Lacto-Fermented Green Beans

About a week ago, my Aunts and Uncle gave us a bunch of homegrown Green Beans that they just harvested. Since only two of us in our household can eat beans, I wondered if I can pickle some. I haven’t seen Lacto-Fermented Beans sold in any store, so I didn’t know if Beans made good Pickles. This is how I made it…

My Aunts and Uncle grew these Green Beans and gave us some... so I gave them some Kimchikraut.

I washed the Green Beans and cut the top tips off. I blanched them in boiling water for only 2 minutes, then immediately drained the hot water and placed the Beans in a cold water bath to stop the cooking process.

While the beans cooled off, I made a brine by dissolving 2 tablespoons Sea Salt into 1 quart Water (bottled or filtered)… and set this aside.

To the bottom of a quart mason jar, I added the following:
– 1 or 2 Bay Leaves (or you can use a Grape leaf) These help keep the pickled vegetable stay crisp.
– 1/2 teaspoon Peppercorns
– 1/8 teaspoon Caraway
– 1/8 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
– 3 cloves of Garlic cut into halves

You can use whatever herbs and spices you like. Dill would be perfect, but we didn’t have any (my Dill plants are still small). Chili Flakes, Mustard Seeds and Coriander would be good too.

I stuffed as many Green Beans that will fit into the jar and then a few more. You want them crammed in the jar so they don’t float up once the brine is poured in.

I have glass weights (Crock Rocks) made specially for pickling that goes over the vegetable to keep them submerged in the brine. If you don’t have these, you can use a shot glass, or a small 4oz canning jar, or a cabbage leaf… anything to keep the vegetable submerged in the brine.

Pour in the brine until it’s about an inch from the top of the jar. I then sealed the quart mason jar with a pickling lid (Kraut Kaps) and set it aside to ferment at room temperature for 5 to 10 days.

Making lacto-fermented Green Beans and Lunar White Carrots.

After about 8 days, I tried the Lacto-Fermented Green Beans and they were perfect… and sooooo good!

These Lacto-Fermented Green Beans

Store the Pickles in the refrigerator.

Mail Order Eggplants + 5 Gallon Self Watering Buckets

I wasn’t going to grow Eggplants this year, because I don’t grow them well… but I heard of some varieties that will grow in containers. I don’t see these locally, so I mail ordered three Mix and Match Eggplants from Burpee.

Three Eggplants from Burpee

They arrived yesterday and when I opened the package, the tags from two of the Eggplants were dislodged including some of the soil. Now I’m not sure which of the two varieties is ‘Shooting Star’ and ‘Rosa Blanca’. The Eggplant ‘Fairy Tale Hybrid’ was intact.

Which is Which?

I went ahead and built three 5 gallon self watering buckets and planted one Eggplant in each.

Eggplants in 5 Gallon SW Buckets

I will place them in our front yard which gets full sun. I hope they do well.

Frustrated with Junk!

I have to rant, because I am really frustrated.

Some background: we have so much stuff in our house, because my brother buys so much stuff… and things just get dumped in the living room, in back of the big screen TV, in the garage, in the family room, in the patio, everywhere!!! It’s like a junk yard. His room is so full that he sleeps on the living room sofa!

I want to try to clean our backyard patio because it’s getting harder for my Mom to get around and it’s just a mess. One of the things that takes so much room in our patio is an old lawn mower. I takes about 3-4 by 5-6 feet area and it’s a irregular shape, so things get dumped on it and falls down and it’s just a mess. I want to get rid of the lawn mower, because I don’t use it… and when my brother mows the lawn, which he rarely does, it take like half a day to get the damn thing to get started and it just stinks of gas fumes and exhaust.

I want to get a small reel mower, the kind that you push manually. Our lawn is small so it’s just too much trouble for a gas mower. A reel mower will occupy a much smaller space that we can use for something else… and it can be stored upright. Plus, you can use it right away, because you don’t have to add gas or try to get it started because it wont start up.

So my plan was to get rid of the gas lawn mower and replace it with a smaller reel mower. My cousin even said that they are having a big garbage collection day coming up so he can take the gas mower off our hands.

My Mom was even ok with getting rid of the mower, because she says it doesn’t even work…

But when she confirmed with my brother that it didn’t work… My brother say that he think he can get it to work… meaning HE WANTS TO KEEP IT!!!…

Oh my gosh!… this is so frustrating. It’s so hard to get freakin’ crap out of this house!!! For example… We have a microwave oven that doesn’t work well. We already replaced it with a new one and the “broken” one has been sitting in the patio for several years. One day, I wanted to bring a bunch of dead electronics to the e-waste disposal. My brother wouldn’t let me take the old microwave oven… He told me to leave it here, so being frustrated, I left it there near the front door. If he wants to keep it, he can deal with it… It’s still in the front patio to this day!

So that’s my rant… I’m just frustrated.

Google Reader is Dying :(

Yesterday, as I logged into Google Reader to read various blog I follow. I got an alert message saying Google Reader is closing down.

Google Reader is Dying

Oh no!?!… I’ve come to rely on Google Reader to read various blogs and RSS news feeds, YouTube channels, Flickr photostreams and even friend’s Amazon Wish Lists. I’ve collected many feeds, all categorized into my different interests… (which is a little similar to the categories on my blog).

Luckily, I’ve read a couple articles that will help us Google Reader users move on:
– alternativeTo’s “alternativeTo Google Reader
– Lifehacker’s “Google Reader Is Shutting Down; Here Are the Best Alternatives

I’m looking for a reader that is simple like Google Reader, one that has an online website which syncs to an Android app. It also has to work after Google Reader closes down. Here are a couple that I am testing out:
The Old Reader

Pruning and Dead Grafts…

I wanted to start grafting some European Pears today, but there were many dead and or broken limbs, so I want through and did some pruning. It started to get dark, so I will continue pruning tomorrow.

I also went through the fruit trees and tried to cut off and remove tags from the dead grafts:
– Peach ‘Sierra Blanca’ (Graft 2008-07)
– E.Pear ‘Winter Nellis’ (Graft 2009-15)
– E.Pear ‘Warren’ (Graft 2010-19)
– E.Plum ‘Coe’s Golden Drop’ (Graft 2011-09)
– Apple ‘Belle de Boskoop’ (Graft 2011-21)
– Nectarine ‘Heavenly White’ (Graft 2012-12)
– Nectarine ‘Stanwick’ (Graft 2012-14)
– Peach ‘Hakuto’ (Graft 2012-15)

Tomatoes and Peppers Sown

I did a bunch of Tomato and Pepper seed sowing this evening.

Tomato Seeds

Here’s a list of Tomato seeds sown:
– Brandywince Red (2010)
– Hippy Zebra (2010)
– Sungold (2013)
– Green Zebra (2011)
– Speckled Red Roma (2010)
– Red Zebra (2010)
– Red Pear Cherry (2007)
– Velvet Red (2013)
– Vintage Wine (2010)
– OSU Blue (2011)
– Large Barred Boar (2011)
– Copia (2010)
– San Marzano (2010)
– Sweet Carneros Pink (2011)
– Lemon Boy (2013)
– Federle (2013)
– Yellow Pear G2 (2011)
– Rutgers Select (2010)
– Tiny Tim (?)
– Red Robin (2010)
– Sungold (2013)

Here’s a list of Pepper seeds sown:
– Chinese Giant (2012)
– Sweet Banana (2010)
– (Orange Bell) (2013)
– Carmagnola Rossa G2 (2008)
– Golden Marconi G2 (2010)
– (from Tomatofest 2012) (2012)
– Gypsy (2012)
– (Sweet Long Red from Trader Joe’s) (2010)
– Garden Leasder Monster Bell (2012)

Stitch Modern 2013 (continued)…

The East Bay Modern Quilt Guild’s Stitch Modern 2013 quilt show last month was a great success. We had lectures, speakers, discussion panels, family activity day and even a sew day. I tried to help out at most of the activities and take photos, which you can see on my Flickr photoset called “Stitch Modern 2013 Quilt Show“.

Quilt San Francisco: The Evolution of an Art Form

The show is done, but the San Francisco Quilters Guild asked if we would display our quilts as a special section of their quilt show QUILT San Francisco: Evolution of an Art Form, which runs Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10, 2013 at the Concourse Exhibition Center (635 8th Street, San Francisco). They graciously allotted a large space for us to put up our quilts, which we set up earlier today. Most of the quilts from our Stitch Modern 2013 travelled to San Francisco with some others joining the show.

More info:

QUILT San Francisco: The Evolution of an Art Form
– QUILT San Francisco: The Evolution of an Art Form
– Terri’s Sneak Peak at The Fox’s Den

Stitch Modern
– My previous Stitch Modern 2013 post
– My “Stitch Modern 2013 Quilt Show” photoset
– Stacey’s Stitch Modern 2013 Wrap Up on the EBMQG blog

The East Bay Modern Quilt Guild
– The East Bay Modern Quilt Guild blog
– The East Bay Modern Quilt Guild on Facebook
Upcoming EBMQG events on Facebook

March 6, 2013 Gardening…

Everyday when I go out in the garden, I check the seeds that I’ve sown to see if anything new have sprouted. As I was walking by, I noticed that the soil in the two trays with the Wildflower and Flower Garden Mix was uneven. I think the birds have been using this as a bird feeder! Argh!… I’ll probably have to sow more seeds and put these trays into a dome or in the patio.

Carrot (Blend of Color Mix) Sown

After harvesting some carrots yesterday, I was excited to sow more seeds. I planted a square 3″ cell pack with Blend of Colors Carrot Mix. I’ll have to search online to see if I can get just purple Carrots.

Homemade Cactus Mix

I was running out of Cactus Mix, so I mixed up some using 4 parts regular potting soil, 1 part play sand and 1 part perlite.

Lithops lesliei Albinica Sown

I used this mix to sow Lithops lesliei ‘Albinica’ seeds into a 3″ pot. I can’t wait for these to grow.


I’ve been watching the fruit trees to see what fruit tree is about to open it’s bud so I can start grafting onto it. So far the Asian Plums have bloom and the flowers are starting to fade. It looks like it’s been snowing.

Stark Saturn Peach in Bloom

The Cherry and the Peach trees look like they will open within a week. The Stark Saturn Peach graft has already bloomed ahead of it’s host Elberta Peach.

Thai Basil

After heading back inside when it got too dark to garden, I plucked the leaves off a bunch of Thai Basil I bought at the Asian Grocery… and saved a few cuttings to hopefully root. I’ll make a Basil Eggplant dish with the leaves tomorrow.

Joel Ignacio's ramblings about gardening, life, photography, quilting, food and other geeky stuff…