Monday, July 7, 2014

Harvest Monday July 7, 2014

I am joining Daphne's Dandelions for Harvest Monday today. I want to send a big "thank you" to Daphne for hosting this event. It's fun. You can see what others are harvesting by going to the link.

It has been a pretty good harvest week for me. First up, I will talk about my pears. I gathered 2 baskets full. That's wonderful! I have had trouble with Japanese rust on that tree for the past few years, so it hasn't had fruit on it. There was a little Japanese rust this year, but someone told me that if I put Epsom salts under the tree to the drip line of the leaves every time it was getting ready to rain, it would help. I tried it, and it helped more than this expensive and hard-to-apply organic stuff I bought.

My mother-in-law really loves pear relish, so I made her nine pint jars from the first basket of pears. I have to dole it to her one jar at a time or she will eat so much of it she makes herself sick. I didn't grow up with it and it isn't my favorite, but it makes her happy.
Pear relish to the left and a basket of pears to the right. 

Pears. You can see a little of the Japanese rust on the very top

Pear relish
 Then, I made 2 quarts of spiced pear sauce.  I added 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and a ground cloves. YUM! I think it is good enough to eat as a dessert. :)
Spiced pear sauce (like apple sauce, but with pears)

I don't have the best luck with corn, but this is better than the first time I grew it. We got four edible sized ears today and have about 8 more in the garden.
The okra is coming in pretty well. It's just getting started, so it should hit its stride pretty soon. We all love it and are happy to be eating it again.
Stewart's Zeebest okra
 My son is in a 4-H Junior Master Gardener program. It's been a great experience for him. He planted 9 hot peppers in the garden, because of the class. We weren't sure that we would get anything off of them, because they looked very poorly for a long time, but they are bouncing back and we got our first hot pepper this week. He has several different types of hot peppers, so I hope he can at least taste all the different ones. Maybe he will become a chili head! He's only nine and really loves spicy, so we will see.
Hot banana pepper
 The cucumbers are providing us with tasty cucumbers every day. I have squash vine borers on the cucumber plant (argh!), so I don't know how long we will be able to get them, but I am going to enjoy every one that we can get. They taste so wonderful!
And last, but not least, the swallow tailed kites are back in town! Out whole family just loves these birds! They are relatively rare birds in much of the country and several states have them listed as endangered and/or threatened. We love to watch them swoop, soar and dive. And as a bonus, they eat a lot of snakes. It is so neat to see them carrying a snake through the sky, holding it by the middle, both ends of the snake flying behind them like a banner. 
swallow tailed kite behind our home


  1. Looks wonderful and i'm totally jealous of those pears! It's one fruit my hubby won't plant as he does't like the taste. :(

    1. The pear tree came with the house. My husband didn't have a choice about it being there. The challenge has been keeping him from cutting it down, but so far I am holding him off. :)

  2. Oh yum pears. And the spiced pear sauce sounds delicious. Weirdly I like canned pears better than fresh ones. If my sole pear tree ever decides to produce anything I might end up canning it all.

    1. I like these pears better canned, too. I like to eat soft pears out of hand, but these Asian pears have a texture more like apples, so whenever it produces, I end up canning it all. It's good though, because apples are hard to grow around here and these Asian pears are really easy.

  3. If I ever get enough pears I would like to try the spice pear sauce! Lucky you to harvest so many! My Asian pears are not ready yet. Hmmm. Epson salts under the pear trees. Wonder if my dog would eat that or if I would be safe to do that to my pear trees. Nancy

    1. I hope you try the spiced pear sauce. I think it tastes really good. As for the epsom salts, you could put it out then water it in until there are no crystals showing. That might work.