2017 Harvest

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Elderberry flower syrup

Today I've made elderberry flower syrup. I'll leave recipe I use here...maybe some of you will want to try it.

- 30 elderberry flowerheads
- 3 liters of water
- 3 kilos of sugar (6.6 pounds)
- 8 dkg of citric acid

Pick 30 elderberry flowers. The best time is after rain so they are clean.
Sunk flowers in 3 liters of water, add 8 dkg of citric acid and leave it overnight. You can also add 1 or 2 lemons

After 24 hours strain the syrup

You will get bright yellow syrup after straining

If you don't like little flowers floating in your drink you can strain it again using a gauze

In clean syrup add 3 kg of sugar

Put syrup on the stove and heat it up till it boils. After reduce the temperature so it stays warm but it doesn't boil

While the syrup is boiling wash bottles and put them in the oven on 120°C to sterilize them.
When the syrup boils pour it in the bottles. Watch your fingers...it's really hot. Close the bottles and you've got your own elderberry syrup.

On the pictures there is more than 30 flowers. I've had 60 flowers and in the end I've got 10 bottles of syrup.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A little bit of everything

Yesterday I had time so I decided to paint our papercrete flowerpots. We have made them last year and now they look a bit old. Also I wanted them to look like other pots and to fit nicely on our blue metal stairs for pots.

Papercrete pots are really easy way to make your own pots that don't cost much, look like they were really expensive and they are great for plants.

When I've made them I've used this recipe:
- Tear newspapers or any kind of old papers in small pieces
- Leave them in a bucket of water overnight
- The next day mix the papers. Mixed papers should look like oatmeal. I've used my dad's drill with a tool to mix. Place the papers in food drainer or something with holes to get water out and leave at least 12 hours.
- To get papercrete mass take a cup or pot to measure how much papers you have. The amount of papers should be equal to amount of cement you'll place inside the mixing pot.(If you have 6 cups of paper mass then you need 6 cups of cement)
- Mix the mass and than take the pot you want for your model.  You can do your pot by modeling papercrete inside your pot or outside. The only difference will be that one will be smaller and other will be bigger.
- Before you start making your pot cover your modeling pot with oil or pig fat, that way you'll be able to get the model pot off easier. Make little holes on the bottom for the water :) or don't if you plan to plant something that likes water
- When you finish your pot leave it to dry at least 24 hours. You'll see if it is too wet(it should be dry like real concrete) than leave it extra 12 hours. Or till it dries.
- When it's dry remove model pot and then sand off sharp edges
- That is it. You can paint them if you want or leave it like it is

Before I've painted them they looked like this

 And like every time Nero decided he should help me paint them :)

For painting I've used dark red concrete paint

It's easy to use. You only need to add water to it. Also you can wash it down with water before it dries, so it's great if you get it all over your hands.

Also I've used blue metal paint that I've found between our paint cans

All I did was paint them in red and then add a blue stripe on every pot. This is how they look when they were finished.

And I think they fit pretty good on metal stairway

While I was painting (and it wasn't too long) Nero was changing positions watching me

In the end he decided I was too boring for him :)

After I've painted everything it was time to feed our bunnies. Remember sweet little fur balls. Well they are not so small anymore.
When I enter they are scared so they don't want to get out.

 But really soon they get nosy

After their mom decides if it's safe to walk around they all come out

You didn't think this could go by without Nero did you? :)

He's nose is everywhere :)

Today I've went to collect elderberry flowerheads. Of course they were to high for me to reach them.

I'm really getting frustrated. I can't pick anything I want cause I'm too small for it :( And like always the best flowers were really high.

And the ones I could reach are the small ones :(

While I was almost crying Nero seemed to be interested more in grasshoppers than his hysteric owner :/

After a lot of pounding and words that are not for a girls mouth I've managed to collect 60 flower heads

 And some of them are really big

I've sunk them in water and they will be like that till tomorrow.Then I'll make syrup and leave you a recipe to do it yourself :)

It took me a long time to write this today so I got an evil look from you know who :) and yes that is a bone on my bed. Just don't ask :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pruning tomatoes

Tomato seedlings grew a lot since I've planted them so it's time for their first pruning.

We do it so seedlings wouldn't grow like a bush, also by pruning branches that remain will get more food and fruits on them will be bigger and healthier.
Pruning can be difficult to explain so I'll just say it the way my parents explained it to me (the little idiot way)

When you look at tomato seedling it should have normal branches like every other plant. But it has a sucker growing between stem and branch.

That little thing doesn't do anything. It just takes food from plant so it should be removed. The process of removing it is simple just pluck it with your fingers. When they are small they are still very gentle so there will be no problems with removing them.

When you remove it your plant will look like this

When you prune the whole plant you should tie it to the stick so it doesn't break from wind or her own weight.
I do it like an eight. This way plant can grow without damage. Just do an 8 around the plant and wood.

And after 2 hours (100 seedlings) of pruning all plants look like that

While I was walking around the garden I saw that Purple teepee beans are blossoming. If weather doesn't get all crazy we should have new beans soon.

I wanted to do some more work around the garden but it started to rain. Last few days we I can only be inside an hour or two and it starts raining.
So the only thing I can do is watch how it's raining and wait.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

pepper seedlings

It's time to plant our pepper seedlings...they still look like they were in the war but I couldn't wait no more to plant them.

So I've prepared the soil to plant them

Placed manure inside all the rows

Then I took my poor little pepper seedlings. They were in my paper cups. The easiest way to get them out the cups is to water them really good one hour before planting and then just tear it down. I tear cups because we have really hot summers with little rain, but if you live in parts where there is enough rain you can place seedlings inside the rows with cups still on them. With time cups will disintegrate and your seedlings will be protected from bugs till they get stronger.

After getting them out I just place my seedlings in a row.

and cover them with soil

I've planted around 400 seedlings. We'll see how many of them will stay.

Other vegetables in our garden are growing nicely.
Beans are all out

 Potatoes and tomatoes too

 And whole garden is greener every day :)

 In my front yard my red rose has her first blossoms

Pretty pink flowers

For the last photo of today I'll leave you a photo of my granddads roses...every year are bigger and have more flowers.