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Monday, June 25, 2012

Growing and Ripening Chaos...

basil and pathetically growing sage

Summer is in full force. Brutal hot and humid full force.


The jelly bean is out of school and these first few weeks are saturated with camps, swimming sessions and vacation.

dwarf dill
The earlier mild weather this spring (winter?) and now the much earlier than normal heat and humidity are really  taking a toll on most of my planters.

These are few of what I have going. Since I took these last week, so many of my herbs are quickly going to flower, I'm trying to keep up with them by pinching out the tops to try and encourage them to fill out more but they immediately form new flower heads.

buttercrunch lettuce
I planted one potato bag with an early harvesting red potato. Yesterday was harvest time and we got a small bunch of edible potatoes with almost just as many rotting one's. Boo.

I had this same problem last year and this year I even changed my soil to a soilless, very aerated mixture to try and keep the moisture levels under control.  I really think it's more a problem of the high heat and humidity and drenching rains we've had. I miss having a garden. I grew much better potatoes in the ground.

Just like every other fruit so far this year, cherries came in really early.  I had to make a choice between cherries and strawberries because I just did not have the time to pick and preserve both this year.

Cherries won.

I picked 12 pounds of sweet cherries and played with a few boozy cherry recipes and mostly ate them.

Sour cherries were my big projects, and I picked 22.5 pounds worth last week.

In total between sweet and sour cherries I made:

  • 2 batches of sour cherry preserves
  • half a jar of dried sweet cherries
  • 6 pints of sour cherry pie filling (no food coloring)
  • 3 pints of maraschino cherries (with sours, experiment, no food coloring, still searching for a good recipe)
  • 1 quart of maraschino cherries (with sweet, these were just eh)
  • 1 quart of boozy maple cherries (with dark sweet, still not sure about these. When I took them out of the canner hot liquid exploded out from under the lids everywhere then they suddenly sealed up tight. WTH? Never had that happen before. Maybe too much rum, there really were no measurements for this recipe.)
  • 1 pint of boozy maple cherries (with emperor franz)
  • 1 pint of boozy amaretto cherries (same as boozy maple but I used amaretto and subbed white sugar for the maple syrup)
  • lots of sour cherry fruit leather (this stuff is sticky but a.w.e.s.o.m.e.)

So as you can see, I've been busy.  To top off this chaos, blueberries started picking yesterday.  Hoping they hold on well as it will be two weeks until I can go pick as we've got a purely crazy schedule compounding with some vacation time.

In all my canning chaos I broke one of my Weck jar lids... and swore a lot.

I've still got 4 lbs more of sour cherries in the fridge. Sometime today I need to decide if I'm going to make more fruit leather or another batch of preserves.

I'm thinking preserves, that stuff is addicting.

work in progress

If you've been looking for me in my absence, you'll probably find me over on my art blog, as I've returned to the studio over the past two months.

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