Daily Archives: August 1, 2011

The Harvest Begins

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I got the camera back out today, it’s been in hibernation for a while. Things have finally gotten to the point in this cool summer where we are starting to drown in ripe fruit. We have felt this every summer, however we got used to the size of the bounty of our harvest in our old garden. In this one, it’s a whole new ball game! The blackberries started ripening last week, yesterday Scott walked in with the first three ripe pears, we’ve been slowly picking ripe gravensteins off the tree for a couple of weeks now knowing we’d be bombarded soon, and today I walked out and the entire santa rosa plum tree is ripe! Where do we even start?

How about we start at blackberry bars? So divine. I used this recipe (follow the link for Fresh Raspberry Bars) only I used blackberries and lime rather than lemon. I found them to be ridiculously good. That recipe is a keeper!
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While typically Scott is the canner in our family, I have been watching him for so many years and helped out often enough that I have canned two batches of blackberry jam completely without help. It’s a great feeling to master a task that seems so overwhelming and hard. It’s really quite easy.
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After keeping a tight budget and only spending on necessary house related expenses, we splurged on something ‘fun’ and had 5 yards of mushroom compost delivered last weekend. We swear by this smelly stuff. We’ve gotten into the habit of getting a few yards delivered every couple of years to boost our usual compost efforts and our garden has thrived on it. It’s been a family effort to spread this around the roses, the fruit trees, some of the flower beds and the back lawn. Scott’s been filling wheelbarrows of it, the boys have been filling red radio wagon loads full and with the baby girl tied on my back, I’ve been taking shovel full by shovel full to the front flower beds. The soil in this area is much different from our last house, it’s much more clay-like as opposed to our old house. It takes great effort to take shovel to ground here when the ground is dry, however I think this soil might hold nutrients better than at our old garden. We worked hard to get our old soil to retain moisture and nutrients, here, I think we might be trying to get better drainage. Funny what three little miles can do to the soil. Our hope in adding the compost is that by layering it over the dirt it acts as a mulch, adds even more nutrients, and lightens the soil so it drains properly and is easier to work.
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A few interesting links I wanted to share:

This was a brand new idea to me, can you be vegan and be a gardener at the same time? Interesting to think about.

Inspiring post to read if you have a dream in mind.

What I’m thinking of making with at least a portion of those plums. Our family has a complete addiction to pot stickers, one of our only processed food vices, at least this sauce might make that meal a bit healthier.

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