09-06-2006, 06:54 PM
ok. cansomeone share with me the affects of freezing veggies raw? i know that if you dont blanch them, they can go bad. is that right? how long does it take them to spoil in the freezer and will freezing them in a vacum locked bag (like vacu-seal or something) prolong the life?
on growing. i live in the city and i want to grow my own veggies and herbs. my backyard is cement though. can this be accomplished with flower pots, if not for the veggies, then would it work for herbs or just the smaller veggies?
09-06-2006, 07:25 PM
I'm no expert on freezing. I only have the small freezer that came with my side by side and the only foods I've frozen in it personally were chopped vegetables that I used in soups at a later date. I didn't blanch them first. Not exactly sure why the blanching is done. Perhaps to perserve the color?
As for the gardening, this is something I can answer. I swear by Earthboxes.
Although I do have a yard here, it is a small one. I don't feel like digging it up for one thing. And for another, I am disabled so it's difficult for me to get down to the ground. The earthboxes are raised up so they're easier to deal with. They come with covers to help keep out pests and weeds. Use the black side for cooler climates and the white side for hot climates. Due to their special design, they help you conserve water. Plants are watered from the bottom up. And because of the covers, this helps stop evaporation. Now they might seem expensive compared to regular pots, but they are very sturdy, can be used for many years and you don't have to change out the dirt each year. Only the top 2". Plus they are large enough that you can plant several different things in one box.
I've used mine for tomatoes, peppers, onions, parsley, radishes, wax beans, peas, cucumbers and assorted herbs. I also have some things planted in regular pots, either because I already had them or because in one case I found another tomato plant after I already filled the earth boxes. And I have some smaller, long narrow planter boxes that are perfect for herbs. I bought these with the intent of putting them in my kitchen garden window, thinking I could have herbs year round. As it turned out, this didn't work because the window is subject to temperatures that are too extreme. So I just put them outside.
I am currently growing my vegetables on my deck. But when I lived in NYC, I had only a covered patio. I grew tomatoes there in an old plastic storage bin with the lid removed and holes punched in the sides. Or I tried to. Although it was very hot that summer, it was also very rainy. I got some green tomatoes but they never ripened. When I lived in CA, I had a very small patio and I grew tomatoes there in any old pots I could find. Got a bumper crop one year but very few in subsequent years. There we had lots of sun but fairly cool and very dry weather.
Now although I have grown peas and beans in pots, this is not something I'd advise simply because it takes so long for them to produce and you get so little compared to the amount of space they take up. So unless these are really a favorite vegetable, I wouldn't bother. And I'm not goint to bother any more. Heh! I do highly recommend tomatoes. They can be staked or unstaked depending on how much space you have.
My most productive plant this year is a tomato that reseeded itself. I just let it go. This is not recommended to do because unless the variety is an heirloom (it wasn't) you have no clue what kind of tomato you might get and you might get a diseased plant. Luckily I didn't. But if I had, I would have had to replace that soil before I could replant. I chose not to stake this plant since it came up after I'd already used all my tomato cages. It is vining out through the deck railing, across the deck and producing tons of yummy tomatoes.
Onions go well with tomatoes as do many herbs. If your pot is large enough, you can plant them around the edges of the tomato plant. What I do with my onions is cut the green part with a pair of kitchen scissors whenever I want green onions, always leaving a few shoots there. Then by the end of the season, I still have a bulb there to harvest. The bulb might not be as large as it would be had I left the green part alone, but it works for me!
09-07-2006, 08:33 AM
thanks alot for the info...just curious..what were the results when you froze your veggies w/o blanching first? what type of veggies did you freeze?
I grew up on a farm and used to freeze and can veggies all summer long. The purpose of blanching is to help maintain shape, color, and texture. It's the freezing itself that keeps food from spoiling. I don't really freeze veggies anymore, so I don't know what happens to flavor without blanching. But it certainly wouldn't effect safety not to freeze.
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