By: Tanya Begley
Welcome to summer! What seemed to drag its feet in those cold winter months is here and it is HOT! The crops are in full growth mode, and we are seeing amazing bounty at our local Farmer’s market. Our vendors & patrons are in full-swing and our children are in summer vacation bliss. Whether it is vacationing, gardening, grilling or just kicking back. We might all come together on one consensus. There is nothing like fresh out of the garden, straight to the plate fruits and vegetables. The first picking, the time spent with loved ones and the benefit of making those healthy choices are all cause for summer praises.
In this June/July 2022 edition of our blog, we want to continue to share with you tips and tricks for things you and yours can do right at your own homes/farms and gardens. We will also highlight some happenings around the county, local resources, and farmers that want to invite you to come see what they have going on.
June Gardening Tips by: Alan Taylor
This is the time of year when gardeners begin the process of preserving a part of the garden vegetables when they harvest them. Cabbage will be processed into sauerkraut. This process is very simple, as the recipe that is included shows. Late peas can be harvested and canned now. The use of a pressure cooker is recommended for peas when canning them. This can help to kill dangerous bacteria which can make you sick. Green beans and sweet corn will soon be ready to harvest. Preserving these vegetables will be discussed in the next blog installment. New potatoes should be ready to harvest, although the harvesting of these potatoes will cause the harvest of later potatoes to be smaller since these potatoes are not grown and won’t be replaced by the same plants.
Blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries will soon be ready to harvest. These small fruits can be used for fresh eating, canning, jellies, frozen whole, and in pies for baking. A sample recipe for making jellies from these berries can be found in the boxes of fruit pectin that will be needed to make jelly. The primary fruit pectin in this area goes by the brand name of Sure Jell.
Tomatoes will ripen shortly, depending on the date that they were put out. Tomato juice, whole tomatoes, and ketchup are some of the products that can be the product of preserved tomatoes. Preservation of tomatoes will be discussed in the next blog installment.
Late gardens should be planted now. Green beans, sweet corn, turnips, mustard, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower should all be planted soon in order to mature before the first killing frost.
See the yummy “Shuck Beans” A.K.A. Leather Britches recipe below to use with your fresh green bean harvest.
Local Spotlight: Owsley County Farmers Market & O.C.E.S. Summer Programing
We caught up with Rhonda Becknell and the local Owsley County Farmer’s Market vendor’s. The O.C.H.S. F.F.A. was there helping Rhonda plant fresh vegetable plants with students, our vendors had a wonderful selection for the community to enjoy. Save the children were on hand for some summer reading. It is truly inspiring to see our community working together to provide goods and services for all.We also want to spotlight our O.C.E.S. Summer program these students participated in reading, math, art, S.T.E.M. and agriculture for 5 weeks of their summer vacation. They took home a garden bag on their last day with Five packs of fruit & vegetable seed of their choice. See pictures below of all these wonderful captured moments!