We are welcoming fall around here. Odessa, a 14lb Chihuahua/Rat Terrier mix has a brand-new jacket. Occasional contributor, Tony, who’s Corgis have to tough out the New England blizzards without the benefit of additional clothing, has serious doubts about whether a jacket is necessary in the mild winters of Oklahoma.
Actually, I made this in response to a request from Odessa herself who asked if she could have a Chelsea Jersey so that we can all show our proud support of our favorite English soccer team. Who could refuse a request like that!
These are a local variety named after a neighbor, Pearl.
I had the pleasure of catching up with my Aunt Wilda today. We both had the same project in mind, although the chilly winds of Missouri probably necessitate the capture of seeds for the next season sooner that we need to here in the sooner state, we were sharing our plans for the end of the growing season. She has a variety that is local to her homestead and we have planned a seed swap in the spring.
These are candy-sweet Sweet Millions. I love to pop ’em while I am in the yard, put a whole heap of ’em into salads and even make pasta sauce with ’em. Sweet!
Some vegetables are easy. My Chinese neighbor has given over her lawn to the growth of Winter Melon. The winter melon, also called ash gourd, white gourd, wax gourd, winter gourd, tallow gourd, ash pumpkin, and Chinese preserving melon is a vine grown vegetable which grows to resemble its English counterpart, the marrow.
That is an 18-inch ruler, thrown in for scale.
In return for fresh eggs, my geriatric neighbor keeps me supplied with my fix of winter melon. At the risk of being ghoulish, I do not know how long my neighbor will be around, so I have scraped the seeds from one and have fried and stored them. Next growing season I shall support my own habit and have my melon-pusher of a neighbor off my back!
Tomatoes, however, are a little trickier and will instantly recognize why when I tell you. The require more attention than the scoop out and dry approach that I took to the winter melon. Tomato seeds are surrounded by a germination retarding jelly. You know, the thing that makes the seeds slippery. Before they can be dried, they need to have this layer removed and the best way to do that is to let the seeds ferment for about 5-7 days.
Squeeze the seeds out of the fruit and into a glass jar.
Put the jar aside to ferment. They may even get a layer of mold on the top.
If you do not have enough liquid when you squeeze your seeds out, add a little water so that the seeds are covered.
Once the seeds have fermented, they can be rinsed, dried and stored for the winter, ready to germinate next season.
Don’t forget to keep your surfaces clean and your jars labeled so that you do not get stray seeds of unknown varieties among the others.