Friday, September 30, 2011

Jelly Making Time!!

I seem to be running out of time & energy these days to take proper care of my gardens, but when I received a phone call from a neighbour yesterday about her pear tree, I traded off cleaning the house to go & harvest some pears.

And what a pear tree!! I will have to take a photo of it when I head back in a few days for more pears. It's an ancient tree - much taller than it should be & it's loaded with pears this year! I'm very surprised that with the hurricane force winds we had last weekend there are still so many on the tree.

They aren't quite ripe, but when that time comes, we will have only a few short days to gather what we can before the crows & bears come to feast.

I gathered 2 bags from the ground & will be juicing them up over the next couple of days to start some spiced pear jelly.

These little nuggets are much too small to bother with peeling & much too hard to bother coring. I just chopped them roughly & popped them into the pot along with my 'secret' blend of spices. I have the feeling I'll be cooking them at a higher setting for slightly longer than I usually do - mostly due to time constraints (I have to rush off to work soon), but I really wanted to get one pot juiced today. It can then be strained through my jelly bag all afternoon & I can get another pot on the go tonight.

I'm very excited about making spiced pear jelly this year - it's been a few years & is one of the best blends I've ever imagined & created! Can be used in such a wide variety of ways - not just your typical toast & jelly for breakfast way either. Imagine sauces for pork dishes or glazes for baking & desserts... mmmm...

I know my niece will be joyful to receive a jar this winter...it's one of her favourites & for a child of not-yet 7, she has a great sense of taste!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Harvest - Part 2

~ Blackberry Season - collect this in about an hour - can't wait to make jam & wine! ~

~ Greenhouse peppers are starting to turn colour ~

~ Greenhouse pepper - monster! ~

~ Pear tomatoes finally ripening in the greenhouse ~

~ Red cherry tomatoes ripening in greenhouse too ~

~ Volunteer squash - no idea what kind it is & will probably harvest them small & boil them for meals ~

Friday, September 9, 2011

Reflecting on Autumn's Bounty

~ Bee balm - must get more of these!~

~ Begonia - a spur-of-the-moment purchase that is so pretty ~

~ Calendula - regular dead-heading keeps these blooming well into October ~

~ Globe thistle - stunning! ~

~ Golden rod & Helenium - the yellows of Autumn ~

~ Helenium ~

~ Star gazer lily - the scent is amazing as are the colours ~

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Harvest

~ September 3 - fingerling potato harvest ~

~ September 3 - lemon cucumbers ~
It's been a while since I've posted & shared photos, mainly because the last few weeks have been super-busy for me with work & struggling to find the energy to actually get out into the gardens. The weather has finally turned around & brought heat & sunshine. The gardens are limping through their fall colours & I'm seeing where I've become very negligent. But I have had some success with harvesting a few things.

The cucumbers are quite tastey - won't last too long in the fridge, which is ok. These are more of a special treat. The potatoes could have remained in the ground for a while longer, but the bed that I grew them in needs some serious work (turning of the soil & mulch & sowing of a winter crop of fava beans or peas).

Right now I'm harvesting wild berries & should find more time to get some photos posted. I'm just going to enjoy the heat & sunshine while I can & learn to relax a bit while outside.

Hope you are enjoying Autumn too!