Monday, January 30, 2012

Simple Sunday Pleasures

Winter is still very much present in these parts, mostly in the form of wet grey damp with splashes of sun and clear blue sky, but as you can see from FDPG's almanac chart, the dark winter mornings are slowly but surely coming to an end.
See that line dropping? That's the sunrise time getting earlier and earlier. Thrilling, this news is. (I know I sound like Yoda, but after this winter I feel like Yoda: shrivelled and slightly green with mildew)

And of course, as it my wont, when the weather starts looking up, I start rearranging my seed collection. There is nothing like sorting through one's seeds, not to mention accumulating free How To sheets from the garden centres to get one in the mood for spring. It's all so darn exciting:

Mescluns: Nicoise Blend! How to prune grapes (Ooh! must make a grape arbour in the front yard! Need new cedar posts!) Amazon Jewel nasturtiums! Time to prune the apple trees! Dukat Leafy Dill! Martian Giant tomatoes! Watermelon radishes! Romeo carrots! Hypertufa! Mortgage Lifter tomatoes! Potimarron squash! Parnsips! (huh? is that really a typo on the packet? why yes, it IS) FDPG wants to try a container garden for 4-H! Must dig up more lawn and make a trellis, the containers would look amazing with that in the background! Dominic wants to do worm composting for 4-H! Need worms...?

And so on and so on. I know, I sound insane. Call it spring fever. It doesn't help that my local garden centre likes to sell new seeds at 25% off all through January, either.

Can. Not. Resist. Must. Have. More. Seeds.

One of the more productive things I've done this month has been to go over my canning and preserving activities, to see how useful everything was in the long run. Did we actually USE all those canned hot peppers, or would I do better to dry more and grind them into powder? Do I need to expand the rhubarb bed? Do we need MORE strawberry jam or should I freeze a few more bags instead of turning them into jam? What jams did we use most?

Here's something I'm glad I tried: apple jelly. Some apples just don't keep well; our Macintosh apple is one of them, so when they were in dire need of intervention I decided to juice them (as opposed to composting them) and turned the juice into jelly.

And what jelly it is. I'd like to wax eloquent, but instead I'll content myself with a couple of highly tormenting images, so you can imagine the taste all on your own.


Heather said...

I noticed how casually you slipped in that "must dig up more lawn" bit. Does that still work on your husband? Mine caught on to it pretty quickly.

And 25% off?!? Where, where? I've had quite the experience ordering seeds this year, I usually just get a few here or there and at Seedy Saturday. This year spending hundreds of dollars at West Coast and William Dam was quite the thing (for a frugal person such as myself). Eeep!

Have you had the watermelon radishes before? I think they are a delight to eat and they are in my plans for the market garden this year but I've never grown them before. Have you ever tried growing sunflower sprouts? You can get the seeds from West Coast(although they're on backorder right now), I think they would make a great 4 H project and you'd have fresh "greens" in no time.

sheila said...

Richard is in the back yard ONLY in summer, lol. He won't notice until it's too late.

It was ALL seed company packets, at a local garden centre. Pretty darn fine deal, eh? Of course, this only gave me license to buy MORE seeds than I probably would have. In fact, I was so thrilled I decided to throw caution to the wind and order some rare stuff from Seed Savers in the US, something I normally never do.

Never tried the Watermelons before, but thought they might encourage the We Find Radishes Too Hot crowd living with me.

I'm going to send you a link that I just saw on the weekend, about some micro-green growing techniques. Very cool stuff. It might be just the thing for your new venture.

shell said...

I swear I thought that was some fabulous iced drink - but this is even better.