Sunday, 10 June 2018

Jam season already....

I've spent a fair bit of time during the last week, playing outside in the dirt.    The massive 4 c yard pile of dirt has been moved into 4 raised beds, 4' x8', 1 4'x4' raised bed and the rest tilled into the second garden bed.    I have been using the square foot gardening method in the raised beds and have left a few square feet to plant with beans and lettuces in a week or two, for what will hopefully be some continual harvesting.

The 4x4 bed is up at the front of the house where it gets a bit more sun.   I call it the pumpkin bed, because that is what I usually plant in it.   They take over the rest of the garden otherwise.  Some years they do really well, others, not so much.  It does depend on the weather, the aggressiveness of the choocks, and I think maybe the enthusiasm that the township has for spraying weeds in the ditches. 

The raised beds have tomatoes, peppers,  zuchinni, turnips, carrots, beans, kale, chard and salad greens.   Two more will go in next year, behind these ones.   The second garden has my Madder patch, rhubarb, winter onions and blackberries.  These are all perennials, so a somewhat permanent placement in the garden.  The part we tilled in has potatoes planted.   That is another crop which has been weather and chicken dependent.

I tied on a warp to the previous project.   I decided that it was nice enough when all was said and done and it is so much faster to just tie on a project.    I've several others queued up for the summer though.  There is enough warp for three scarves on there.  One is for a gift, so I need to get it done.  The other two will go either in the fall guild sale pile or in the xmas present pile.

I ended up at the Lockhart farm house at Westfield last weekend.   It was a little sad in that there were musicians out and nobody came to play down my way.   I did however, borrow the enamel pot from another building and made rhubarb jam.  Well, rhubarb/red currant jam as per one of the recipes I found.    While I was looking for rhubarb recipes, I came across rhubarb jam recipes from 1828 and 1833, with indications that it was made much earlier. 

With no easy way to clean, sterilize and water bath my jam jars, I packed it into clean from home jars and took it home with me.      I set up the waterbath canner, emptied the jam into a pot and brought it up to a good boil.  Then I transferred the jam to clean, hot jars and popped them into the canner.   Because the equipment was out, the canner heated up and the weather quite cool today, I used the remaining currant juice which I'd made for the rhubarb jam and combined it with leftover apple pectin/juice/sauce from Lockhart apples to make apple red currant jelly.   Sampling was pretty yummy and I can't wait to taste it on toast!

1 comment:

Woolly Bits said...

funnily enough pumpkins won't grow well for me at all, never mind where I put them. ok, our summers aren't great, but they don't even like it in the tunnel:( on the other hand our first gooseberries are ready, so I am going to get some jame done myself, too:) and your madder is growing like crazy - I have to replant it very soon!but first we'll have to get through a storm tonight - hope everything is still standing tomorrow! summers in ireland....