Thursday, September 19, 2013

Give Me Greenhouse Skin - New Ageless Breakthrough?

Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.

Peppers drying
Drying and canning consume much of the day. This neat hanging rack holds three kinds of peppers and is half full. Last year we threaded thread through them and hung in bunches which was much more
Freezing peppers
difficult than tossing them in our hanging dryer. Yea, progress.

Some peppers will be made into hot sauce, salsa and sauce that could be used for any number of dishes such as enchiladas. In fact, Christie has a few jars of
Sauces and tomatoes
sauce already put up.

This year, we're using a short cut for canning the tomatoes. Instead of making sauce, soup or whatever and canning a finished product, we're canning tomatoes to be turned into other foods later. We aren't seeding or peeling them which is so time consuming you can't even imagine. I made some spaghetti sauce with a jar of our tomatoes and it turned out fine. You do run into a bit of noticeable skin but it really isn't a problem. And I think the nutrition is probably higher.

Black tomatoes, field and greenhouse
We have both greenhouse tomatoes and field tomatoes. They taste equally good but because of the outrageous amount of rain we've had, the field tomatoes are not as pretty. Too much rain or erratic amounts of water damage the skin of tomatoes. Looking at the difference in the
Processed tomatoes
skin makes me wonder if I shouldn't be sleeping in the greenhouse.

Xena (our dog that ate Frank's $5000 earring aids) is still being Xena. She ate the insides of a squeak toy and was a sick doggie. The squeaker didn't agree with her. She no sooner got over that when she zeroed in on a bag of trash we hadn't got put into the can. I think she tore into it and ate as much as she could as fast as she could before we caught her. She upchucked a whole, in tact paper towel. As much trouble as she is, the sweet quotient is huge. When Sadi sits in the floor, Xena moves to lay beside her and is fine with Sadi pounding on her back.

Paulden shopping mall
Paulden is really coming up in the world. As you can see, we now have a shopping mall.

One last note - I signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for the first book in my Love and Murder series. This one is The Art of Love and Murder and is set in Flagstaff, Arizona. Yea!


  1. I love reading about your experiences! You guys are awesome and everyone of you should be proud.

  2. I love the hanging basket! Genius!

    Congrats on the new book, very exciting!

    How do you process the tomatos when you can them whole? Do you just pout the whole tomatoes (or sliced?) into the jar and can as usual?

    1. Thanks, Caroline. This is how we do it. Big ones we quarter and small ones cut in half. Lay them out on a cookie sheet and bake until - well until they look pretty much done but not so long they go dry. I guess until they look like canned tomatoes. Although, Christie likes to brown them a little. Oh - we roll them around in olive before putting in the oven. I think that's important. We don't peel or take out seeds. Then just stuff into jars leaving that 1/2" at top and pressure cook the jars. Voila!

    2. Great info!
      Thanks Brenda :)
      No canning for me this year, garden didn't do well enough (my own darn fault!) but next year will be amazing I'm sure!

    3. You're welcome and good luck next year then!

  3. All of the food pictures look wonderful. I love canning.

    Congratulations on your book contract!