Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Funny Faces

 Another wonderful self-seeded plant are the violas.

They are creeping all over the place and finding spots to fill in for the Autumn season.

Their variety of colours bring a smile to my face as they do look like little faces peaking out from under all the other plants.

Just thought I would share some of Mother Nature's Humour with you as I see it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

When the Rains Returned

 The alyssum reseeded like crazy and there is a developing white carpet in the front flower beds once again.

The delicious honey-scent wafting in through the door in the late afternoon is quite nice and it is so good to see the pollinators are enjoying an extended blooming season.

Wonder if I should get a hive??
 The Autumn Sedums are also starting to put on their show of tall red blooms, which contrasts very nicely to the low growing alyssum.

They too have a wonderful variety of insects stopping by for much needed fuel.

It's amazing how quickly these plants became established and multiplied to fill in some of the large gaps in the beds.

I'm not certain, but this plant that self-seeded in the back yard might be a basket stuffer called Million Bells... it is growing low to the ground and wants to drape down and over itself. I love the bright colour and the fact that it can be trampled on and attacked (by the cat) and still keep on blooming.

Wonder if it will return next year?

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Apple

 Well, I have apples still on the tree as they are not yet ready to be harvested.

I have put out a request to some fellow apple growers to help me identify this particular variety and have come up with a couple of possibilities: Honey Crisp or Gravenstein.

I'll leave the rest on the tree for as long as possible to see how their flavour develops over the next few weeks and I'll try to find some of the suggested varieties to do a taste test.

I do like the flavour and texture of this apple and I hope it keeps well in a dry, cool place where I've got a few stashed already.

Am enjoying the Autumn weather and the smells in the air.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Plum Harvest

 After waiting all summer long, I could no longer hold out and I picked one of the only 2 fruit on the plum tree to see why it was not turning purple and ripening...

Well, it turns out that we have inherited a Green Gage plum tree! It will not turn purple when ripe, but this lovely yellow-green colour.

The flesh is also a bright yellow and the flavour is not tart like the Italian prune plums but sweet and intense.

We now need to figure out how to promote more than just 2 fruit to grow. This wee stick of a tree did have a large show of blossoms this spring, but with the early blooming time of plums and the cool spring weather, they may not have been pollinated very well.

There is a neighbour just around the corner who has 2 very large, very productive prune plum trees, so I will have to monitor when they are in bloom compared to when mine blooms and possibly do a bit of hand pollinating or plant another compatible blooming fruit tree.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Fizzy Beverage - Part 2

 Brewing kombucha requires patience.

And I do not have much of that when it comes to making tasty treats... so the first batch of kombucha was not as amazing as I had envisioned, but that's alright - I am an eager experimenter in the kitchen!

This is a bottle of 'booch with fresh mint and ginger. I'll leave it out on the counter for a few days to go through the second fermentation process (which is supposed to make it a fizzy beverage).
We now have 2 jars in which to brew the magic and provide us with more to enjoy.

So, it starts out as a dark, sweet tea with our SCOBY brewing inside and we end up with a lighter coloured refreshing drink to which we can add different flavours.

Since we aren't regular drinkers of the stuff, I cannot attest to any health benefits as of yet. We'll have to see how things progress over the next few months as this is a process that requires a bit of warmth and we are entering the cooler season. I might have to get creative with keeping things warm enough to brew...