Saturday, July 4, 2015

We Went Berry Picking



Things I learned... 

You must eat the raspberries right away or freeze them. Any other method of storing them at home did not work for us.  We tried not washing and leaving them covered as well as not washing and keeping in the fridge but we lost most of them to mold.

Blueberries are hardy and easy to keep... but when you have over a gallon of them, the recipes start to lose their excitement.  Freezing some is a good option and one of these days I am going to try canning which is likely the BEST option.

Strawberry season is fast and furious and we missed the abundance this year. 

Birds do not eat the farmer's blueberries and raspberries but devour mine in my home garden.

Berry picking can be expensive. 


The girls loved this so much, as did I. We will definitely go again but I wish there were more organic farms near us. I appreciate that many do their best to use pest management and other methods but hate the idea of sprays being put all over our berries. 

I have planted two blueberry bushes and one raspberry bush of my own and while they are starting to produce, it is slow going and nowhere near where this farm's berries were in the process. And, as I indicated above, the birds LOVE to eat my berries so I put netting on top.  I found it amazing that the farm doesn't need to do anything.  The farmer told me that the birds are more interested in eating the plums so tend to leave the berries alone.  

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Much Ado About Parsley

The garden is growing and I am able to harvest greens and herbs often. The rabbit LOVES hopping around the garden as do the chicks who are growing at an unbelievable rate. 

I've been letting them spend some time in their coop and although the run is not yet ready, I let them play inside and also free range my yard and garden with me nearby.

I have a feeling I may have two roosters. It's still too early to tell but if you look at this photo below you will see the exact same breed chicken, hatched the same day with a BIG difference in their comb size and body size.  I have another set that should look the same with the same obvious difference.  Time will tell - but the first cocka-doodle-doo and off they go.  

I want to be really careful not to waste anything we grow and that can be a challenge. The greens wilt very fast if they are not kept the right way. 

 We usually eat salad every day which helps keep the lettuce working for us but the herbs can be hard to use in such abundance. Tonight we worked to wash and preserve the herbs and lettuce together so it will last a little longer.

The basil, mint and parsley do best when they are treated like flowers and put in a glass of water.  The rosemary and thyme will go in the fridge wrapped loosely in plastic wrap. 

And the girls washed and paper towel dried all the lettuce we didn't eat tonight and then wrapped it loosely in paper towels inside plastic bags to keep.

Even with this... we need to eat this stuff up soon. I was trying to find something unique to make with these but nothing really appealed to me, so I think I'm going to try a pesto/mint/parsley pesto recipe I found online. I may also freeze some. 

 With all the cooking I do, I do not own a food processor!  I am getting one but because of that, we had to make our basil "pesto" more like chimichurri but we loved it anyway. 

If you have any new recipes to share, let me know. I saw a nice parsley ravioli that looked interesting.