Friday, March 4, 2011

Elderberry jelly

Matt picked a lot of the elderberries along with most of the pears so I am busy making elderberry jelly and bottled pears. I think my hands will remain a sort of muddy purple for ages. The next thing is all those apples falling off the tree. I'll use some in the elderberry jelly as a setting agent and the better ones will get themselves bottled. There seem to be a good number this year too. Last year was so poor I let the birds have what there was.

I strained the elderberries through a nice piece of cotton which I have sprinkled with salt. Hopefully there will be a dye result from that. Probably muddy purple :)

We also cut the first bunch of celery - very nice and crunchy. I intend to use some of the tops for soup - I have a soup base in the fridge (ham bone from christmas, boiled) so it might be vege soup for tea round here.

The potatoes from the front gate did exactly one dinner. Better than nothing I suppose. They were very nice though. I'm of the opinion that potatoes are not the best thing to grow in a small garden because they just don't give enough back that is special for the area they take up. I'd rather grow greens and other roots and buy the potatoes from the market. However, a small number for special events (christmas etc) is always welcome.

The corn James planted has actually developed a few flowers! You never know - there might be some sweet corn yet :) The lettuce is still going strong and so is the silver beet (swiss chard) much to the disgust of the kids :) However it can be disguised suitably with a bit of effort and it is free so they just have to live with it!

And that is the news round here :) I can't wait to see if that elderberried cloth works out!

viv in nz

The photos are from Karitane last year


Kate said...

We've had some success growing potatoes with the "tire-stack" method. Lay one old car/ truck tire flat, fill it with dirt, and plant the potatoes, As soon as there's about six inches of green plant sticking out, lay another tire on top & fill it with dirt. Keep layering tires as high as you like, and when it;s time to harvest, just push the tires off the stack :-)

knutty knitter said...

We did that one year and got one great stack and one with exactly 3 spuds!

Then we discovered that car tyres are rather toxic and thought perhaps not.

viv in nz

Tread Softly said...

Yay for preserving food :) Sounds like you're doing a lot with your small garden.

knutty knitter said...

Makes for a lot of effort at this time of the year though.

Well worth it in the middle of winter :)