Tag Archives: herbs

Presented For Your Amusement,

the evolution (not yet complete) of the vegetable garden:

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Looking forward to improving this every year!

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Re-Learning How to Can

Grammy & Greenhouse Tomatoes

My paternal grandmother canned, and my husband and I visited a few summers after we were married and canned with her.  That was over 20 years ago, and we haven’t done any canning since.  Until two days ago.

May 13 was our twenty-sixth wedding anniversary in addition to being Mother’s Day.  Our long standing tradition is to celebrate holidays that involve going out to dinner either well before or well after the actual day to avoid crowds.  Since we knew every restaurant on the planet would be mobbed all weekend, we found other things to do.

The highlight of our weekend was canning together.  The Chief of Implementation and I collaborated on a batch of Onion Maple Conserve.  We’re fond of sweet & savory together and this new recipe turned out extremely well.  We’ve already opened the second jar so another batch or two may happen.  We cooked 2-1/2 pounds of onions down to six 4 oz jars of maple and onion goodness.

Onion Maple Conserve, 13 May 2012

The recipe is from a Better Homes and Gardens special interest publication and I’m hoping that’s a safe source for recipes.

I also made two herb vinegars–rice vinegar with chive flowers and apple cider vinegar with tarragon.  They’re stored at the front of the peanut butter and snack cabinet for 4-6 weeks of aging in a warm dark spot where I’ll remember to turn them every day or so.  After that, I’ll filter them thoroughly and bottle them attractively.  I’ll watch the chive flower rice vinegar very carefully because it’s 4.3% acidity instead of the needed 5% for safe food.  I figured that out AFTER I’d put every available chive flower from the garden into it.  (Oops!)

Herbal Vinegars, 13 May 2012

We’re off to a small but happy start preserving our harvests.  Hope everyone is starting to enjoy garden bounty.

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Happy Herbs

After years of unsuccessful attempts to grow Mediterranean herbs in heavy clay soil, I’ve moved them all to containers.  After a couple of years of experimentation including, surprisingly, a few deaths by drought, I’ve settled on mostly self-watering containers with a mix of potting soil and sand.  These containers are lined up in the hottest, driest spot in my yard — the north end of the driveway with plenty of south sun and reflected heat from asphalt.

Driveway Containers, 10 May 2012

I’m extremely please with how well these containers are doing and I keep expanding each year.  I’m planning to fill two more green boxes this year.

The current highlight is the two varieties of chives in bloom.  I’m watching very closely so I can pick the maximum number of high quality flowers to make a batch of chive flower vinegar–my first garden preservation project for this year.

Seed Grown Chives, 10 May 2012

Profusion® Chives, 10 May 2012

For more details on these containers, check the Garden Journal entry for North Driveway Containers.

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