Today was dilly carrot day. This years crop of carrots is really amazing. Keeping the seeds moist enough till they germinate is always the problem, but this year we had no rain AT ALL thru the germination period. I’m a firm believer in watering rows, not the dirt in between. I have enough room to have really wide alleys between my rows so the thought of watering all that empty space is contrary to my small “c” conservative nature. Not that I’m so opposed to using water, or want to conserve water–of course, that is there, but my well is good and the supply plentiful. It’s more that I am lazy, and watering between the rows will just help those damn weed seeds to germinate and I don’t want to weed. So all of June, twice a day, I hand watered the rows. My kids gave me some large three gallon watering cans for Mother’s Day, and I have several water barrels for storage. The seeds/small plants prefer warm water and the well water is about 3 degrees Celsius. In the barrels the water warms to ambient temperature and is so much nicer to work with. It was quite a work out to swing those heavy watering cans. Its also very calming–the repetitive swinging of the watering cans, the sound of the water on the soil, the smell of the wet dirt. Did you know there is a word for the smell of rain/water on dirt? Petrichor. Isn’t that a great word? The smell is immediately recognizable but I had no idea there was an actual word for it. I only learned this word from listening to a CBC radio interview with a man who read the entire dictionary, (not sure which one) and then wrote a book about it. The interviewer asked him what his favorite words were and petrichor was one of them. I remembered it because I was in the street sweeper at the time and had just turned on the brooms and the water and the smell floated into the cab. Petrichor. Cool word.
Anyway I harvested what I thought would be enough carrots.
I couldn’t really be bothered using small jars for this project.
Again, I just can’t justify expending so much effort to trim the carrots to fit those small jars–too Martha Stewart. I’m more of a “find the biggest containers I can find, slice the carrots into reasonable sticks and stuff them in” kind of person. These are really refrigerator pickles, processing them in a water bath would just take all the “crisp” out of them. And no, my fridge is not big enough for all those jars, but I have access to an empty fridge and there is enough storage space there. Dill from the garden, garlic and some hot peppers also from the garden.
One big jar was plain, one had one pepper, and the third has three. A simple syrup of vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, salt, with the dill heads in the jar, and that was that. How easy is that? I ran out of carrots and had to go back for more, but I have a fifty foot row, and all the uglies and smalls go to the rabbits, ponies and goats. They love the carrot tops too. The peels go to the chickens. Everybody’s happy 🙂
I also made cherry jam the other day.
My last day in Calgary we went to the Calgary Farmer’s Market. I scored two large pails of Lapin cherries for $5 each. I always thought that Bing was the only variety of sweet cherry BC grew. But my daughter and I discovered the Lapin when we stopped at a U-pick in Vernon many moons ago. Big, black, almost plum sized. Meaty juicy black jewels. I can’t be bothered to even eat a Bing any more, and we rarely get the Lapin’s here in Saskatchewan. So I felt blessed to find them. They were not perfect, but were much better than I expected for the price, and perfectly fine for jam. I spent several hours pitting them, one for me, one for the pot, two for me, one for the pot…I ended up with slightly less in the pot than I had thought. I wonder why?? The juice and zest from two juicy lemons, one scant cup of sugar for every cup of fruit, and two moist vanilla pods split up the middle with the seeds scraped out. I just left the pods in for extra flavor. Seven and a half pints of jam. Lovely.
I’m slowly slowly working down the list of produce to can or freeze. Next up will be creamed corn as the corn is ready. My mother always liked freezing the cobs and eating it that way but I always found that tough. Creamed corn is so versatile. I freeze it in zip lock bags–it takes up much less space that way, and then I have it for a side, to add to chili or for corn bread.
I love my garden!!
ADDENDUM: Aaaargh!!! Not only did I drop my phone a few weeks ago and shatter the screen but I have been listening to the audio books, The Amazing Mrs Polifax, and The Unexpected Mrs Polifax, and have now been restricted by SaskTel to a slower data speed, consequently I am unable to load pictures. So, this post will contain no pictures, and I will insert them when I get my data speed back. I go months and months barely using any data, but this is not cumulative apparently, so I can’t save it for when I need it–SaskTel!! No wonder they are a money making crown—