Thursday, 9 June 2016

More canning, ginger, and new plants....

We ventured out yesterday to go shopping,
our last shopping trip being nearly two weeks ago.
It is not something we like doing,
but we needed loo roll
and the lack of any in our store cupboard was something we could not ignore.

But a divertion....
we could not help but be seduced into the nearby Gamm Verre,
a store which sells gardening and food stuff,
and on sale were some tomato plants,
and since our tomato plants are all of an inch high,
we thought we ought to help our veg plot by buying a few plants.
Aubergines were bought too,
(seed packet lost in Lester's seed filing system)
and a couple of peppers and chilli plants.
It was a good shop.
Very satisfying.

In the misty murk of this pot are two small pork hocks,
recently raided from the freezers,
and on their way to being canned.
They gave us lunch,
and two jars, which are now in the canner as I write this.
I also have a bowl of gelatinous goop which I am going to have a go at dehydrating.
I have an urge to try and get some DIY stock preserved.
I could freeze the stock, but I don't want to put anything else into the freezers at the moment.
Apparently I put the goop on to dehydrator sheets,
how it does not roll of the sheets and dribble all over the place
is something I will soon find out.
I think a potential mess is going to happen.
Not to worry, trial and error,......

Forgot to mention that I canned five more jars up a couple of days ago,
not sure what the meat mixture was because the labels had got rubbed off.
Not to worry,
the meat looked alright except one piece which did not look quite as it should,
so that went to the dogs and the chicks.
I am on a roll with canning at the moment.
But I shall not be canning cherries.
I think I see ripe ones, and then I don't see them again.
 The birds.
Last year I put twine round the branches to deter the birds and we got a harvest.
This year I forgot, so am paying the price.
Plus, we are still in a dither about pruning,
and all the fruit trees are taking advantage of our leniency towards lopping their branches,
and putting on too much growth
rather than concentrating on making fruit.
One of the tasks this year..
to be bold and cut.

While out shopping I bought a small heap of ginger roots,

 the intention being to dehydrate them so I can make tea infusions.
It was bit of a story prepping them to go into the dehydrator,
and I inadvertently trimmed several finger nails
as I skinned, then grated / sliced the roots.
I had a sunny hour out in the veg plots gathering some more chamomile flowers,
so they went into the dehydrator as well.
The chamomile is a wild herb here,
what I mean is, that we don't say where it has to grow,
just let it do its own thing,
which it did joyously this year.

But Lester is back to drinking tea and coffee as per usual,
because he has exhausted all the spearmint leaves I dehydrated for winter supplies.
He does not feel inclined to try nettle tea.
I don't blame him.
It is work in progress at the moment to get the taste right.
I am hoping to coax him in to trying the ginger infusion.
Ginger and nettle mix?
Trial and error......

Off to band practice tonight,
and a gig on Saturday,
well not so much as a 'gig',
rather a play along as one hundred and fifty sheep are sheared.
I am hoping that I might be able to 'borrow' a fleece.
Our fleeces are all brown this year,
and the sheep to be sheared are white ones.
It would be handy to have a bit of contrast.
I am not sure if Lester will agree.
He thinks I have too many of our own fleeces to use up anyway.
Might have to do a bit of coaxing.
Still not bought my loom,
but I have a rising urge to put the order in.

And off I must go,
bye for now,


Cro Magnon said...

I always buy my tom, aubergine, pepper, and chilli plants from Gamme Vert (not Verre). They do the job far better than I do, and they all get off to a good start.

Vera said...

CRO MAGNON, we were surprised at how healthy the plants looked in Gamme Vert, especially since they were on sale. All planted now, which has cheered the veg plot up no end.

Kerry said...

I've taken the bold step to plant out our inch tomatoes, marked by a stick so I don't hoe them. We'll see what happens.

Coco said...

All my started seeds have exactly the same 2 leaves they had a month ago, so transplants it is. Clearly there´s more to this than I know about.

Vera said...

KERRY....what a relief that someone else also has very juvenile tomatoes to plant out!

COCO, the seeds in our seed trays are exactly the same as yours. Are we missing something?!

Kerry said...

We aren't the only ones with very tiny tomatoes, they just don't seem to have grown at all. We had the same problem with the peppers too. Might need to buy some as well.

Vera said...

KERRY, good luck with your tomatoes....I noticed that ours had put on the tiniest bit of growth but still have not grown any sensible sized leaves...

LaPré DelaForge said...

With tomatoes... they need 24 Centipedes of heat to get them do some beans [borolotti being one], courgettes, pumpkins, aubergines, chillllllliz, etcetera...
we have three incubators for seedlings... and the guest room with underfloor heating [very useful... different heights, different temperatures!!]
We tend to only have visitors in Summer... the room is clear by then... anyone earlier than that just has to up-put... but they know us!!
So, both you and Kerry need a source of bottom heat... you can get fixed ones that raise the ambient by 10 centpedes... but, if you room is at 18/19 centipede... you are then cooking your poor seeds and seedlings... and sow at the beginning of March... NOT April as it often says on the packets... if you get a quick germination, ignore the original plant as a producer...bring it on in the pot until it produces the side shoots you should usually pinch out.
Cut these off when about three inches long and put in a medicine glass [or yoghurt pot] of water until they grow rootlets... pot them up as normal... and for a good crop, and if they get leggy, planr them as deep as the first sideshoots... the stem that is underground will put out roots and the plant will be more vigorous and bear better fruit!

And Lester's seed filing is like Pauline's!
She decided to mix all the old sunflower seed that she had up there... and sow the lot in one bed...'cept she's now mislaid the packets having got them out to show me and mix up... then someone came to the door, coffee was had, the someone left... we went and did other necessary things (as one does)...and, lo-and-behold... the seeds got put somewhere safe... and you KNOW what that always means!!

Still, we are to Gammy Vertigo tomorrow to get yet more potting compost as the assorted squash, pumpkin, chillleze, aubergines, courgettes, cukes, etera-cetera have all outgrowed their current pots....
and the "maggot" isn't yet ready to receive them!!
So I shall buy some sunflower seeds... bright colours, multi-headed... for cutting.
That will... applying Sod's Law... immediately bring the others out of hiding!!
'Scuse the usual six sheet comment... here's to a good growing season... rain at night and sun during the day!!

Vera said...

TIM, thank you so much for the info, which I appreciate. We don't have underfloor heating, but we are going to get a poly tunnel to help get the seeds started and also give somewhere for Lester to go when the weather is not good. It is going to be his pottering space!
As for seeds....I used to keep the seed packets quite orderly, and used to have a map of where I had planted things out in the veg plots. Then Lester took over the veg growing this year, leaving me free to do other things, but he has his way of doing things which rather resembles the way he treats his sock drawer. Rummage around, toss everything about, might find what you are looking for but if you don't you can always yell for your wife to come find it for you!
A long time ago you did mention that you thought I should write. Just to say, that with the house now reasonably renovated and Lester taking over most of the outside work, I am now freed up. I am developing a website at the moment, and that will act as a base for the writing. When you made your suggestion it came at a time when I needed to have someone encourage me, and thank you for that. Vx

Ally said...

I have a pot of Moroccan mint and a pot of lemon verbena on my kitchen windowsill. Every afternoon I put two sprigs of each into my glass teapot, add boiling water and voila, beautiful fresh herbal tea. Quite delicious.

Vera said...

ALLY, I am now going to research Moroccan mint and lemon verbena to see if I can get cuttings from somewhere........need to get Lester off coffee and tea, and nettle tea infusion didn't do it for him!

DUTA said...

I'm an urban person, but I live in a zone where there are wars from time to time, and the topic of preparednes , especially food and water storage is of great interest to me. I kind of "swalow" your posts about canning, dehydration, and the like (it's also because I like your writing style).
However, I think that for my purpose, buying commercially canned items for the beligerent period, will do. It seems to me, it's more safe and sterile than the home canned ones. I may be wrong, of course but in emergencies, there's no time for trial and error.

Vera said...

DUTA, home canning the produce which is grown and harvested here on the smallholding means that our food is as organic as we can get it, but if we were urban living, as we were in the UK and did not have a garden big enough to grow out own food, then we would do the same as you.

Kirsty Udall said...

You can't get fewer 'food miles' than straight from the garden, sounds good!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I planted some chamomile here but it didn't come up.
You are canning a lot! I am hoping to have a lot of beans and tomatoes to can. Things are looking good so far but nothing is quite ready yet.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hey Vera, came by to see how you are doing? also wondering how the brexit will affect you? hoping you are well and missing you.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I don't have chamomile here but I do have ox-eye daisies which are very similar in looks and medicinal uses.

Vera said...

LISA, I shall look out for ox eye daisies in the future...I think we have a few of them here and there. The chamomile grows wild here, and this year has been rampant.
We also have some beans on their way...last year I dehydrated then but this year I shall have a go at canning them.