Saturday, December 24, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
This season, there was a bounty from the garden in many ways. Because I end up with so much of some crops I try to come up with ways to preserve what I can't eat right away so I can extend the bounty through the rest of the year. Not so long ago, before the advent of refrigeration, everyone grew their own food and knew special ways of preserving it for the rest of the year. Pickling in brine was a great way of keeping veggies edible for the winter and inspired so many delicious new foods. These foods were fermented like saurkraut and could be stored without refrigeration in a cellar for many months. One pickle that I like to make is the Korean kimchi, which is made with Chinese cabbage or radish, scallions, really hot peppers, and if desired, small fish like anchovies. I like hot pickles and one of my favorites is a hot pickle mix of cucumbers, carrots, and hot peppers. In this pickle everything becomes infused with the heat of the peppers adding a kick to the cukes and carrots. This was a good year in the hoop house for pickling cukes, so I made a big batch of hot pickle mix.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I took some cutting of my grape vines last fall and now I'm rooting them in buckets. If you put them in soil in a warm place, they will send out shoots and make their own roots.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
I've been keeping track of lows and highs in there all winter and the lowest temp recorded was I think around 4 degrees, but that was without using the row cover, a thin plastic fabric, which insulates the soil and keeps a warmer microclimate underneath. Once I'd planted, first small test beds in late January and then the first plantings of most crops in mid-February, I used row cover to add another layer over the beds to hold heat from the soil in overnight. During the sunny days I would roll back the row cover so the plants could get heat and sunlight.