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Archive for the ‘Organic Tomatoes’ Category

You’ve grown them. You’ve saved them to show to friends. Or maybe you were somewhat put off and chucked into the woods to spare ridicule. Now, The Soulsby Farm gives you the “First Ever Ugly Tomato Contest” Submit your photo of the ugliest/mutated/ infected/conjoined/ tumor ridden monster and our panel will pick out favorites and post them for you to vote on. The winner  and runner-up will get some cool prizes and bragging rights.

To Enter:

  1. Contest Open to Followers of the Soulsby Blog (if you haven’t haven’t signed up for the email subscription do it before you enter) and Soulsby Farm Facebook friends (like Us and enter) You don’t have to be both but we like our FB Page too.
  2. You or a friend must have grown the tomato and taken the picture, so don’t be lame and search Google for ‘ugly tomato’ cause we’ll find you.
  3. Email your photo to ugly.tomato@yahoo.com
  4. All pictures must be received by August 31st, 2012
  5. We’ll post the ugliest of the ugliest on September 2nd and voting will go for 2 Weeks Ending September 16th when we announce the winners.
  6. Good Luck Everyone!

To sum it up, email us your ugly tomato photo to: ugly.tomato@yahoo.com and check back to see if you made the Top list to be voted upon.

 

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Bush beans planted by Uncle Keith and rows of peppers and tomatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabbage, Black Berry Bush and Chickens love Watermelon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cucumbers and Zucchini

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s always time to take a break and find a dragonfly resting or watch the kids canoe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Pepper Plant, Manure in the Wheel Barrow and a long garden shot of the pepper rows. Of course I like to plant a couple of cherry tomato plants on the corner. That way I can grab a snack as soon as I walk in the garden.

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According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20, 2012, at 1:14 A.M. Let the countdown begin! If you live in the Midwest region of the U.S. (like us) you better get your seeds started inside to get a jump on summer. Now is the time to start: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Leeks, Onions and most importantly  Peppers, Tomatoes. A lot of seeds can be sown directly into the earth but these guys need a head start.

Get your order into Baker Creek (my favorite seed company that only sells heirloom seeds and NO GMO’s) There is also a really cool site that you type in your zip code and it figures out when you should start what veggie. http://sproutrobot.com/ If you don’t know how to start seeds inside I have to quote the movie Tommy Boy by saying “I’d have to hit you in the back of the head with a tack hammer.” Cause it’s that easy…. Get some seeds, some dirt, a couple of lights and wait.

Soon, it’ll be planted and you’ll have fresh veggies on the horizon, like these cherry tomatoes. I plant cherry (or grape) tomatoes just to munch them fresh off the plant while I’m working in the garden. They’re so sweet and delicious.

 

Corn you sow directly into the ground and in 75 short days it looks like this. Nothing is better in the summer than hand picked (in the morning) sweet corn roasted on the grill.

Ahhh Spring flowers from last season. I always plant a lot of flowers around the garden to attract pollinators  and of course there’s the aesthetic reasons…

 

 

I miss our goats. They were a funny pair around the farm.

 

Also, one quick question for any soil experts out there. We’ve had an extremely mild winter in Ohio. Usually at this time of the year, the ground is frozen solid 30″ deep. This year, it’s been so warm the ground never froze. My question is; What effect on the soil does this mean? Since it never froze did the insects never die? Did the bacteria never break down?

Not all bugs are bad. My upcoming post will discuss beneficial insects for your garden. Like this praying mantis I snapped a picture of in the rear field. After that post I’ll be going over “Making Your own Worm Farm” with Red Wigglers.

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by: in the New York Times

May might you want to think twice before buying Organic tomatoes at Whole Foods in winter time. Buy local please! Though they may be considered organic, it’s against all the principles that organic is founded upon.

Organic Agriculture May Be Outgrowing Its Ideals

American demand for year-round organic fruits and vegetables has incited a farming boom in the arid deserts of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/science/earth/questions-about-organic-produce-and-sustainability.html?_r=2&hp

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Ready to make some tomato sauce? Click on any of the thumbnail to see a larger version of that picture. First, pick some ripe tomatoes. Have them guarded by a big dog to protect from rabbits, then wash and quarter the tomatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next throw em in a pot (not aluminum) and mash em up a bit and place on medium heat on the stove. Bring to a rolling boil. I don’t add anything to the tomatoes. I like a blank slate to use the sauce for chili or pasta or anything else. Feel free to toss in some basil or garlic to make the sauce to your likings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cook the tomatoes down by a third. Look for the ring on the pot and guess. Place a Food Mill on top of another pot and turn the handle clockwise. This removes the skin and a lot of seeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a better look at the food mill (also called a sieve). Take the strained sauce back to the stove and reduce again about a third. Use a funnel and fill cans to 1/2 inch from top .  Place cans in boiling water with an inch of water above the cans and boil for 30-45 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

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Tomato sauce making will commence this weekend. I’ll post pics and directions on how we do it. I like to just cook down the fruit and not add anything to it. No basil, no garlic nuthin’. This way it’s a blank chalkboard for later use in the winter. I can use the sauce for chili or marinara or anything else. I do add a touch of lemon juice to keep the color of the sauce bright red but this doesn’t add any flavor to the sauce. The Thai and Jalapeno peppers will be frozen for winter, some will make it into fresh salsa but most will be frozen or dried out for later. Have a great Friday everyone!

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Dave got the fence patched up where the deer were braking in to feast on the watermelons, pumpkins and corn. An ear popped up today as well and I grabbed a picture of a dragonfly on the corn. Did you know that a dragonfly’s life span is just 24 hours? I also snapped a couple shots of the rabbit I must take down in order to save my crop. god, I hate rabbits and deer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Pepper, Thai Hot Pepper, Zucchini and tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found a ton of pumpkins popping up. I was worried that they wouldn’t be pollinated but after my last post I noticed lots of bees, dragonflies, ants and other insects doing the pollination job. Thanks for the help Mother Nature.

I’m trying a new format with this post. Wordepress has made it a pain in the ass to post pics and text and make it look decent. So, please take a moment to click on the thumbnail pic to see it.

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