So head down to your local garden center and check out those items you have thought about but never pulled the trigger, you just might find a deal you are glad you did not miss out one.

If you found any good deals, I would love to hear about it in the comments…