Ending The Season With A Full Pantry

It is always gratifying to have a full pantry of home-canned foods, and this has been a great year for us. Between visits to my Mom in the hospital, I have been spending this Labor Day canning. We are making red pepper relish and picalilli relish. Here's a photo of our last picking from the garden before the rains set in. We have received over four inches of rain in the last 24 hours, with no end in sight. We welcome the relief from the extremely hot, dry weather of the past few weeks. Now maybe our fall crops (beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, peas and turnips) will find the conditions more to their liking. The late cherry tomatoes are just beginning to ripen a few fruits, and the late Cherokee Purple tomato plants have little green tomatoes on them. We started both varieties of late tomatoes from cuttings, easier than germinating fresh seeds. Just remove suckers from your healthiest plants, root them in a glass of water (takes about two weeks) and transplant to the garden when they are well rooted. Keep them irrigated until new growth appears, then water only when needed. Side dress about a week after transplanting.