Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Small Batch Preserve

Sometimes when you are first starting out with your garden your harvests can be small. In Sean Conway's book Cultivating Life, he has a terrific recipe for small batch preserves. The recipe requires one cup of fruit and about four other ingredients that you are sure to already have in your kitchen. It took me 30 minutes to cook up this strawberry version. It needs to be consumed with in a couple weeks but trust me you will have no problem once you start slathering it on your ice cream or toast! I will be whipping this recipe up multiple times this season.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Don't delay, plant a tree today.....

We have lived in this house for about 6 years now. It was a foreclosure that needed A LOT of work. (Probably more than I bargained for!) This year we finally got around to planting some trees. Typically I advise my private landscape clients: "Plant your trees first!" Early on, this is always your best investment. Had I listened to myself, I would have six years of growth on my trees. Even if you can only afford a twig, time will pass quickly and you will be glad you at least started somewhere! Even little trees can reap rewards. Take for instance my new peach tree. Barely the size of my thumb but....5 peaches! My pear tree has also surprised me. Six feet tall and viola, my first pears! There may only be four but you can bet they are going to be the best pears that tree ever produces because they are the first and I wasn't expecting them!
I would also advise to keep good record of what you planted....someday you may want to know!

Unknown Pear

Red Haven Peach

Blue Spruce

Your local cooperative extension office is always your best bet for choosing varieties that are hardy in your area. If you purchase from a local nursery, this is usually not a problem. But, if you are buying from a big box store, it would be wise to do a little homework to make sure you are not wasting your money!