Saturday, November 10, 2012

Our Fall Garden Harvests.

This time of year the harvests have really fallen off in volume. However, we got a few items in for the harvest tally.

Meager as it is, we got 1/2 ounce of raspberries this week.

The absolute last harvest of willow leaf butter beans gave us nine pounds eight ounces of beans.

Since this was the last harvest due to the cold nights, I wasn't expecting very much. We were fortunate to get three pounds one ounce of shelled beans. Many of them were small, but with the very chilly nights, there was no hope for them to fill out any larger, so I picked them all. I saved the dried ones for seed for next year.

I made two batches of green tomato relish with each batch using eighteen pounds of green tomatoes.

Those thirty-six pounds of green tomatoes turned into twenty-eight pints of delicious green tomato relish!

If you would like the recipe, here it is as I have modified it:

Green Tomato Relish
(Recipe Yield Approximately 12 pints)


  • 18 pounds of green tomatoes
  • 3 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
  • 3 green bell peppers, halved and seeded
  • 4 pounds of sweet onions
  • 3 tablespoons celery seed
  • 3 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar


1.  In a grinder, coarsely grind tomatoes, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and sweet onions. (You may need to do this in batches.) Place two large colanders in a sink and ladle in the tomato mixture to drain for 1 hour. (Pouring the mixture in risks spilling some of it into the sink thereby losing it.)

2.  In a large, non-aluminum stockpot, combine tomato and pepper and onion mixture, celery seed, mustard seed, salt, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.  Sterilize enough jars to hold relish (approximately 12 one-pint jars, or 6 one-quart jars). Have the lids ready in hot water to prepare them for a good seal. Pack relish into sterilized jars, making sure there are no spaces or air pockets. Fill jars to 1/2 inch head space. Screw on lids.

4.  Place the sealed jars into a boiling water bath canner with hot water already in it, making sure that there is 2 inches of water covering the jars when they are all in there.  Bring water to a full boil, then cover and process for 40 minutes.

5.  After 40 minutes, turn off heat, remove lid from pot and let cool down for 5 minutes before taking jars out of the pot. Remove jars from pot and place away from drafts on cloth-covered surface, two inches apart, until cool. At this point, I use folded paper towels and let their weight touch the remaining water on the lids to absorb it. I do NOT press on the lids to wipe them off at this stage. Once cool, wipe off jars with a warm dishcloth, let air dry, and mark contents and date on the lids. Relish can be stored for up to a year.


Some of the roma tomatoes ripened after I had picked them, so I made pizza sauce using Mrs. Wages packaged mix. It turned out very nice.

I ended up with six pints of pizza sauce, with each pint having enough sauce for two pizzas each. That was fine with us!

Now I have to remove all the tomato vines, butter bean vines and associated fencing. Then I can plant the Vates collards that I was fortunate enough to find an entire flat of.

So for our winter garden we'll have collards, butter crunch lettuce, curly kale, broccoli and sugar snap peas. With the continued nightly lows in the low 40's, everything else is shrivelled up, including the cucumber plants that I was trying to nurse along.

I'm still having difficulties with Blogger to the degree that I am questioning my continued use of it.

Regardless of all that, have a great vegetable gardening day!
Veggie PAK

1 comment:

  1. Do to the frost, I pulled up the zucchini and patty pan squash yesterday. The tomatoes are coming out today. The kale, spinach, swiss chard and garlic are in. We'll be moving 2 blueberry bushes and iris today. They need more sun. I'll remember your green tomato recipe for next year. It looks like a keeper. This might be the last warm weekend.