Friday, July 21, 2017

The Garden Is Coming On Strong!

Oh boy, I've been busy staying on top of what my garden is producing!

Starting with garlic scapes from the hardneck garlic.  

One reads about the health benefits of adding a bit of apple cider vinegar to your diet.  However, there's not a much more foul tasting thing than downing a spoonful of vinegar!  But pickled items are always tasty.  So, I figured can get my teaspoon of vinegar by eating a bit of these each day. 

 I thought a couple of jars of pickled garlic scapes might do the trick.  I cut up and rolled the rounded parts of the scapes to the outside of the jar and filled the middles with the straight parts.  I boiled up my pickling mixture - there are all kinds of recipes out there to suit your tastes and put the jars in a hot water bath.  Now I have to wait for about six weeks to taste the end result.       

It has to be a much tastier alternative to drinking straight vinegar!

Last fall, I went to the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.  What an outstanding experience!  I suggest you make the trip to go if you ever are near one of these events.  It really brings your self sufficiency mojo up to a new level!  BTW, Fitzgerald's Family Farm, LLC will be at the event in Seven Springs this September to sell our maple syrup and honey!

Anyway, while I was there I picked up an 8 oz. package of softneck garlic from the Southern Seed Exchange booth.  The variety was Inchelium Red.  Softneck garlic has a tougher time growing here because of our very cold winters.  So I thought I would put this sample in the high tunnel to test it out.  It was a resounding success!

It was so exciting to pull these giant bulbs out of the ground!

Our second high tunnel is the "berry" tunnel.  It's filled with red and yellow raspberries and strawberries.  Raspberries looooove growing in a high tunnel.  Yesterday, I spent two hours picking red raspberries and strawberries - which is a feat when the outside temperatures are in the 80s.  I can't even guess what the temperatures in the high tunnel were.... just swelteringly HOT!

But from this two hours of picking I had enough berries for a years worth of strawberry/red raspberry jam!  (the salvaged berry containers are the perfect size for picking without squishing the berries).

Now on to figuring out what to do with an abundance of zucchini, collard greens, swiss chard, kale, eventually tomatoes, and more!


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