Monday, July 3, 2017

Peonies, poppies, and preserves

The peonies continue to bloom in the back yard, with new plants coming into flower each day. I don't think we've seen such a show ever. Perhaps the plants are finally becoming mature?

The garden is also starting to produce useful amount of food. We've been thinning the lettuce boxes to make room for more mature plants to grow. This is one of the boxes in the back. I tried to get a bit artsie this year with different varieties in one box. I see we also have a tree coming up between the box and the garage (arrgh) and a few volunteer bush beans.

Last week we picked gooseberries. This was the first year we had enough to make jam. The result has had mixed reviews. I like it (tastes like a prairie version of marmalade). Others appreciated the flavour less... . Not a huge disappointment given how terribly thorny the mature plants are.

The carrots have finally germinated. They were crazy slow this year and I wondered if I had a bad batch of seed. I need to thin these more this week.

Grandmas' poppies have also come on strong, essentially infesting a raised planter. They are pretty if confined here. Ive been pulling plants that have migrated elsewhere.

Our first experiment with tomatillo seems to be yielding fruit. I'll need to do some research on when these guys are ready and how to process them for salsa.

The perennials are also in full bloom. This is a lovely Persian coneflower that the bees like. I've started to thin the perennials around yard at they seem to love the vegetable beds.

The strawberry plants we put in last year have really put our a good crop this year. Not quite enough to make anything with but nice for fresh eating.

To get enough volume for jam, wine, and pie filling, we went to Strawberry Creek Farm yesterday. It was warm (27C) but the breeze helped. We picked about six gallons of berries in an hour.

Jess was a trooper; this has been a nice change over the years when picking used to be measured by how much I could get done before she got bored and whiny.

Today I'm racking off wine and juicing some berries for strawberry wine. I plan to start making pie filling tomorrow (in the early morning while the house is still cool).

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