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Thread: 2010 Garden Thread

  1. #176
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    I am still picking red raspberries! I planted 3 ever-bearing Heritage plants in the fall of 2008, nursed them through last summer, and this year, they've exploded. The July crop was okay, but since about September, these babies have just been producing like gang-busters. Also, I've canes sprouting outside my berry bed, so next spring I'll dig them up and plant them out at the farm.

    I am thinking of planting blackberries next spring, but those would go out at the farm since I'm getting short of room in the back yard.

  2. #177
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Anyone here have a food dehydrator? We have been looking into buying one as another way to preserve fruit and veggies, besides canning. From what I have read, the Excalibur Large Garden Dehydrator seems to be about the best combination of features and price. Anyone want to weigh in with some recommendations?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #178
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I'm perfectly happy with the Ronco 5 tray system I got several years ago at a garage sale. I think I paid $5, but I'll bet it didn't cost more than $30 new. Ronco products may get a bad rap for all the cheesy marketing but I can tell you this unit gets the job done quickly and efficiently. In fact I was pulling up leaves, weeds and dead plants out of the garden bed yesterday when I noticed the parsley, thyme, and oregano I'd forgotten about were still kicking even after the killing frosts. I intend to dry the remaining herbs tonight and bring the potted herbs indoors for the winter.

    Since you tend to deal with larger harvests you might consider a larger unit, but to be perfectly honest I don't see why you couldn't go with a Ronco dehydrator and just swap out the trays in succession as soon as one batch is done with the next batch. It wouldn't take more than 3 days that way to contend with even harvests on the scale you're looking at.

  4. #179
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I'm perfectly happy with the Ronco 5 tray system<snip>.
    I somewhat concur. I've been drying peppers in a Ronco with no problems. The biggest problem with the Ronco is it has no fan. I bought a $30 dehydrator from Walmart that has a fan and it will do in one day what the Ronco takes 3. By drying faster, the peppers retain their color better when they are dry.

  5. #180
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    The reviews I read mentioned that because the heating element is at the bottom of most units, they dry unevenly and it is necessary to rotate trays regularly. Have you noticed this? The Excalibur has the heating unit at the back, so that its trays do not need to be rotated.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #181
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    The reviews I read mentioned that because the heating element is at the bottom of most units, they dry unevenly and it is necessary to rotate trays regularly. Have you noticed this? The Excalibur has the heating unit at the back, so that its trays do not need to be rotated.
    Having no other experience than using a bottom heating element, I've always rotated/turned trays when doing large batches. I guess I never viewed it as being any sort of imposition/inconvenience. I mean it probably equals an extra 15 seconds of my life per batch.

  7. #182
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Last night me and the missus went on up to the Cabela's store on account of we needed to pick up some ammo and camo. They had there a bunch of them dehydrators on sale, and one what was all the same as that Excalibur one, and it didn't even cost but half as much. We took one.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #183
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    There's snow on the ground this morning. Safe to say the 2010 garden season is completely over in these parts. It's December 1, I'm curious if anyone still has anything growing/alive? One year I remember harvesting a few small heads of broccoli....on December 3rd! (I think it was about 60 degrees outside that day!)

    My garden had one little postscript. This was not a very good year for rutabegas and the six I'd planted this year were positively anemic. Nonetheless, I pulled up the barely golf ball sized roots on Thanksgiving day morning and served them (supplemented with a store bought rutabega) at the feast. Oh yeah, and I pulled the last few sprigs of parsley for use as a garnish.

    Any postscipts on your garden this year?

  9. #184
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I dug up the parsnip and some of the carrots last Sunday. The ground was already starting to freeze and I had to use the pick to break it open. We ended up with about 1/3 of the carrots I harvested last year, although I still have a couple rows in the ground. Most of the carrots were too small to worry about. We also harvested a salad's worth of spinach and the brussels sprouts, and a half-dozen green onions. Unless we have a warm spell so that I can get the remaining carrots, it is safe to say that the garden is done for 2010.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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