Canning Season Recipes

If you are already a canner but would like a new recipe, or a newbie and just want to know that the you can trust the recipe you are going to try, here are two of my favorites.  I have been using these recipes every year for the last five years, and they have always been winners!

First, the pickle recipe.  This is a super easy, no fail, first try attempt at canning.  If you want to start, this is a fabulous place to start.  Everybody loves pickles!

Pickles — 7 Quart batch

You will need: approximately 1/4 bushel of pickling cucumbers.  TIP: if they are big, you will get more than 7 quarts, if they are small, you may get less than 7 quarts  (We like having big pickles for slicing and small ones for munching in the same jar).  Also, 3 heads of dry or fresh dill per bottle, and at least 2 garlic cloves for each quart bottle.  For the brine, you will need 6 cups white vinegar, 1/2 cup pickling salt, 1/4 cup sugar and 8 1/4 cups water.  And 7 wide mouth quart bottles, with new lids and clean rings.   Make sure bottles are clean and sanitized before beginning.

1.  Keep chilled until ready to start.  TIP: if buying pickling cucumbers, plan on canning them the same day they are picked to ensure crispness.  If you are canning them from your garden you can bottle the cucumbers in the brine, keeping them in the fridge until you have enough to process them together in the same water bath.

2.  Scrub and rinse cucumbers thoroughly.  Peel garlic. TIP: soak individual garlic cloves in water for a few hours before beginning to easily remove papery skin from garlic

3.  Add 3 heads of dill and at least 2 garlic cloves to each bottle (more garlic can be used, if you like pickled garlic, it’s also yummy to eat).

4.  Place as many cucumbers as possible into each bottle leaving 1″ head space.  TIP:  using wide mouth bottles will make this much easier.

5.  Mix vinegar, pickling salt, sugar and water and bring to a boil, just until salt and sugar are dissolved.

6.  Using a funnel, pour brine into each bottle, filling until there is 1″ headspace.

7.  Remove any air bubbles from jars by gently moving cucumbers around with a butter knife.

8.  Boil lids to soften the seal and wipe rims of bottles.  Place lids on top of bottles, and secure tightly with a ring.  TIP: using a magnet to get lids out of boiling water facilitates the task

9.  Process all 7 Quarts in a boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes. TIP: make sure the temperature of the water in the canner is not too hot or too cold.  The bottles and the water bath should be about the same temperature to avoid the bottle cracking.

10.  Remove from water and allow to cool untouched for 12 hours.

These Pickles get better with time, so allow to marinate at least a couple weeks.

If you have questions about this recipe, email me at info@schmidtsfarm.com

Good Luck!

 

Salsa — 25 pints (approximately)

Warning: if you bottle this salsa, you will never be able to buy salsa at the store again.  Your family will insist you do it every year, so plan on a life time commitment!  But, its worth it!  Just remember you only have to bottle salsa one day a year, then you get to enjoy it for 364 days of the year.

You will need:  20 lbs (about 1/2 bushel) red ripe Roma tomatoes (can also use slicing tomatoes, but there is more liquid and takes longer to cook down), 3 white onions, 4 green bell peppers, 6 anaheim peppers, 8 jalapeno peppers, 2 red bell peppers, 1/2 cup salt, 1 tsp lemon pepper 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 2 bunches cilantro, 1 cup vinegar, 4 /12 oz. cans tomato paste, 6 cloves or garlic.  And approximately 25 pint jars, washed and sanitized with new lids and clean rings.

1.  Begin by washing, coring and blanching (boil for 2-3 mins) the tomatoes.

2. Remove from boiling water and allow to cool enough to touch.

3.  Slip skins from tomatoes (if tomatoes are ripe, skins should come off easily.  When tomatoes are slightly green, peeling becomes very cumbersome) and place in a blender.   TIP: use food handling gloves to protect your skin from the acidity of the tomatoes.

4.  Puree tomatoes in batches and pour into a large stock pot.  (Note: we have found that 20 lbs. of tomatoes make around 10 quarts of pureed tomatoes).  Turn on stove top to medium-low heat.

5.  Chop all onions, peppers, cilantro and garlic and add to stock pot with tomatoes.  TIP:  using a good food processor will help a lot!  Add salt, black/lemon pepper, vinegar and tomato paste.

6.  Stir and simmer on medium low heat for approximately 2 hours until flavors blend and a thick consistency is reached.

7.  Once salsa is ready, boil lids to soften seal, and begin filling pints with hot salsa leaving 1″ headspace.

8.  Wipe rims of bottle and tightly secure a ring.

9.  Process 7-8 pints of hot salsa in boiling water bath for 25 minutes.  TIP: Make sure the temperature of the bottle and the water in the canner are similar in temperature.  The salsa should be very hot, so bring water bath to a near boil before submerging bottles in water.  Also, because you can only process 7-8 pints at a time, leave the salsa in the stock pot on low to maintain the temperature before processing.  TIP 2: use a clean new pair of gardening gloves with a rubber exterior to easily handle hot glass bottles.

10.  After processing, remove from boiling water and allow to cool untouched for 12 hours.

If you have questions about this recipe, email me at info@schmidtsfarm.com

I hope you enjoy it!  Although it might sound complicated, it is very rewarding to do it yourself!  And it tastes so much better!

You can do it!

Sincerely,

The Farmer’s Daughter

 

 

 

 

 

Our Produce Stand will Open August 1st!

The BEST part of summer will be ready for your enjoyment starting Thursday August 1st on 9000 S. 2200 W. in West Jordan. We will be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. selling our famous Salt and Pepper corn and other local fruits and vegetables in season.  For your conveience, we will also be selling our sweet corn at our new greenhouse on 9120 S. Redwood Road.  Call 801-566-5735 for more information!

WE ARE OPEN!!!

IMG_2304  Our new retail greenhouse locaation is open for business.  We are now located at 9120 S. Redwood Road in West Jordan Utah.  We are so excited for this new expansion, and thank you, our loyal customers who have supported us year after year.  We continue to grow 95% or more of our beautiful annuals, pots, hanging baskets and vegetable plants — which is why we have become well known.  The little white Bungalow house that sits in front of the greenhouses is Great Grandpa Schmidt’s house, who moved to West Jordan in 1910.  He farmed the land west of us, and taught his children to farm.  Now his Grand-son Richard, continues to carry on his father and grand fathers’ legacy of honest, hard work.  The quality of the plants that He sells in the spring and the produce He sells in late summer and fall are a testimony of his dedication to His heritage.  We hope that when you visit us, you will feel the sense of family and heritage that defines our business.

IMG_2292  Inside our new greenhouses are state-of-the art contracting shade cloths and mechanical roof panes that open and close to vent the greenhouse.  We also now have bathrooms! And a paved parking lot!  We are also wheel chair accessible.  Not to mention 12,000 square feet of floor space, chock full of beautiful flowers, pots, hanging baskets, perennials, succulants, vegetable plants, potting soil and garden decor.  It is beautiful!

IMG_2306  There are things that we will miss about our old greenhouses; they were a hidden gem, like a secret garden that was so fun to discover.  So many people would find us and say, “I never knew you here!”  Stepping inside the greenhouse was like stepping into a tropical oasis on another world.  The good news is that it is still the secret garden and tropical oasis that you have enjoyed in the past!

IMG_2298  We hope that you will stop by to see us!  We are open Monday — Friday 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m. — 6:00 p.m., closed Sunday.  In August, we will sell our harvest of red ripe tomatoes, unforgettable sweet corn, sugar sweet watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew, locally grown peaches, pears, apples, plums, peppers, onions, squash, beans, potatoes, raspberries, blackberries and more on the same lot as well as at the produce stand on 2200 W. 9000 S. in West Jordan.  Again Thank You for your support, we hope you feel like family when you come.

Sincerely,

The Farmer’s Daughter

Our New Home

Many of you have driven down Redwood Road and seen the skeletal structure behind the old white bungalow house (about 9100 S.) and wondered, is that Schmidt’s?  The answer is Yes!  The new greenhouses for our retail outlet are underway!  We are hoping that we will be able to open in April to sell you beautiful plants for your flower and vegetable gardens, as well as hanging baskets,containers and the plants for DIY containers along with other supplies.  Construction began in November when our building permit was authorized and the parking lot was graded and paved.  In the past, we have built all or our own greenhouses, including the greenhouses you have visited before.  We will continue to use our own greenhouses for production.  In order to comply with city building codes, we have chosen Nexus greenhouses to manufacture our new retail outlet.  The new greenhouse will have 12,180 square feet of indoor retail space and about 12,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space.  We are so excited to fill our new greenhouse with the  beautiful plants you have come to know and love.

This summer, we will also be selling our delicious corn, tomatoes, melons, peppers, and squash (as well as local peaches, apples, pears etc.) from our new home .  Because our produce stand (2200 W. 9000 S.) and pumpkin patch is on rented land, we will sell produce from both locations until the rented plot is sold.  After which, we will permanantly sell from  our new location.

The old white bungalow that we have chosen to keep at our new location is a symbol of hard work and family.  It was built by John J.F. Schmidt in 1911.  He and his wife Marie raised their children in that home and farmed much of the surrounding land.  They left a legacy to their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of the value of hard work, love, and honesty.  We hope you will feel their legacy when you visit us.

We will keep you updated here, so check back often — and email us if you have a question.  We look forward to seeing you this Spring and hope you will help us spread the news!

Sincerely,

The Farmers Daughter

 

 

 

Canning Tomatoes and Freezing Corn

The best way to enjoy summer all year long, is to eat tomatoes and corn all year long.  I just bottled 2 boxes of tomatoes today and they were gorgeous.  There is nothing like seeing the bright red fruit (or vegetable) in a glass mason jar on the shelf.  There are many reasons why I enjoy canning fruits (and some vegetables):  1.  When I do it myself, I get to choose the highest quality ingredients that go into my and my family’s food.  2.  Knowing how to do it myself is empowering — I don’t have to rely on the grocery store as much or its suppliers.  3.  It tastes SO MUCH better than what you can buy in the store.  4.  It is a labor of love for one day (that is enjoyed 364 days of the year!).

So here is a short tutorial for bottling tomatoes:  First wash the tomatoes, bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. De-stem tomatoes. Once the water is boiling, place tomatoes in water for a few minutes until skins start to split.  Remove from water and allow to cool.  Then, slip skins off the tomato and drop into bottles, quartering if necessary to fit through the bottle neck.  Pack as many in the bottle as possible leaving one inch headspace.  Add a teaspoon of salt and remove any air bubbles trapped inside the bottle.  Boil lids and wipe bottle rims with a clean cloth (using a canning funnel will greatly reduce the mess).  Place lids and bands on bottles and tighten.  Submerge Bottles in water bath (usually 7 to a bath).  Bottles of tomatoes are usually luke warm so be sure the water is similar temperature.  Process for 55 minutes.    One box or 25 pounds will do 7-9 quarts.  Be sure tomatoes are ripe, or they will not peel easily.

I use bottled tomatoes for my spaghetti sauce, soups and chili.  They are a staple in my pantry.

Freezing corn is just as easy, here’s how:

Husk corn and remove silk.  Blanche for 3 minutes in boiling water.  Remove and immediately place in a sink full of ice-water.  Once a cob of corn is completely cooled, it is ready to slice.  Put a cutting board inside of a cookie sheet to cut the corn off of the cob.  Then stand the corn vertically and cut the kernals off the cob.  Place in freezer bags and freeze.  Our family usually puts 2 cups of corn in a quart size freezer bag.  That is enough for one dinner for a family of 5.

We hope these tips help and inspire you to put up some of our delicious farm fresh produce to enjoy all year long!

If you have questions, please email me or contact your local agricultural extension service.

Good Luck!

Sincerely,

The Farmer’s Daughter

 

 

Flower bed Gardening

Plant annuals in your yard for extra color and beauty.  Most people have a few of their favorites that they plant every year.  I love ageratum — mostly because it is unique.  It has a flourescent blue-ish spikey looking flower.  Although it is a small flower, I love planting things that are not your typical petunia and marigold combinations.  Don’t get me wrong, marigolds and petunias are tough and if those are the only flowers that you trust, stick with them.  If you are thinking about trying something new, here are a few ideas:

For your hot dry spots try vinca, gazania, verbena or portulaca.  All of these are available in pony packs and flats.

Above: Vinca.  Below: Gazania

Above: verbena.  Below: Portulaca

 

For shade try impatiens, begonias, and coleus:

Above: impatiens.  Below: Tuberous Begonia

Above: Coleus.  Below: Fiberous Begonia (Does well in sun and shade)

We also have BEAUTIFUL Geraniums, Lobelia, Alyssum, Dahlias, Snapdragons, Zinnias, and more.  With the selection you will find at Schmidt’s, you will have a beautiful and unique flower garden.  Oh yes, and here is a picture of Ageratum:

Click to show "Ageratum" result 11

And try this:  when planting your flower beds, plant a clump of 3-5 of the same plant in a spot instead of  lining them up in rows.   Four or five different types of flowers in clumps through-out your flower bed will be striking!

We also have Memorial Day pots to decorate your loved ones graves.

Happy Planting!

 

Planting containers

Container gardening is an easy way to add style and interest to your yard.  We have a lot of plant variety in 4″ cups and pony packs that are great for containers.  We have a huge selection of Proven Winner* plants for the best price in the Valley.  Usually the hardest part is actually choosing what to plant!!  Here is a tip: Make sure you have a balanced assortment of “thrillers”, “fillers”, and “spillers.”  I’m sure you could guess that a “thriller” is going to be your taller plants in the middle of your pot.  Good thriller plants are spike grasses, geraniums, dahlias etc.  “Filler” plants are going to be the plants that fill in i.e. trailing petunias, verbena, sunbini, lantana etc.  “Spiller” plants are generally vines that will cascade over the side of the pot i.e. sweet potato vine, creeping jenny, archangel, ivy, etc.   The fun part is designing a container that has different colors and textures to create a beautiful work of art.  Containers will need a little extra TLC.  Be sure to water them every day — sometimes twice to make sure the soil is evenly moist, and fertilize weekly.  Come see us and we can help you find the “Thrillers, Fillers, and Spillers” in the colors you want.  Then plant, water, sit back  and watch your art work grow!

*Proven Winner is a brand that has field tested different plant varieties for the hardiest, longest blooming, and  most aggressive growth.  They then propogate those plants and send them to us. We transplant them and grow them until they are rooted out enough to go home with you!

Opening Day

We will be opening the greenhouses for retail sales on Friday April 27, 2012.  Our hours will be Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.  Closed Sunday.  We have had many people stopping by to see if we are up and running.  They like to poke their head in the greenhouse and see the beautiful plants that are growing.  You are welcome to do so also, and if there is something you just can’t wait to buy until our opening day, we will be there!

If you would like us to plant your container for you, you can still bring it in!  We would love to design a planter for your specific needs.

Our Proven Winner brand plants are looking fabulous.  We are the low price leader on Proven Winners and you will love them in your containers and beds.   Our containers and hanging baskets are starting to fill out, just in time for Mother’s Day.  Mom will love flowers she can enjoy the whole season.  Also, get a head start on your vegetable garden and buy plants that are already grown.  We have starts for cool weather crops like broccoli and cauliflower.   Plant your tomatoes, peppers, melons, and squash plants after the frost danger has past and you will have a bountiful garden!

We look forward to seeing you!

Also, check back soon, we will be blogging about vegetable gardening and planting containers and flower beds.

 

March 1st — The Greenhouse season has begun!!

It’s official — the furnace is firing and the itty-bitty seeds are starting the miraculous process of becoming a beautiful plant.  Many changes are underway for Schmidt’s farm and greenhouse, however, we will still be in our current location for this spring season (9184 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan Utah– back behind the big red shed).  Construction for a new retirement housing development surrounds the greenhouses, but our greenhouse paradise will be ready to sell you the highest quality bedding plants, vegetable plants, container plants, hanging baskets and professionally designed planter pots near the end of April (more info to come!).  If you have a container that you would like us to plant, please bring it in!  Although we are not open for retail sales yet, we are busy planting and and we will be there Monday — Friday from approximately 9 a.m. — 5 p.m.  Be sure to bring your container to us anytime this month for the fullest development of the plants.

Just as exciting are the plans for a new location for our greenhouse plants and farm fresh produce!  We are currently in the planning and zoning phase of developing a retail outlet that will be located on Redwood Road, 1/2 block to the North of the current driveway.  The new retail outlet will be built on the property where Great Grandpa Schmidt built his home and raised his family.  It is His hard work that created the legacy that we strive to follow today.  We hope you will follow the progress of this exciting development with us.  More info to come!

Also, we are working on updating our web-site and will be much more diligent on keeping the blog updated also, so please come back and visit often.  Please feel free to leave comments or questions!  We would love to have you on our newsletter list and will be sending special coupons to our loyal customers.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Fall is a great time of year!

The harvest is in full swing with the 2011 pumpkin patch about to open this weekend, we are very excited for this fun time of year with the pumpkins and winter squash being picked now. We have had a late start to the harvest and hope to enjoy this warm weather as long as we can. We still have a great supply of vine ripe tomatoes and corn on the cob, along with peaches, pears, apples, melons, peppers, berries, and soon grapes! And it is all Local grown!  So stop by and get some of the finest local produce in the Salt Lake Valley.

 We are here at the pumpkin patch on 9000 South 2200 West in West Jordan, Monday-Friday 9-7 and Saturday 9-6. Thanks for supporting Local Agriculture, and we’ll see you soon!