Friday, October 25, 2013

Picking the Last Peppers

We're getting frost in my area, so I'll be closing my garden soon.  I headed out to see what was left, I have peppers and quite a few green tomatoes that need to be picked.  I decided to pick what peppers I could.  They got a late start for some reason, so my jalapenos and belles are half the size they should be.  I'm going to pickle these, I should be able to get several pints for the winter.   The chilies, Hungarian Wax and Banana peppers did well. 

I'll head out tomorrow and pick the green tomatoes that are a good size and remaining peppers.  I plan to can the tomatoes for fried green tomatoes this winter.  How do you use your green tomatoes?

I'll probably pull the tomato plants and start cleaning up the garden for fall mulching.  I closed the garden last year in early October.  I do plan to plant garlic this week-end since it didn't do well this spring.  Wish me luck.  Have you closed your garden for the season? 


Monday, October 21, 2013

My Woodpeckers Have Returned

My red bellied woodpeckers have returned, and more brilliant in color.  They're enjoying the black oil sunflower seeds from the feeder outside my bedroom window.  Excuse my neighbor's truck in the background.  For some reason, he's made the backyard his driveway. 

The woodpecker at the top appears to be a Red-cockaded Woodpecker, which is becoming an endangered species in the U.S, or a Downy woodpecker.  They love pine trees, and fortunately I have a roll of pines along my back property.  I need to add some peanuts to my feeder since they love these little nuggets. 

Do you help nature feed our feathered friends?  Check out my birdseed cookies.   Make a batch with your children or grandchildren this fall or winter, the birds will be grateful and the children will have fun making them. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Organic Yellow Cayenne Pepper Seed Give Away

I saved seed from my garden this year and A Diva's Garden will be giving away a variety of seeds to fellow gardeners for the next 6 months.  Each give away will have 5 - 10 seeds depending on the variety.  To date, I have yellow chilies, large green chilies, a pepper mix, a tomato mix, Brandywine, White Belle, Tiffen Mennonite, mix of Hungarian and Banana peppers and more.  

The first give away is 10 organic yellow cayenne pepper seeds certified by Clemson University.  I purchased a mix of peppers from Park Seed and they contained these beautiful yellow chili peppers.  I called them my mystery seeds, because I didn't know what I would end up with.  It actually turned out to be fun, so I will be having several mystery giveaways for you too.    

I started this variety inside this year and they performed well in the garden.  It was nice to have a variety other than your typical red cayennes.  Please note, I'm in Zone 6B so I can not guarantee how they will perform in yours.   

The give away is open to U.S. and Canada residents only, and will end October 31, 2013.  The winner will be randomly selected and announced November 1.  Please ensure your email address is correct.  If not, a new winner will be selected.  I will mail the seeds within 5 days of receiving your mailing address. 

Here's how you can win:

  • Follow A Diva's Garden and leave a comment on how you will use these peppers next season. (Mandatory) 1 Entry
  • Comment on another post on this blog, give yourself 3 additional entire.  (Optional) 
  • Post this give away on your blog and refer your followers to the giveaway.  Give yourself 5 additional entries.    (Optional)  

Check your emails November 1, I will be announcing the winner!  Good luck. 


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Homemade Salsa

The garden is coming to a close, but I'm still producing a few tomatoes and peppers.  I decided to make a batch of salsa for the winter.  I have to say it was delicious. 
  • 5  - 6 lbs. tomatoes skinned and chopped  (I used whatever variety I had that was ripe.  I suggest allowing them to drain in a colander after chopping to get rid of some of the water)
  • 3 cups chopped onion (I used yellow, red and white)
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped pepper (I like my salsa spicy so I used a combination of chili, jalapeno, and bell) 
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 cup white vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt 
It is important to add the amount of ingredients listed if you plant to water batch your salsa.  Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.  I like mine chunky, but if you like yours cooked down more, cook longer.  Water batch for 15 minutes.   Makes about 8 pints.  This salsa is delicious served fresh too.  I only managed 7 pints, I couldn't resist eating it while I was trying to get it into the jars.