2017 Harvest

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rain :)

Finally we have some rainy days. It started a few days ago so we've rushed to the garden to pick up tomatoes and onions.
This week wasn't so warm so tomatoes are looking better. They don't have rotten parts, they aren't as red as they should be but they will be in few days.

 I've gathered a few of them to show the varieties of tomatoes we have
There are yellow cherry tomatoes, campbell, oxheart, marglobe, napoli, black krim, costoluto, rio grande,san pierre and red cherry tomatoes

And Nero's nose is here too :)

All these tomatoes go to a basket with the others to get more color and then we will make something out of them

Only the cherry ones are staying in the refrigerator for salads..again with Nero watching every move I make

Also we got onions and garlic out of the garden

My dad made braids out of them and now they are hanging in the garage :)

Cause of the rain I can't get in the garden so I took some time to collect seeds from Chinese cabbage

What I did was a lot of mess

But in the end I got some seeds

 They will wait for the next year

When I was done I decided to make some order in our seed bags. I threw  away empty bags, separated flower bags and placed vegetable bags under the moths we use them.

In the end our seed box looked pretty nice

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

heat problems continue :/

I was looking at my old posts and my complaining about too much rain... well it seems that weather was listening. Since 14th June we haven't had a decent rain. Everything is so dry that it seems like you are digging in concrete. Even watering doesn't help.
By this time we should have a bunch on tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers every day..but because of the heat this is all I brought home today :/

Also tomatoes that are turning red are all damaged. They look ok till you turn them.

But on the bottom they are rotten.

Luckily there is a lot of them that are still green and healthy. If we get some rain there should be tomatoes for the winter.

Peppers are alive only cause we've mulched them but they have only a few fruits.

Other problem are the beans.I really don't get what kind of morons work on seeds packing. We bought 2 kinds of pole beans. Yellow ones and green ones that look like pens.

The yellow ones are blossoming now and green ones that should look like this

 Have a bunch of weird green beans that taste horribly and have strings on them.

Only bugs don't care about the heat. They are happy eating everything they can

In our front yard there are some weird things too. I wasn't surprised that if they can't pack bean seeds like they should they would make mistakes with flowers.
We bought purple salpiglossis flowers.
One of them is purple

Others are..well..yellow :/

Only thing that is the same for more than 10 years is my Lily. Every year it has 3 flowers that fill our yard with beautiful smell

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pear and chocolate jam recipe

Yesterday our neighbors brought us pears again so I've decided to make a pear an chocolate jam.
Here is the recipe:

1 - 1,5 kilos (35 ,2 oz - 52 ,8 oz) of summer pears
1 lemon
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoons of cacao
0,5 kilos ( 17 ,6 oz) of sugar
1 little bag of vanilla sugar (10gr)
one bag of dry pectin ( on them says for how much fruit is one bag, here one bag is for 1,5 kilos of fruit)

Wash the pears and leave them in water for few minutes

Cut them on small pieces removing all seeds and brownish parts( they will spoil jam fast)

Add a few spoons of sugar to the bowl and cook them till they get tender.

Add lemon and dry pectin with rest of the sugar ( that is usual way to use pectin, but just in case check on the box how to use it)
Split pears on 2 equal parts and cook every part on low heat.

In one bowl add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and mix it with a mixer to make the pieces smaller. If you like jam with big pieces just stir the cinnamon and cook in for 5 minutes

In other bowl add 1 tablespoon of cacao and vanilla sugar, mix it and cook for 5 minutes.

While your jam is cooking wash jars and sterilize them ( 30 minutes on 100°C or 212F)

Fill the hot jars with hot jam. I did it this way. One spoon of pear jam

One spoon of chocolate jam

Close the jars and leave them to cool down. This jam goes great with bread and crepes( thin pancakes) but I'm sure it would go with other food and deserts ☺

Friday, July 6, 2012

Homemade wild berry syrup

Today I didn't take my camera to the garden because I thought I would only pick blackberries and return home. But beans decided to have a growing party and forgot to invite me so I had to arrest the grown ones.
0,5 kilos (17 , 6 oz) of them :)
Also I brought home 0,8 kilos (28,16 oz) of cucumbers
1 kilo (35, 2 oz) of blackberries and the standard stuff (2 onions,carrots, parsley and parsnip)

But that wasn't the thing I wanted to write about. I wanted to share with you our recipe for homemade wild berry syrup. Why it is called wild berry I don't know when all of the fruits grow in the garden...anyways here is the recipe :)

3 kilos (105. 6 oz) of berry fruits ( I've used blackberries, raspberries and red currants but you can use whatever berries you want)
2 liters of water
6 dkg ( 2. 11 oz) of citric acid
1/2 or 1 kilo (17.6 or 35.2 oz) of sugar on 1 liter of squeezed juice ( depends how sweet you want you syrup)

Wash the berries and put them in the big bowl with 2 liters of water. Add citric acid to the water and leave for 2 hours. After 2 hours crush the berries a little with your hands and leave them for 24 hours.

The next day take a strainer and put an old napkin inside to strain the berries. You can use a gauze but blackberries have little seeds that are really annoying when you drink the juice so  you'll need something stronger than a gauze.

Fastest and easiest way to get juice out of the berries is to put them in napkin, make a ball out of the napkin and squeeze it. If you can, do this outside cause there are big chances your kitchen will look like a slaughterhouse after you finish :)

Remove the part of the berries you squeeze from the napkin to the other bowl and repeat the procedure until you squeeze all of the berries

When you finish If your family really hates those little seeds you can do what I do to get a seedless juice. Take one strainer, place it in the other and then place a gauze on top and just pour the juice in the bowl. There is no way that the seeds will get through all that

So you will get a red seedless syrup :)

Wash the bottles and place them in the oven to sterilize them (30 minutes on 100°C or 212F)

While they are sterilizing place your syrup on the stove, add sugar to it and cook it.
The amount of sugar depends on your taste. You can take a spoon of syrup and mix it with water to try it and see if you need more sugar or not.
I like sour juices but my family doesn't so I make sweet syrup and add lemon to it before I drink it.

While syrup is cooking you'll notice that it's producing white foam. All berries do that when you cook them. Just gather the foam with a strainer or spoon with holes.

When you see that syrup is not making any more foam (it takes about 5 minutes) you can lower the heat and start filling the the syrup in the hot bottles. Watch your fingers ;)

Fill the bottles and close them. Leave the syrup to cool down.

When it's cold mix it with water and you'll have a refreshing wild berry juice ;)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

So hot :/

I could spend all this post on complaining how hot it is here. But I won't cause then everybody from the Europe will hate me...naaah thinking it better I will complain :) Every day we have temperatures over 36°C (96F) and we are on a mountain (400m) so it should be colder here..but it isn't.

The most heat problems in our garden we see on blackberries that are now ready for harvest. But fruits are maturing too fast. I pick them every day but because of the extreme heat fruits in just one day turn from pink to cooked.

This blackberry in the middle is still not ready because it's still partly red but I had to pick it up today

or this would have happened to it

They turn white, they are..well there really isn't a better way to describe it than "cooked". they only get white on the side that was in the sun all day. Even the pink ones that aren't for picking are turning white.

Same problem is with lettuce. All of it has started producing seeds. It's not that bad cause we will have seeds for next year but still there was too much lettuce ready for eating and in just one day it became too bitter and uneatable.

Rest of the garden is still alive. Watermelon is looking good

Peppers are finally growing. Maybe there will be something out of them.

Only thing that loves sun are the flowers. They are growing like crazy.


Nigella flowers...I really like them. They are nice and blue :)

Today I brought home:

3 kilos of potatoes (105. 6 oz)
1 kilo of blackberries (32.5 oz)
1,2 kilos of cucumbers ( 42.24 oz)
A few carrots, parsley, onions, parsnip and some dill

Also I brought carrot leaves and some dandelion leaves for our bunny

Yes just one bunny. Again because of the heat 13 of our little bunnies died. We tried to cool down the basement room where they were, but it was impossible. Even though the room is on the side where there is no sun, and all the year it's the same temperature, this few weeks it got warm so it's now all the time over 30°C (86F) and young bunnies don't have "cooling system" so they die really fast. I see them in the morning they are running around, eating normally, and 2- 3 hours later I find them dead. Vets here don't have a clue about bunnies so they are no help at all. One of them said why are we surprised that animals die when people are dying from heat too.

So now we have 2 grown bunnies that are still in their room. They don't mind the heat. And the little one we took and placed inside a box in the living room. Here we have AC so we keep the temperature below 30°C.
He'll be here till the temperatures drop a little.

I think he likes it here :)

 The one that doesn't like this situation is Nero. He's constantly nagging, trying to throw the box with his nose and doesn't let us near the bunny. :)

 I guess I did complain in this post a lot. :)