It has been busy leading up to the long weekend. On Friday we made some raspberry-saskatoon jam and then I tried cranberry-raspberry. Below you can see the cooked cranberries (I picked some up after Xmas and froze them) and lemon; raspberries get added in the next step.
The result was a bit runny (maybe should have cooked it longer) but has a fabulous colour and very tart taste (about the same as stewed rhubarb). I've managed to fill one of the top shelves in the kitchen in the past few weeks (36 jars) and have spilled over into another. If I see a some peaches at the farmer's market I might do some more but we're approaching applesauce season, which tends to crowd out the jamming.
Our hedge is an alpine currant. Over the years I have seen a few (seedy) berries but never anything to be bothered with. Oddly, this year one bit has a bunch of currants. These are pretty small and likely best left for the birds. How I wish this hedge was actually saskatoons!
The tomato plants are starting to show some promise. I planted mostly Roma in the back for canning and the plants are heavy with fruit. They get some shelter from the house and deck so the hail (six good storms so far this summer) hasn't damaged them too much.
Around front the Early Girl plants have a few tomatoes about ready to harvest. The cherry tomato bushes have grown really well but have virtually now tomatoes. I wonder if the soil is inhibiting fruiting.
On the other hand, the sunflowers are doing very well in the soil. This one is about seven feet tall and maybe 12 inches across (measuring from tip of petals). If you to get a larger image, you can see a bee diligently pollinating this one for me. The larger Himalayan Giant sunflowers out back are over seven feet and no sign of a flower head yet. The packaged hinted at 12-14 feet.
Around back, the Mexican bush beans we dried and saved have sprouted, grown and are starting to form pods. These are delicious in soups--akin to small kidney beans.
The shell peas we left to dry on the vine for seed are starting to come in. Must find an envelope to help me keep these all together and straight. Some of the beets are also looking like they might be ready to pickling.