Thursday, 8 August 2013
Making and Noticing...
I'm experimenting (for the first time) with culturing food and drink. It's addictive! Water kefir is made bright and fizzy with the addition of fresh raspberries (a few weeks ago, it was strawberries). So refreshing and delicious!
Trying a few worcestershire sauce recipes (one's made with green apple!). It would make a great Christmas gift, don't you think? I'm aging them now and will try them well in advance of gift giving season so I know which recipe is the "one". Stay tuned for the verdict.
Raspberries are rolling in in record quantities! I can fill these 2 large sheets with juicy goodness almost every day. Gotta love raspberries for their ease in picking, freezing and using ~ no hulling or chopping ~ just pick and flash freeze on cookie sheets, then bag 'em. So easy! I can jam them or use them in smoothies or baking in the winter... love that.
I've also been busy potting up raspberry runners to expand our production (in another area) and give some canes to our oldest son and his wife this Fall. They've moved into their first home and want to plant food! These are third generation raspberries - my Mom brought me the canes 4 years ago (from her place). Cool, right?
They look sad and sorry in the above picture (immediately post potting up), but even just a few days later, they are looking better. I rescued a delphinium (blue pot up front) that was accidentally dug up by me in a robust weeding session, but I don't think it's going to make it. Sad face.
The flowers are blooming in all their glorious colours... so incredibly satisfying to see after starting from nothing here. Some, I started from seed and the rest were donated via perennial splits. Many are native plants that are hearty and easy to care for, perfectly suited this harsh clime.
The calendula is prolific this year and I'm thrilled about that. I'm drying as much as I can for soap making and other uses this winter...
In spite of the heat of summer, the greens have been faring well... I've planted them in cool, shady nooks and crannies here and there which makes for an interesting treasure hunt when we pick for our supper salad :) See the light dusting on the red leaf lettuce? That's flour.
I've experimented with a new trick to attempt to thwart the cabbage moth. A sprinkling of flour apparently damages the larvae (insert sinister laugh here) so you can actually harvest some broccoli/cabbage/cauliflower. Humph. I'm not overly optimistic, but I have seen less of the moths flying around since I sprinkled flour... maybe they don't like the look of the plants with their dusty coats? Time will tell. Also, I've not planted any of these plants in rows like previous years... I've scattered the brassicas in with all sorts of aromatic moth thwarting plants (mints, celery, dill, fleabane, etc). The celery seems to be the most effective so far... Again, stay tuned!
Speaking of moths, we discovered this gorgeous one waiting for us at the back door the other day. It looks like a giraffe! We all ooohed and aaahhhed and a few minutes later when we checked on it again, we discovered that it was holding out on us!
Apparently, it's a Giraffe coloured wing moth. Well, I'll be. We've never seen the likes of one before. We are working to create a diverse ecosystem here (which was previously a grassy monoculture) and the rewarding benefit is that we are seeing much greater biodiversity. Sometimes it feels like we aren't making progress, but moments like this, confirm that we are. We hear and see abundant species of birds, reptiles, and insects all of which are helping us to improve this little piece of prairie :)