Sunday, July 14, 2013

Flowers and canning mustard in the rain

I'm slowly restoring order to the garden after two weeks away. I've managed to get most of the beds reasonable looking, although there are couple of places where there is a carpet of elm seedling to address. The perennials are really blooming. 

These daylilies (salvaged from the neighbour's foundation planting before demolition) have flower stalks that are shoulder height on me and give us lovely orange flowers all summer long. These aren't as pretty as some of the newer varieties, but I think the flower suits our late-1940s neighborhood.

Among my summer plans was collecting some seeds. I had luck with lots of the simple ones last year (peas, beans) and now want to try biennials. I was going to try to overwinter some of the sugar beets and collect seeds next fall. But I see we have a couple of last year's beets coming up in the front bean bed that have thrown up stalks, so perhaps I'll get a chance to collect some seeds this year. I think these were heirloom beets so fingers crossed that they'll yield a decent seed.

The sunflowers are also starting to bloom beneath the bird feeder. I pulled a bunch to give the tomatoes some more sun and less competition but this one was too pretty to mess with.

Plans for Saskatoon berry picking today went awry when I woke up to a hail storm followed by lots of rain. So instead I decided to take another stab at making mustard. This time I used the remainder of a bottle of Tim Whistle Brewing's Stag Apple Scotch Ale I picked up in Penticton to make an Octoberfest style of mustard. At 8%, the beer was too much for me to finish all 600ml last night.

I decided to can most of this batch for later use (since it made so much) and I look forward to trying the jar I put in the fridge once it has a week or two to mellow out. It smelled nice. I used white mustard seeds to try and take some of the kick down.

If the weather holds, we'll try berry picking tomorrow morning and then maybe some jamming and pie filling making. I also have a recipe for strawberry-rhubarb pie filling that I'd like to make while the rhubarb is still good. Now that the sun is out, I'm off to de-weed the onions.


  1. Trying hard! The beginning of the local harvest coinciding with my vacation makes want to get some stuff put up in the pantry!