Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spring Surprise

... I'm planning for one.

Look at this pot:

Pot of soil.

Now look at this pot:

Pot of even more soil.

What's the difference? What's the BIG deal, you ask? This:

$1.98 a box at Winco.

I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it! I am now just going to forget this happened so I can be totally surprised when my little daffs poke their greenery out of the cold soil and begin the ascent to a beautiful display a little before my muscari poke their green tips out of the soil as well. So excited! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday Market

Despite having a cold, I ventured out into the fall weather to the Saturday Market (dragging CM and his sister TM along too :)  )

The Market was quite a bit smaller than in June as to be expected. But we were able to find some things we were interested. Here are the spoils:

The spoils. :)

CM bought a pie pumpkin to use for Thanksgiving. I bought a head of lettuce (for $1.00!) to share with TM and was given a free bag of sunflower sprouts which were really good. 

We bought salsa and cilantro from Gathering Together Farm for dinner. CM made pico de gallo with the cilantro and used it in homemade rice as well. Yes! Those are Concord grapes and figs. I only bought a little of each because I was't sure how good they would be. The figs were a bit dry but still tasted fine, the grapes certainly need to be fully ripe before eating. :)

TM bought sun dried tomatoes and CM bought chipotle peppers from Rasmussen's Peppers & More. Pizza and more Mexican food may be in the mix!

While we browsed the vendors' wares  we listened to Gumbo, which had some rag-time-y bayou music. Very neat group. We also enjoyed pretzels from the pretzel lady. They were large and square and covered in asiago and red pepper flakes. 

I bought some honey roasted hazelnuts from Filbert R Us and...

The lavender jelly.

Lavender jelly! TM and I tried samples from Kings Valley Gardens. After I spotted the jar I knew I had to try it. This jar is the last of the season and it is good!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More Potting for the Winter

ALSO! Finally planted my rosemary cutting. :) I cut it last summer... 'Bout time! I know.

This summer I brought back some lemon mint, you might remember from an earlier post. What about it? I, of course, rooted some! The large stem I originally rooted is a bit bare, but I ended up with tiny mint plants as well:

I also took a couple small geranium plants that were growing "wild" in an unused pot. We'll see what happens:

Maybe the most exciting cutting is my evergreen jasmine. I took six cuttings at the end of September. One took exceptionally to root, a second barely started when I planted. They were taken from the bush in the corner of the backyard.

I have been rooting two good cuttings from my basil for about a month. I am going to try to keep it going through the winter. I took two more cuttings from those that I planted as well.

And more scented geranium cuttings...

 CM's sister bought a basil plant at the grocery store and is going to plant it also, that is the plant in the jar on the right. Between both those jars is a plastic bag can anyone guess what's inside? Tangerine seeds!  I bagged them quickly after I used the tangerine in apple cider I was making. I didn't have time to look up Fallglo to see if they could be germinated so I saved them.

Unfortunately, Fallglo doesn't readily germinate. In case you were wondering, I did read that citrus isn't always true to type from seed, same as apples, pears, cherries, etc. So, I might just throw the seeds out, unless (and here's the gardener in me) one germinates soon. I could at least try to grow an evergreen tree with fragrant flowers and questionable orange fruit, right?

I've already started looking for a nice plant stand... I think I have found a style I like though.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Something Grandpa Would Like

Here is a link to another blog: Click Me!

It is a shout out to our very own Oregon State University regarding blue tomatoes. that's right! Blue tomatoes. They look really neat!

Apple Pressing

Ah! The adventures of apple pressing this fall. A friend of CM's invited us to pick apples so we could use CM's cider press.

The picking was good:

The pick.

Unfortunately, a small part on the press had to be replaced before use, and even more unfortunately the replacement did not fit as well as hoped. But we pressed on! :)

CM cranking the press.

It was slow going and took over an hour to get this much:

Straining the fresh apple juice.

We used mostly Gravensteins and they happened to be a bit too dry for us:

Sampling the fresh apple juice.

A couple weeks later we joined forces against more apples when we were offered the chance to use a locally rented apple press:

Look at that press!

It had a grinder as well, making the whole process smooth and quick especially with three people.

Working the press.

There was plenty more than this too:

Look at that froth!

And this time, the juice turned out deliciously good! Most of the apples used in this batch were an unknown variety that came on later so they were not as dry. It was a very pretty green and red apple about two inches in diameter, in case anyone can identify that. :)

We brought our half of the juice back and CM pasteurized it immediately. We bottled it up in three one-gallon plastic jugs. Only one remains ... safely in the freezer. YUM!


I realized I was reluctant to share what the cobs looked like when fully cooked!