Preserving is not just for Autumn
While there's an abundance of produce to preserve in Autumn, it's not the only time of year when food can be tucked away into the store cupboard. There's plenty of citrus still around and I have quite a few oranges to preserve. In addition to juicing some with the old beets I dug up I'm also dehydrating slices that I hope to dip in choc to make a tasty treat -thanks Lorraine for that idea!! I'm also dehydrating beetroot into chips for a healthy snack when hungry. I was also surprised this week with some of my wine cap mushrooms popping up on the opposite side of the path from where I had inoculated them. I had heard that they spread! Hopefully plenty of mushrooms to come. Now they are not the sort that you fry up with butter and garlic but it's recommended to dehydrate them and use for adding to soups and stews. Nice to have some mushroom flavour in the pantry to add when needed.
Out in the garden this week I managed to gather pine needles to mulch my blueberry plants. It helps create the acidic environment in which they like to grow. There are masses of flowers on these plants so if the birds stay away I should have a bumper crop coming in Summer. I'd better get some nets over them soon - I have had birds remove all the flowers in one day before - not going to happen again!!
I was excited to see my quince tree flowering for the first time. Such exquisite soft pink flowers which will hopefully turn into the ugly fruit that is a quince, but then you can recapture that exquisiteness (is that a word??) by making quince jelly - divine!!
Since my little homemade greenhouse is a bit too tucked in under the eaves and doesn't get a lot of sun, I've had to make a cold frame. The greenhouse is still great for germinating seeds which I sit on heat mats but when they've sprouted they need to get the warmth and light from sunshine. I dragged a few items from around the house to come up with this warm little solution. Once spring has sprung and my plants are in the ground I'll be able to pack it up again and get it out of the way. In the meantime I have happy little seedlings that will hopefully grow big and strong in no time - just stay away you slugs and snails!!
This weeks video takes you on a tour of my swale system. It really does look pretty filled with water after heavy rains. There are some signs of life in my deciduous trees which I always find very exciting so I show you whats happening with them too. Take a look! Link at the top of the page.
Other things that I've been up to include mead making and processing worm castings - videos coming soon of course :)
Have a great everyone!
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