A New Season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It finally feels like Fall! There is a little cool breeze in the air and leaves are falling from the trees and a lot has been going on here at “The Farm”. The summer crop was wonderful. And yes, I still have eggplant but I don’t have the heart to pull it out when it is still providing produce.

Companion planting went well and was a lot of fun to try. The Eggplant loved the Banana Pepper and Tarragon as its companion plants. The Okra loved the Basil and Bell Pepper as its companion plants.

The strawberry and blueberry plants are looking happy and strong. I was told to remove all the flowers off of the plant in the first year to ensure that the roots will be healthy for years to come. I sure hopes this pay off because I have pulled so many flowers!

 

The raspberries are doing well. They tasted great and I get a small hand full each day. It is perfect for topping yogurt or ice cream. My fig tree gave me so many big beautiful figs that I made fig jam, fig newtons, as well as dehydrating some of them and of course eating them. I’m hoping to get fruit from my apple trees, cherries, pear, nectarine, plum, peach and apricot next year.

With all the food that came for the garden, All In A Jar had a lot to offer students all summer long. I was very busy canning and preparing dishes for the freezer too.

Let me tell you what I have planted for the fall/winter garden. In bed 1 I have Green Onions, Garlic, Walla Walla onions, Sweet Spanish Onions, and Lettuce. In bed 2 I still have Tarragon and Eggplant in 3/4 of the bed and at the other end I have Brussels Sprouts. When the Eggplant is done I will be planting a few companion plants for the Brussels Sprouts (like Beets and Celery). In bed 3 I have Broccoli and Kale; the companion plant for these two is Spinach. In bed 4 I have Cabbage with the companion plants of Roma Lettuce, Arugula, Swiss chard and I put a few Fava Beans in for the nitrogen. In bed 5 Blueberry plants, In bed 6 Strawberries. In bed 7 Carrots, Beets and companion plants of Onions and Cauliflower. Bed 8 Blackberries, Bed 9 Raspberries. I have three dirt bags and they have Oregano, Parsley, and Thyme in one bag. Parsley, Basil and Lemon Thyme. In the last bag I have Rhubarb, Mint and Cilantro.

I have been trying to watch the moon and plant accordingly.

I read that you should plant your annual flowers and vegetables that bear crops above ground during the light, or waxing of the moon … from the day the moon is new to the day it is full. And plant flowering bulbs, biennial and perennial flowers, and vegetables that bear crops below ground during the dark, or waning, of the moon … from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again.

Soon I will be working on the new class calendar. Please let me know your suggestions for a class you would like to see on the schedule.

 

See you in class!

 

True Confessions

 

Ok I have to fess up, I can’t stop eating a cupcake I created the other day for a birthday canning party. I have been thinking of this cupcake recipe for a while now and the birthday canning party was the perfect excuse to make them. The birthday group said it was the best cupcake they have ever eaten, and I would have to agree, it’s definitely the best cupcake I have created so far!

I’m one of those people that will think about recipes for days. Go over it and over again in my head until it drives me crazy. Then I must make it. I guess I should be happy that I have this problem.

If you were one of the lucky ones that came to the Maraschino Cherry class; here is the recipe!

Don’t laugh but I used Betty Crocker super moist chocolate fudge cake mix but made it my way. This comment “made it my way” is a standard joke with my family. They ask did you make it your way and the answer is usually “of course”.

 

1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Fudge cake mix

1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

Place two cherries in each cupcake liner then fill with cupcake mixture

Follow directions on box to bake cupcakes

For the frosting:

1 stick soft butter

4 oz cream cheese

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup maraschino juice

Mix well

Wait for cupcakes to cool before frosting

Place one whole cherry on top of each cupcake after frosting.

Enjoy!

See you in class

 

 

 

Where Has The Time Gone

 

 

Wow, October. I can’t believe it. These last few months have gone by like a flash. Between having family and friends here visiting and the garden overflowing with food, I have been very busy in the kitchen. I of course I did a lot of canning, but I also prepped meals to put in the freezer and some fermenting and dehydrating.

My daughter came for a visit with her beautiful baby girl and almost 40 pounds of tuna to can. We spent the weekend canning tuna ( making great memories ), some of it we did with salt and water and the other jars had jalapeno peppers with olive oil. She also brought the fish bones for me, so over the course of 2 days I made fish stock. This will make some great clam chowder and Portuguese fisherman stew.

 

Some new recipes were created with all the beautiful produce from the garden. Like fermented banana peppers and fermented cucumbers, a wonderful new hot sauce with tomatoes and banana peppers and jalapeno peppers, Ratatouille  pasta sauce, red wine pizza sauce, pepper mustard relish, a honeydew rosemary jam and cantaloupe rhubarb jam.

Even my fig tree got in on the action by giving me figs the size of my hand. I had a lot of fun with them and made fruit leathers, fig bourbon mustard, jam and my version of fig newtons that were to die for. I can’t wait for next year since I have a few more recipes in my head that involve figs.

 

I have been busy getting the summer crop out and putting in the fall crop. So far I have carrots, onions and beets in. As soon as it is a waxing moon I can then plant vegetables that have the crop above ground.

 

How is your garden, and what did you can this summer? Happy Canning.

See you in class