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Old 07-28-2020, 08:41 PM   #901
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Nice harvest, pepperhead! Drooling over those tomatoes!
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:48 PM   #902
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taxlady, I always try to cut the tomatoes in a way that I put them on the racks with the skin down - this way they don't stick. Slicing them and putting the juicy edges down will have them stick; some put the slices on wax paper, silicone, or something like that - similar to jerky or fruit leathers, but that slows down air circulation, and why do that if you don't have too? Larger tomatoes I quarter, or maybe cut the quarters in half, though I rarely dry them that large.

I didn't do much today, though I picked my okra - a daily chore now. Only looked at these bitter melons, and ate a few sunsugars - the only tomatoes I picked, though there are a lot ripening!

I picked my first bitter melon today, and saw the first of one of one of my white varieties. Plus I saw a number of new ones forming.
First Bitter Melon picked, 7-28 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

One of the white varieties, only about 5 inches, so far. 7-28 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Two tiny bitter melons forming, 7-28 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:31 AM   #903
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In addition to what pepper said, its important to check the tomatoes from time to time towards the end of the dehydrating process for ones that may have dried a little faster than the others. Could be due to slight difference in size of tomato, variety ... Depending on the dehydrator you have, some the cheaper ones ( which I have had for 20 + years until last year). have ' hot spots'. and dry unevenly, so some will crisp up as the others will take longer.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:40 AM   #904
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Thanks Pepper and Larry. Those are excellent points. I think I'll slice the tomatoes in wedges that can stand on the skin side. Or maybe I'll start them on a grill sheet and flip them a few times until the surface is dry.

And checking on them towards the end sounds like excellent advice. Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if my toaster oven has hot spots.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:53 AM   #905
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For Long term storage, fete drying I toss them in the freezer. I still have some from 2 seasons ago which, once thawed out, are perfectly fine. For short term, I store them in garlic and olive oil in the fridge. I usually either snack on them directly out of the jar or toss it over pasta with a little fresh basil.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:38 AM   #906
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
For Long term storage, fete drying I toss them in the freezer. I still have some from 2 seasons ago which, once thawed out, are perfectly fine. For short term, I store them in garlic and olive oil in the fridge. I usually either snack on them directly out of the jar or toss it over pasta with a little fresh basil.
How long do you consider short term? I can probably eat a slice of raw tomato per day without repercussions. I had been eating one or two small slices in salads from resto deliveries. Then I bought these tomatoes, still on the vine. I made bruschetta with one of them. It was delicious. But, half a tomato at once was more than I should have eaten in one go. These three tomatoes weighed 470 grams.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:42 AM   #907
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To me, the dehydrated tomatoes in oil and garlic are like candy. I go through them very quickly, so ive never really had them for longer than a week or two in the fridge.
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Old 07-29-2020, 02:40 PM   #908
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If the tomatoes are properly dehydrated, they'll probably keep for a week or so, because pathogens need moisture in order to grow. Adding fresh ingredients, though, introduces both moisture and Clostridium botulinum into an anaerobic environment perfect for growing it. I'd be very careful about storing it for very long that way.
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:25 PM   #909
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If the tomatoes are properly dehydrated, they'll probably keep for a week or so, because pathogens need moisture in order to grow. Adding fresh ingredients, though, introduces both moisture and Clostridium botulinum into an anaerobic environment perfect for growing it. I'd be very careful about storing it for very long that way.
I agree, thats why its my short term method. I know they'll be gone within a matter of a week or so . I would never make a large jar, shove it in the back of the fridge and save for a rainy day. May get lucky, may not Not worth the risk.
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Old 07-29-2020, 04:11 PM   #910
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I agree, thats why its my short term method. I know they'll be gone within a matter of a week or so . I would never make a large jar, shove it in the back of the fridge and save for a rainy day. May get lucky, may not Not worth the risk.
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:00 PM   #911
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My harvests over the last few days. Peppers are still going great, but tomatoes are very disappointing. We've gotten some nice cucumbers, but we've had weird weather this summer, so now they're yellowing before they even turned green.

Hey, who thinks pan-seared okra goes with grilled bratwurst and sauerkraut?
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:21 PM   #912
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I agree, GG. That's not something I would ever do with dehydrated tomatoes, or anything, for that matter. It doesn't take long to create an anaerobic environment. There were deadly results in the early days of commercial items like this, resulting in them adding chemicals to their items, which I really don't want to add to my own canned goods.

Harvested 4 more cukes today, along with a 3 qt bowl of just Cherry Bomb, along with Lucky and Green Tigers. I also uncovered my peppers - the ones prone to pepper maggots, as I saw no PM flies in the sticky yellow traps there. Most of those varieties are harvested ripe, but only two, so far, starting to ripen - the Superthai, and Aji Colorado, which is the only Aji ripened, as well as the most productive. However, the Hanoi Market is the most productive of any, though none ripe yet - typical, as it starts about a week into August, and many are full sized. A good number of jalapeños - already picked once, and still a lot of small ones, as well as flowers.
One of the uncovered Earthboxes, almost all of the peppers the Hanoi Markets. 7-29 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Aji molocoton, a couple of those formed so far. 7-29 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Uncovered peppers, Aji Colorado on left, Craigs jalapeños, and Super Thai, on bottom. 7-29 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And something funny happened earlier - when I was on my front porch, about 2 pm, I saw some okra, that seemed to be getting large, faster than usual. I almost always pick this in the morning, as that is when it's in the shade. I saw a number of larger ones, then I realized that I hadn't picked them today! That is something that has to be picked daily (some varieties twice a day), or the larger ones will get fibrous. I'm lucky I have those varieties that will let me slip up occasionally, though I almost always pick them.
Okra, 7-29, Emerald still behind in production. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

That reminds me - I have to make something with okra tonight.
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:04 PM   #913
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My cukes have been a vast array of shapes and sizes. Definitely not my best year. Id probably consider it an average year compared to most, but the last 2 years were so well above average in amount, size and shape, that I must have gotten spoiled. I already ripped up my first set of vines. Second set is starting to produce, the cukes , so far , seem to be normal shape. The third planting still have a week or two before I transplant them. We've had heat wave after heat wave here, which is much hotter than usual, so im assuming the weather is playing a big role this year.

Tomatoes seem to be doing well so far. Things have really just kicked in, so hard to tell. I changed my rows to face north-south ( instead of east west) this year, along with providing 7 ft tomato cages. I've also stayed pretty up to. date with pruning where needed, trimming the lower leaves and removing anything that shows even the slightest signs of no good. Plants look healthy. Only issue , so far, is the birds that were eating my blueberries, have now moved on to my cherry and grape tomatoes ( which are located only about 10 feet from the blueberry bush. Luckily they haven't found there way to my backyard, where the main garden is, so in some way the front garden is acting as a deterrent. I may have to start harvesting the ones up front a few days early and let them ripen up inside.
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Old 07-30-2020, 12:59 PM   #914
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Looks like the forum does not like photos taken in portrait mode. Anyway, I harvested about 2/3 of my onions. Here's a photo of three varieties:

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Also planted some new coneflower plants.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:44 PM   #915
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Nice sized onions. I had a few that large, but most were smaller, but still a better year than usual.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:16 AM   #916
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Hate to make you all jealous but here's my spanish onion harvested yesterday.

Sigh...
Those that didn't rot in the ground "might" get a little bigger.
Not one single shallot even grew a poke above ground.Click image for larger version

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Old 08-01-2020, 03:52 PM   #917
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I think I'm going to grill a lot of these tomatoes, then can them - good to have around for Mexican dishes. Surprisingly, I only knocked those 4 green ones off, harvesting all of these!
Probably the most tomatoes I ever harvested in one day. 8-1 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I've never had this kind - sounds totally different from most others, as the seeds are supposedly edible.
The Okinawan Pure White Bitter Melon, from Baker Creek. First harvest 8-1 by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:33 PM   #918
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Pepper, I have jalapeño sized peppers which I want to dry. ( If they're not jalapeño, than they're definitely something similar considering their size, shape, texture and heat). Anyway, do you dry them whole, halved, and at what temperature and for how long? I have a 9 tray excalibur dehydrator ( which I think is similar to yours) so with the amount of peppers you grow and dry , I figured you'd be the best to ask.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:30 PM   #919
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Larry, Definitely halve the peppers, before drying jalapeños, and other thick fleshed peppers, like those. I halve these, and with larger, but thin fleshed, I just slit them lengthwise, to let the moisture release quicker.

I dry them at around 120° in the Excalibur, and it usually takes 2 days, or sometime in the second day, before they are totally crisp. I have some out there right now drying! Very soon, I will be drying a lot of peppers - just barely started on them, now, with all these other vegetables.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:24 PM   #920
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Larry, Definitely halve the peppers, before drying jalapeños, and other thick fleshed peppers, like those. I halve these, and with larger, but thin fleshed, I just slit them lengthwise, to let the moisture release quicker.

I dry them at around 120° in the Excalibur, and it usually takes 2 days, or sometime in the second day, before they are totally crisp. I have some out there right now drying! Very soon, I will be drying a lot of peppers - just barely started on them, now, with all these other vegetables.
Thanks. Im sure ill be hitting you up with other dehydrating questions as the season progresses.
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