June 19, 2017
Usually by mid June I am having a full counter with vegetables but this year its slower and I really have no idea, well besides I did not plant many different vegetables.
I have gotten a few ripe tomatoes as well as bell peppers from the plants I raised all Winter ( Winter in Alabama is from January through March, those are the cold months) The cucumbers have fallen over and have began to run. I am sure I seen a bloom on the squash and the okra is growing but I know not to expect okra till more toward the end of summer.
I read up on "Ginger" and I re-potted it a few days ago, I am glad I did my homework because I was not aware it liked more shade than sun, so I will keep it in the house and see how that goes, this is the second year but this year it has many more shoots and has grown. I did not mean to but one shoot broke :(
What I have been blessed with is blackberries, I live closer to the woods than to the city and I have a long drive way onto this property and it has plenty of blackberry bushes as well as the one side that separates the land. Over they years I have picked these bushes and if I could not home can at the time I would freeze the berries and do them later. Since I am headed off the grid and I need to reduce the power bill I am trying my best to can more than freeze, and sooner than later give up the deep freezer. The past weekend I cleaned out the blackberry shelf in the deep freezer and home canned all of last years and this years blackberries, saving only a couple quarts to trade/barter with.
We enjoy a blackberry pie or cobbler from time to time or just the berries in a home made milk shake, there are so many desserts to make with blackberries and the medicinal properties are awesome, a little juice will help an upset stomach! I home canned 15 pints and 1 half pint of blackberries in light syrup. Two quarts of juice.
I also made 20 half pints of the blackberry jelly "no seed". I have found that many people love the taste of the berry but cannot digest the seeds due to health problems so I always make a couple cases of no seed jelly, I will share with the elderly in the Winter, or as a Christmas gift.
For more on how to make blackberry jelly click here : Making Blackberry Jelly
I did trade one quart of blackberries already, for a basket of strawberries, no trade was needed but I always feel like I should also have something in season to share, plus when you trade you will know that one does not walk away empty handed. I think that is that wee bit of American Indian I have in me.
For more on how to make Strawberry pie filling click here : Easy Strawberry pie filling
While going through the deep freezer I also noticed blueberries and mango, I think you know what I will be doing this week :)
How is your garden growing? Any home canning or freezing going on?
By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry