The Grand Opening of the Demo Garden was held August 6, 2016, just before the Farm, Home, and Wildlife Expo. On hand for the ceremony was Eagle Scout Clay Vinson, and Girl Scout Hannah Childress. Clay’s project for Eagle Scout was the Demo Garden’s Pergola and surrounding Butterfly Flowerbed. Hannah’s project for her Gold Badge was the Keyhole Garden. The Expo is always a big event that the Master Gardeners look forward to each year. Master Gardeners are in charge of the ice cream tasting, fruit tasting, corn on the cob hut, plant sale, and of course, the Demonstration Garden. Go to Smilebox to see a slideshow of photos from the Expo and Demo Garden.
This unusual salsa was recently served at the Chilton Research and Extension Center’s annual Farm, Home and Wildlife Expo where it was well received. The recipe was adapted from the National Center for Food Preservation’s Peach Apple Salsa recipe.
6 c. chopped Roma tomatoes
2 1/2 c. diced yellow onions
2 c. chopped green bell peppers
10 c. chopped hard, unripe peaches
2 c. chopped Granny Smith apples
4 T. mixed pickling spice*
1 T. canning salt*
2 t. crushed red pepper flakes*
3 3/4 c packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 c. cider vinegar(5%)
* May substitute 2 T. Mrs Wages Spicy Pickle Mix
and 3 T. Mrs Wages Salsa Mix for the * ingredients.
Wash and rinse pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s directions.
Place pickling spice on a clean, double-layered 6 inch square piece of cheesecloth. Bring corners together and tie with a clean string. (Or use a purchased muslin spice bag.)
Wash and peel tomatoes (place washed tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute, immediately place in cold water, and slip off skins). Chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Peel, wash and dice onions into 1/4 inch pieces. Wash, core, and seed bell peppers; chop into 1/4 inch pieces. Combine chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers in an 8 or 10 quart Dutch oven or saucepan.
Wash, peel and pit peaches; cut into halves and soak for 10 minutes in ascorbic acid solution. Wash, peel and core apples; cut into halves and soak 10 minutes in ascorbic acid solution. Quickly chop peaches and apples into 1/2 inch cubes to prevent browning. Add chopped peaches and apples to saucepan with the vegetables.
Add the pickling spice bag to the sauce pan; stir in the salt, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and vinegar. Bring to boiling, stirring gently to mix ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove spice bag from pan and discard.
With a slotted spoon, dip salsa solids into hot, clean pint jars, leaving 1/1/4 inch headspace. Cover with cooking liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two piece metal canning lids.
Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations below. Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.
Process time for hot pack pint jars by altitude: 0-1000 ft.– 15 minutes; 1001-6000 ft.-20 minutes; above 6000 ft.–25 minutes.
Source: National Center for Home Food Preservation, University of Georgia, Athens. Thanks to Christy Mendoza, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Regional Extension Agent for the spice substitutions.
The Chilton County Master Gardeners Association’s newly designed Demonstration Garden will have its Grand Opening on August 6, 2016 at 11:30 at the Chilton Research and Extension Center off of Highway 29.
Afterwards the Farm, Home and Wildlife EXPO will start with free tastes of fruit, ice creams, peach salsa and other culinary delights. Many presentations are offered for home and farm, along with exhibits for all ages. Everyone is invited to attend!