When to harvest Yardlong beans

While (Asparagus) Yardlong beans can grow up to 36 inches long, however, it’s best to harvest Yardlong beans at 18 inches or less when Yardlong beans are at their most tender and flavorful.

Nasturtium

Genus:

  • Tropaeolum majus

LIFECYCLE:

  • Nasturtiums are annual

Height:

  • 12 inches for a bush, 72 inches for vines

Spread:

  • 18 inches for bush

Description:

  • Distinctive, blue-green circular leaves are held up on fleshy stems. These annuals come in a variety of types ranging from compact bushes to long-spreading vines. They make an eye-catching addition to any garden. In addition, they have large attractive blooms that range in color from palest yellows, pinks, and apricots to deep, rich yellows, oranges, and burgundy. The vining types are great in hanging planters, window boxes, or for use on trellises and fences.

Ease of care:

  • Easy

How to grow:

  • Plant in full sun to partial shade in average to poor, moist soil.

Propagation:

  • By seed in late spring. They’re large and can be planted individually where the plants are going to grow

Pests:

  • Aphids love nasturtiums, so be on the lookout for them.

Uses:

  • Fresh leaves and flowers-salads
  • Fresh flowers-floral arrangements
  • Unripe seeds and flower buds-pickled for salads

Preservation:

  • Pickle unripe seeds in vinegar and use them in salads.

YOGURT MAKING – How to Make Yogurt From Unpasteurized (Raw) Milk

Making yogurt with unpasteurized raw milk is pretty much the same as making it from pasteurized milk you might bite the store. However, there are a couple of very important points that need to be made in the interest of your own health and safety:

  • first, you need to be sure that you get your fresh raw milk from a reputable source that you trust.
  • Second, you need to be sure the milk comes from healthy animals that are not taking antibiotics are being treated for some form of disease or illness.
  • Lastly, unpasteurized raw milk must be brought to the boiling point and pasteurize before making yogurt from it otherwise any number of on healthy bacteria can be in that milk, including such nasty critters as E. coli.

I grew up on a home farm where my mother always kept small stable milk cows, and we always drink our milk raw. It certainly didn’t do anything to us except keep us healthy, but my mother and all of us were exceptionally careful about the milking process, collection, and the immediate refrigeration are fraught raw milk. If we were ever in doubt about the safety or quality of the milk or the and health of the animal came from that milk would have been thrown out without question. My mother had a big emphasis on “when in doubt throw it out” the rule which is still rule I live by today regarding all food.

So, here is a quick outline of the process for making yogurt from unpasteurized raw milk.

What You Need:

  • Milk – You can make yogurt from whole milk or skimmed (cream removed) milk fresh raw milk.
  • Starter culture – The options available for your starter culture include powdered starter culture, store-bought yogurt, or homemade yogurt from a previous batch.
  • Yogurt Incubator – The incubator is important for maintaining your milk and culture mix at about 110 F to 115 F for close to five to eight hours. Therefore, options available to you include a yogurt maker, thermos, or heat keeper jugs. You maintain the needed temperatures for the required amount of time, and you ensure equal distribution of heat throughout the incubator to prevent the occurrence of some hot and cool spots.
  • Other requirements – include heavy, large pots, candy thermometer (preferably one with a clip for attachment), large spoon or whisk, storage containers, cheesecloth, colander, ladle, both large and small bowls.

How to make yogurt from unpasteurized milk

1. Clean all your tools

Did you know that you actually need a bacterium known as Lactobacillus bulgaricus to make good yogurt? Keeping in mind all the microorganisms, including other bacteria, present all around us, it is always advisable to wash and even sterilize all your yogurt making equipment and surfaces to avoid introducing other unwanted bacteria. Some clean their tools with boiling water, but thorough handwashing is also enough.

2. Heat the milk

— Important —

Unpasteurized (raw) milk must be heated to near the to the boiling point, not boiled, to kill the bacteria.

—————————-

Additionally, heating the milk for some extra minutes helps in concentrating it so that your yogurt can be thicker.

3. Cool the milk back

After heating your milk to the boiling point, cool it back down to 110 F-115 F. Make use of your thermometer to track the temperatures. Also, keep stirring to ensure even cooling.

4. Add your starter culture

When using a powdered starter, it is okay to whisk it in according to the amount specified on the packaging. However, when using yogurt as a starter culture, it is advisable to first isolate a small amount of the milk and keep adding it to the starter culture and stir until all of it has been mixed. This is because adding cold yogurt directly to the milk will slow down the incubation by suddenly dropping the temperatures too much.

5. Incubate

Use your ladle to transfer the milk and culture mix to your incubator of choice. The main importance of incubation is to maintain your milk and culture mix at the stated temperature for 5 to 10 hours undisturbed. However, keep in mind that shorter incubation periods under cooler temperatures will produce sweeter, thinner yogurt while longer and hotter incubation periods will produce tarter and thicker yogurt.

6. Check if it is done

After the first 5 hours, it is okay to start checking hourly if your yogurt is done. When ready, your yogurt should start looking firm. Moreover, it will get more acidic with each passing hour.

7. Store your yogurt

Once your yogurt is done, it is okay to put it in the fridge. It will remain safe and usable for about two weeks. As always, the “when in doubt throw it out,” the rule applies.

Related References

YOGURT MAKING – Making Greek Yogurt At Home

If you’ve been wondering how to make Greek yogurt at home, this article is for you. In it, we dive into the steps to take to make rich, creamy, and delicious Greek yogurt for less than the price commercial alternatives. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it!!

Ingredients you’ll need for two servings:

  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1/4 plain yogurt with active culture or yogurt starter culture (according to package directions)

Active Preparation Time:

  • 40 minutes

Ready In:

  • 18 hours

How to make Greek Yogurt in 3 Easy Steps:

Step #1 – Heat the milk

  • Heat your milk in a non-stick pot over medium or medium-low heat.
  • Stir frequently, until the milk starts steaming, but before it starts bubbling.
  • Use a candy or instant-read thermometer to determine when it registers 180F.

Caution

  • Don’t leave the milk unattended as it is likely to boil over quickly, stick, or burn.

Optional

  • If working with pasteurized milk, this step is not strictly required but may impact the texture of your yogurt.  At a minimum, your yogurt should be brought to room temperature before starting the process.

Step #2 – Make yogurt

  • Get a clean 5-8-cup container that is heat-safe and pour the milk into it.
  • Leave it to stand for a while, stirring it frequently.
  • Once it has cooled to about 110 F – 115 F, it’s time to combine the yogurt with 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl or yogurt starter culture.
  • Then stir the mixture into the rest of the warm milk and cover the container.
  • Place in an incubator and leave to stand until mixture is thickened and tangy (8-12 hours).

Step #3 – Refrigerate and Filter

  • Line a strainer or funnel with either a coffee filter or two layers of cheesecloth. I use a clean square of an old white tee-shirt for this, and it works just fine.  This is what will allow the liquid to drain out of the yogurt while leaving the milk solids behind.
  • Fill the funnel or strainer with the yogurt.
  • Cover the top of the strainer with cellophane wrap. Make sure that you get a tight seal.
  •  Place the strainer over a large bowl with space between the bottom of your strainer and the bottom of the bowl to capture the liquid that is going to drip out.
  • Put the strainer with the bowl under it into your refrigerate.
  • Let yogurt set in the strainer for eight hours or more, longer if you want your Greek yogurt thicker. I usually check the catch bowl and empty a few times to keep too much liquid from accumulating. The longer your yogurt sits in your refrigerator, the thicker your Greek yogurt will be. But don’t leave your yogurt too long or you will have yogurt cheese with a text similar to cream cheese.
  • That’s it; now you can remove your Greek yogurt and store your Greek yogurt in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Conclusion

These are the concise steps to follow to make Greek yogurt easily at home.

Related References

YOGURT MAKING – How to Make Yogurt From Pasteurized Milk

These days, a quick trip to the grocery store will reveal an ever-increasing number of yogurt flavors. So, why learn to make your own yogurt when you can easily rush to the nearest grocery store and grab several cups? Well, for starters, doing it yourself gives you the chance to learn many facts about yogurt. For example, did you know that pasteurized milk makes the best yogurt? If you didn’t, now you do, and here is a complete guide on how to make yogurt from pasteurized milk.

What You Need:

  • Milk – You can make yogurt from whole milk, 2% skimmed milk, organic and local milk. However, pasteurized milk makes the best yogurt, and that is what we shall use in this discussion.
  • Starter culture – The options available for your starter culture include powdered starter culture, store-bought yogurt, or homemade yogurt from a previous batch.
  • Yogurt Incubator – The incubator is important for maintaining your milk and culture mix at about 110 F to 115 F for close to five hours. Therefore, options available to you include a yogurt maker, thermos, or heat keeper jugs. You can also use several mason jars filled with hot water and placed in a cooler. Feel free to get creative as long as you maintain the needed temperatures for the required amount of time, and you ensure equal distribution of heat throughout the incubator to prevent the occurrence of some hot and cool spots.
  • Other requirements – include heavy, large pots, candy thermometer (preferably one with a clip for attachment), large spoon or whisk, storage containers, cheesecloth, colander, ladle, both large and small bowls.

How to make yogurt from pasteurized milk

1. Clean all your tools

Did you know that you actually need a bacterium known as Lactobacillus bulgaricus to make good yogurt? Keeping in mind all the microorganisms, including other bacteria, present all around us, it is always advisable to wash and even sterilize all your yogurt making equipment and surfaces to avoid introducing other unwanted bacteria. Some clean their tools with boiling water, but thorough handwashing is also enough.

2. Heat the milk

While it is possible to make yogurt without heating the milk first, it is always advisable to first heat your pasteurized milk to the boiling point. This will help get rid of any bacteria present. Moreover, heating the milk for some extra minutes helps in concentrating it so that your yogurt can be thicker.

3. Cool the milk back

After heating your milk to the boiling point, cool it back down to 110 F-115 F. Make use of your thermometer to track the temperatures. You can also use an ice bath to speed up the process. Also, keep stirring to ensure even cooling.

4. Add your starter culture

When using a powdered starter, it is okay to whisk it in according to the amount specified on the packaging. However, when using yogurt as a starter culture, it is advisable to first isolate a small amount of the milk and keep adding it to the starter culture and stir until all of it has been mixed. This is because adding cold yogurt directly to the milk will slow down the incubation by suddenly dropping the temperatures too much.

5. Incubate

Use your ladle to transfer the milk and culture mix to your incubator of choice. The main importance of incubation is to maintain your milk and culture mix at the stated temperature for 5 to 10 hours undisturbed. However, keep in mind that shorter incubation periods under cooler temperatures will produce sweeter, thinner yogurt while longer and hotter incubation periods will produce tarter and thicker yogurt.

6. Check if it is done

After the first 5 hours, it is okay to start checking hourly if your yogurt is done. When ready, your yogurt should start looking firm. Moreover, it will get more acidic with each passing hour.

7. Store your yogurt

Once your yogurt is done, it is okay to put it in the fridge. It will be sweeter within the first few days, but after that, it will start tasting sour over time. It will remain good for about two weeks.

Final Words on How to Make Yogurt from Pasteurized Milk

While pasteurized milk makes the best yogurt, use ultra-pasteurized milk does not culture as easily as regular pasteurized milk and some people have reported failed incubation when using ultra-pasteurized milk to make yogurt.  Having given this advice, I will admit that I have not had this problem and I have been using ultra-pasteurized milk to make yogurt for years.

Related References

How to Grow Tepary Beans In Your Garden

Tepary beans are native to the Americas and have been planted by the local people for thousands of years. Tepary beans are creamy and nutty in flavor, and they can be used in any dish. They are perfect for soups and stews. Though they are small in size, tepary beans are dense and meaty. They are easily grown in Sunset climate zones. They are rich in nutrients and grow from 1 to 3 feet tall with a foot spread of 3 to 4 foot. They are known as the most heat-tolerant crop in the world. They are mostly planted during summer and monsoon season which produces infrequent rains from July to August. Let’s see how to grow tepary beans?

Advantages Of Growing

Growing is one of the most popular hobbies in America these days. Growing and gardening are considered the best way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Growing gives the gardener, the ability to experiments with new seeds and new varieties. Growing plants at your home can provide you more control over the quality and longevity of the plants. Growing plants is an art; one can use many different techniques.

Direct Sowing

Direct sowing is also known as direct seeding, which means that you directly start planting seeds in the garden than buying plants and transplanting the plants. Sowing seeds directly do not mean that you just plop some seeds in the ground and leave it for the results. You need to take care of some of the factors before sowing, make sure that the area is weed-free, though there is competition for water and nutrients; it’s quite easy to mistake sprouting weed seed for your flower or vegetables and accidentally pulling out them. Make sure you plant seeds 3 times deep as their circumference is. Some seeds require light to germinate. Then, what you need to do is gently press into the damp soil so that they can make good contact with light and air. Always mark the spot first where you want to sow the seed because you may think you remember, but you don’t so it’s better to mark the spot. Don’t wash the seeds away, water gently. It is crucial to keep the soil moist, but not soaking, until the seeds germinate. Once you have had good germination, continue to pamper the seedlings until they become mature plants.

Growing seedlings

A seedling is a young plant which develops from a plant embryo from a seed. Development of a seedling starts with the germination of the seeds.

  • Deciding the best time to plant your seeds: When you start your plants too late, it may not have enough time to get mature so start your plants a little early so that it gets enough time to get mature.
  • Gather all the supplements you need: Germinating healthy seeds require quite a few things. First of all, you need seeds, a seedling tray or a food storage container, a plastic wrap, a small fan, and a timer. If you have used the supplies before make sure to clean them before using them again.
  • Plant your seeds: Before you start planting your seeds, soak the Rockwool cubes for at least half an hour. Make sure to plant the appropriate number of seeds based on their crop types.
  • Ideal Conditions for germination: Once you are done with the planting of seeds, it’s time to provide them with ideal conditions for germination. Green leafy seeds and herbs germinate well in the range of 55-75degree F, whereas fruity crops require upper range. Also, make sure that you cover the seedling tray with a plastic wrap.
  • Keep your seedlings healthy: As soon as you see something green coming out of the seeds, make sure to give them proper light, especially in winter. If it’s too cold outside to place your plant outside, use fluorescent bulbs and keep it inches away from your plants.
  • Strong seeds: Make your seeds strong by performing some tasks such as set a small fan and gently blow on them, make sure they get proper sunlight.

Transplanting seedlings

Transplanting the seedlings should be done with a very gentle hand and not roughly. Use a blunt knife ease the seedlings without disturbing the preceding seedlings in the line or tearing out the seedlings.

To transplant, the seeds, loosen the soil and fill each container with planting mix. Handle seedling by their leaves and make sure that you do not damage the soft stems of the plants. Poke a hole into the planting mix and place the seedling over there. Water it right away and keep it out of direct sunlight for a few days. After 10-11 days the seedlings are ready to be kept outside.

Insect and pest control

Insect and pest control treatment for seeds includes the application of pesticide to the surface to reduce or control the pests. Apply a chemical barrier to the seed so that it can protect the young seedlings from getting damaged by the insects. You may use systematic pesticides.

Controlling Diseases and Problems

Tepary beans, in my experience, don’t have many problems and the few they have can be handled like any other garden bean.  However, there is one really important thing to remember, which is that tepary beans are a desert bean and are water misers, so, they need minimal water and certainly much less than other traditional garden beans.  Actually, tepary beans tends to be more productive and mature earlier if once established and flowering, if they experience some mild lack of water stress.

When are tepary beans ready to harvest ripe?

The days of maturity depends on the cultivator, but can range from 60 – 120 days to harvest as dry beans.  Tepary beans are harvested for their dry bean seeds, so don’t get in a hurry to harvest them and let them dry on the plant, if possible.

Harvesting

Begin harvesting of tepary beans seeds a the bean pods dry out.  Keep in mind that tepary beans are most a wild beans and will shatter and drop their seeds if left too long. Also, the bean pods will be brittle when dry, so, harvest gently to minimize your bean seed loss.  You will want to shuck the bean pods after allowing them to finish drying in a cool try environment to be sure they are completely dry.   The dry tepary bean seeds can be stored in a cool place and saved for cooking until the for food purposes for up to five years.

Related references

How to Grow Runner Beans

How to Grow Runner Beans

Actually, runner beans are very easy to grow. Summer is incomplete without the runner beans for many people. Many people love to garden as a favorite pastime.  

Runner beans are very nutritious and healthy. Runner beans are good to eat and can be used and preserved in all the ways you can use string beans. If you wish to use runner beans as green or string beans the younger you pick them the more tender they will be.

The seeds from the older pods can be harvested and eaten or dried stored for later use. This is an opportunity most American gardeners miss, but will to the store and by Cannellini beans.  Cannellini beans, as it happens, are variety runner beans.

I once had a friend (knowing that I would not mind) who would come over and raid my runner beans when it looked like I was too busy with the day job to keep up with the harvest.  Both our families cook and use runner beans like lima (Butter Beans). 

 It does not need a proper place to grow up. It can grow among flowers and all. It can reduce the risk of heart disease. It can also prevent the chance of colon cancer. It can control diabetes. It can boost your immunity. For the good eye health, runner beans are very good. It can also help you to improve the bone health of your body. This vegetable helps you to keep your stomach working properly.

Runner beans can grow in a container. The container can dry out easily. So, you need to water them frequently. According to the size of the container, a very small amount of runner beans can grow in a single container. Pots can also restrict the growth of the plant.

Direct Sowing:

  • Direct sowing is an easy process. It can be done at any time of the whole year. This process means to plant the seeds directly into the soil of the garden. There are actually three main parts of direct sowing such as preparation, sowing the seeds and taking care of it.

Soil Preparation:

  • It is important to set the bed for the seed. It should be done before a couple of weeks of sowing.
  • Amend the soil means to add valuable and vital nutrients to the soil. The soil analysis is very much needed in this stage.
  • After the amending part, you will have to wait for a few days for the weeds to sprout and after that remove them with the use of a small hoe.
  • Then layout your bed.

Sowing the seeds:

  • Before doing the direct sowing, you will have to decide how the vegetables will grow and use for. You should have to give water to the soil before the day of planting. After the sowing procedure, you will have to provide the seeds with enough water to drink. Seeds basically need three valuable things to germinate such as moisture, light, and temperature.

Care:

  • Caring for runner beans after sowing consists of weeding the bed, re-sowing and weather protection for the crops and plants.

Growing seedlings:

  • Seedlings need more micro-climate to grow than older plants. If you are planning to grow seedlings of runner beans, then you will have to take some special care.

Transplanting seedling:

  • To transplant seedlings, you will have to fill each new container with the moist planting mix. You will have to loosen the soil around the seedlings by using a kitchen fork. You will have to take special care of handling the seedlings by their leaves to avoid the damage.

Succession Planting:

  • Succession planting is a very efficient way to grow runner beans and other vegetables. The methods of succession planting increase the availability of crops.
  • Insect and Pest Control: For any kinds of sowing, it is essential to do insect and pest control. By controlling the pest, you can ensure the growth of the crops. You can use many DIY methods to control the pest and insects. You can also hire pest control to remove and kill them.
  • Controlling Diseases and Problems: By using proper medicines, you can control diseases and other problems related to this. Fungi used to take their energy from the growing plant. These fungi are mainly responsible for the damage of the crops and plants. You will have to identify the problem that causes hamper to your plant and solve it accordingly.

When are bush beans ready to harvest ripe?

  • Generally, bush beans should be ready in 50-55 days. The maturity time depends on the variety of its growing.
  • Green beans: Green beans are tender and tasty. Your plants provide a continual production all the seasons.
  • Dry beans:
  • These beans are ready for harvest in 70-120 days. Dry beans are actually growing to full maturity.

Harvesting:

  • Weeding, watering, and mulching are essential until the runner beans are harvested. You will have to apply an occasional liquid to fertilizer feed them. This procedure will begin in the mid-summer and continue to the first frosts. Runner beans actually crop just after the French beans. It is a very productive, beautiful and delicious vegetable to grow. You will have to pick the beans regularly to encourage future production.

Storing Runner Beans:

  • Runner beans are actually prolific. You can store it for a long time depending on the method used.
    • Blanching, then freezing the runner beans as green beans is an easy option. Once frozen runner beans can be safely stored up to nine months in an ordinary freezer, and fourteen months in a deep freeze in a vacuum-packed bag. 
    • You can keep fresh runner beans in the salad drawer of the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. You will have to use the oldest beans at first.
    • It takes a week actually to dry runner bean seeds at home, but once dry and stored the dry beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot, runner beans can be safely kept for up to five years, then cook much like dry lima beans.
    • Young Runner beans can also be dried as leather breeches beans (dry green beans) a heritage method, which is nearly forgotten, then rehydrated and eaten for up to two years.

Related references