Monday, August 29, 2011

Freezing Onions and Peppers

How I freeze onions...first you need the onions.  These are our onions we harvested from our garden.

I first cut the ends as shown, except for those onions I am not freezing.  I then take them to the sink and they all get a good cleaning. 
Next it is time to cut all the onions.  A little tip... burn a candle while you are dicing a lot of onions.  I read it is suppose to burn the fumes of the onions and I can say it does help some. 

After dicing the onions, I lay them flat on a sheet of wax paper I place on a cookie sheet.  Once the first layer is full, I add another sheet of wax paper on top and continue the process until no more onions and top them with wax paper one more time.  The cookie sheet then goes to the freezer for 1 hour.

Since I wanted a few bags of mix onions and peppers, I picked 3 peppers out of our garden and washed them while the onions were freezing.  I started a pot of water on the stove to get a good boil.  You do not have to blanch your peppers prior to freezing but I have found the lay flat easier to freeze if they are blanched.
 I cut the peppers into rings to blanch, it is much easier then to dice the peppers.

 Once you have a good boil, place the peppers in the water for 3 minutes, have a bowl of ice water next to the stove to drop the peppers into once the 3 minutes of boiling is done.
 Keep the peppers in the ice water for 3 minutes.  I then place the peppers onto another cookie sheet with paper towels to dry.
 Once the peppers are dry, dice the peppers to the size you want.
 After the hour of freezing the onions it is time to add to the bags and seal them.
 We use the FoodServer sealer.  We just love it.

 Add the amount you want in the bag and then seal it.

12 bags of onions and 4 bags of peppers and onions ready to go to the freezer. They will freeze up to 9 months.

Our Garden This Year

Our garden through the summer...

This year we started our garden with corrugated boxes around the plants, except where we planted the beans, peas, and corn.  After securing the boxes we placed compost on top of it.  The boxes serve two purposes, one is to be a barrier for weeds and the second is it will break down to compost and be great for the soil.  We also found that it helped prevent some diseases for our tomatoes this year.

front right: celery, Chinese cabbage, peppers, towards the back rows of tomatoes.
On the right next to the fence is the snow peas.
The back row is pole beans
The section with no compost is our area we tried the 3 sister crops; Corn, Pole Beans, and Squash. 

The Pole Beans are to climb up the corn stalk next to it.  They provide enrichment's in the soil the other crop needs, and the squash below is to help prevent weeds.  WE found that we will never do this again.  IT was a MESS.  The beans grew to other stalks making it impossible to move through the stalks easily.  The beans drew Japanese Beetles to the corn.  The Squash never received enough sun and it definitely did not shield the weeds.

Broccoli and cabbage.  Next to the fence are cucumbers and zucchinis

Next to the fence, pole beans, broccoli and cabbage.


Broccoli and zucchini

Beans next to the fence, tomatoes near the front 

Cucumber plant

The 3 Sister Crops... what a mess.