Freezing sweet corn

Third time is the charm. After three years of trying to grow sweet corn in the garden, I finally had enough to eat and freeze. I picked eight ears for dinner last night and decided to pick the rest and freeze it today. I wasn’t sure how much I would actually get, so I stopped by the farmers market today and picked up an additional dozen and a half. If I’m going through the trouble, I might as well do a few more.

I recruited/conscripted two of the kids to help with the job. Gabrielle helped pick the corn from the garden and Ethan helped with the husking. Karen helped cutting the corn from the cob.

Gabrielle helping pick the corn from the garden

Gabrielle helping pick the corn from the garden

Bushel basket of corn - 33 ears.

Bushel basket of corn – 33 ears.

Carrying the harvest to the garage.

Carrying the harvest to the garage.

Husking station. Garden corn plus 18 ears from the farmers market.

Husking station. Garden corn plus 18 ears from the farmers market.

Gabrielle helping to husk the corn.

Gabrielle helping to husk the corn.

I even managed to get Ethan to come out and help

I even managed to get Ethan to come out and help

Stacks of corn waiting to be blanched

Stacks of corn waiting to be blanched

Fire and Ice. One pot boiling water to blanch and another bowl of ice water to cool.

Fire and Ice. One pot boiling water to blanch and another bowl of ice water to cool.

Cutting and collecting

Cutting and collecting

Plenty of work to do. Karen helped cut the corn.

Plenty of work to do. Karen helped cut the corn.

I ended up putting about 3 cups of corn in a quart sized freezer bag. Once I removed as much air as possible, it flattened out fairly well and was sort of stackable.

Poor mans vacuum sealer. A straw and two lungs.

Poor mans vacuum sealer. A straw and two lungs.

Healthy fresh corn on the bottom. Tasty and not so healthy ice cram on top.

Healthy fresh corn on the bottom. Tasty and not so healthy ice cram on top.

At the end of the day, here are the results.

Homegrown Garden Corn: 33 ears
Farmers Market Corn: 18 ears
Bags from Homegrown Corn: 7
Bags from Farmers Market Corn: 6

 

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July Update

Umm… ya. It has been a month since the last blog post. Sorry about that but it has been busy. Here is a catch all post with pictures from the past four weeks or so.

First up are some pictures of the garden from June 13th before we left on vacation.

Here is a shot of the corn.

Here is a shot of the corn.

Three cucumber plants starting to climb

Three cucumber plants starting to climb

Sweet potatoes are taking off. Starting to leave the raised bed.

Sweet potatoes are taking off. Starting to leave the raised bed.

Golden egg yellow squash still look like two separate plants.

Golden egg yellow squash still look like two separate plants.

Some nice green tomatoes on the Brandy-Boy.

Some nice green tomatoes on the Brandy-Boy.

This year we headed back to the mountains. We spent 10 days in Colorado visiting Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Boulder, Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, Canon City and many other points in between.

Pet turkey at one of the Airbnbs on our trip. Kids loved it.

Pet turkey at one of the Airbnbs on our trip. Kids loved it.

Panoramic shot of Emerald Lake in RMNP

Panoramic shot of Emerald Lake in RMNP

A stop along Trail Ridge Road in RMNP

A stop along Trail Ridge Road in RMNP

Eventually, as with all vacations, we had to come home. Also, as with past vacations in June, the garden grows by leaps and bounds while we are gone. This year we had over 4.5 inches of rain while we were away and the temperatures were in the 80s-90s. Very good growing weather as is evident by the next couple pictures.  I didn’t bother showing the rest of the garden as it is just a overgrown jungle.

Corn after vacation

Corn after vacation

A ripe cherry tomato!

A ripe cherry tomato!

Nemesis bugs, Japanese Beetles

Nemesis bugs, Japanese Beetles

A week or so after getting back, it was time to start harvesting some vegetables! So far I have gotten peas, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers and green beans. The peas just finished up but I expect the rest to continue producing for a bit longer yet. At least until the bugs and disease start killing the plants. Squash vine borers and spotted blight seem to shorten the squash and tomatoes before they are ready.

Not too bad a harvest.

Not too bad a harvest.

And finally that takes up to today. The shots below were taken in the garden tonight.  Bush green beans are moving into their second week and pole beans are just about to be ready. Corn is fully tasseled and producing ears. I’m guessing another week or maybe two until we get to try some.

They don't call these cargo shorts for nothing. Pocket full o' Green Beans.

They don’t call these cargo shorts for nothing. Pocket full o’ Green Beans.

First Sweet Corn Harvest

This week I bought some sweet corn from the local grocery store and was a bit disappointed after husking the ears. Many of the kernels were smashed. I decided to go ahead and pick four of the ears from the garden to supplement the meal.

First four ears of corn from the garden

First four ears of corn from the garden

After husking

After husking

As you can see, two of the ears were pretty well developed but the other two could have used a few more days. I also have to admit that the flavor was just okay. I was expecting a much sweeter taste having about the shortest possible time from stalk to steamer. I’ll let the other ears hang out in the garden a bit longer and give it another try next week.

Kitchen side of gardening

While the garden has been enjoying the abundant rain this past week, I spent some of my time in the kitchen turning a few of the vegetables into tasty dishes.

Old Fashion Green Beans

First up is some Old Fashion Green Beans. Not that fresh, steamed green beans aren’t good enough, but if you add in some bacon and brown sugar they can be even better.

You know when the recipe starts off with Bacon, it does not really matter what follows. :-)

You know when the recipe starts off with Bacon, it doesn’t really matter what follows. 🙂

Bowl of green beans for dinner.

Bowl of green beans for dinner.

Trimming green bean tails.

Trimming green bean tails.

Fresh picked and cut green beans.

Fresh picked and cut green beans.

Final product. Green beans, bacon and brown sugar.

Final product. Green beans, bacon and brown sugar.

The annual zucchini crisp

At work we have a breakfast club where each member of the club takes turns bringing something in for breakfast on Fridays. Most of the time there are donuts, bagels or muffins among other tasty treats. While technically not a breakfast food, I thought I’d bring in Zucchini Crisp. I’ve detailed the making of this dish a few times before (click here for the original posting with link to the recipe) but figured I’d capture a few more pictures of the process again this year.

This year I started with a 16 inch long zucchini. I wanted to capture how much I used for future reference.

This year I started with a 16 inch long zucchini. I wanted to capture how much I used for future reference.

Peeled and sliced.

Peeled and sliced.

Removing the spongy, seed core from each slice.

Removing the spongy, seed core from each slice.

Amount of zucchini remaining.

Amount of zucchini remaining.

The zucchini magically turned into apples and mixed with a lot of sugar and cinnamon.

The zucchini magically turned into apples and mixed with a lot of sugar and cinnamon.

Next pour the zucchini mixture on top of the bottom crust.

Next pour the zucchini mixture on top of the bottom crust.

Sprinkle the rest of the crust on the top.

Sprinkle the rest of the crust on the top.

Finally, before cooking, we sprinkle some more cinnamon on top.

Finally, before cooking, we sprinkle some more cinnamon on top.

July Garden Update

I’ve been a bit busy since coming back from vacation, but that hasn’t stopped the garden. This post is a summary of the various gardening activities taking place so far in July.  The garden has been getting plenty of rain recently, with just another inch today, so as long as we continue to get sunny days in between the showers the garden should really continue to take off.

Zucchini and squash from the garden

Zucchini and squash from the garden

Sauted Zucchini

Zucchini sauted in butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Sweet corn in fill tassel

Sweet corn in full tassel

So far so good, but the ears are what counts.

So far so good, but the ears are what counts.

First red tomato of 2017

First red tomato of 2017

A few bowls of green beans so far this year.

A few bowls of green beans so far this year.

Broke out the pressure canner again this year after skipping last year.

Broke out the pressure canner again this year after skipping last year.

Just eight jars of green beans canned so far this year.

Just eight jars of green beans canned so far this year.

Just tonight I picked some cucumbers, yellow squash and zucchini. Ill give you one guess as to what the one on the right will be used for later this week.

First harvest of 2017

Always exciting to get the first harvest from the garden. This past week I picked radishes on Wednesday and and some lettuce for a salad on Thursday.  I’ll once again have plenty of lettuce so if any of you who are nearby need some let me know.

First harvest of 2017, a bunch of radishes

First harvest of 2017, a bunch of radishes

First lettuce of the year.

First lettuce of the year.

Sweet potatoes

Surprise!  Despite the lack of posts this year, the garden does still exist. I still hope to write a sweet corn recap post as well, but will document the 2016 Sweet Potato harvest first.

Today I dug up the sweet potatoes and closed down the garden with this final harvest. So, how did they do?  Check the pictures below.

Nice, loose soil for the potatoes to grow in this year.

Nice, loose soil for the potatoes to grow in this year.

Yield from the first row (west most which gets the most sun)

Yield from the first row (west most which gets the most sun)

Middle row yield. Only two plants in this row, so harvest was lighter.

Middle row yield. Only two plants in this row, so harvest was lighter.

Yield from the third row. Had three surviving plants, but also got the least amount of sun.

Yield from the third row. Had three surviving plants, but also got the least amount of sun.

Yield from the third row. Had three surviving plants, but also got the least amount of sun.

Gabrielle helping to demonstrate the size of the potatoes this year.

All the sweet potatoes piled up together.

All the sweet potatoes piled up together.