The garden is amazing these days. The summer rains have wrought miracles.
Now, while madly making inventory for our next festival and prepping for fall homeschooling, I'm also trying to preserve some of the harvest. It's a busy season.
I took a pickling class at the Extension office last month. We canned cucumber pickles and made relish. Here are some lower energy cucumber ideas - refrigerator pickles and lacto-fermented pickles. Also a yummy salad with calendula petals and mint. The refrigerator pickles were the biggest hit. They are sweetened with sugar but next time I will try honey. Will post the recipe soon. It's really easy.
Here's a pretty but failed experiment in preserving zuchini by drying. The sun dried stuff molded in 3 days and smelled ghastly. The electric dryer (got it on Craigslist for 10.00!) dried them fast but there was almost nothing left. My friend Anne said she tried this and later used it in a recipe. The taste was like cardboard.
Nettles are a girl's best friend. This picture of nettles drying in the kitchen window is from early July. We picked these in the woods nearby. Wear gloves when you pick nettles! They are a rich source of vitamin A, C,E, and D, and lots of minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Make an infusion by filling a mason jar with a cup of dried nettles and pouring boiling water over it to fill the jar. Leave for several hours, then refrigerate. Refreshing and nutritious!
Hooray for garlic! I was thrilled to have enough garlic to braid it into 2 big braids. I've got one hanging in my kitchen now and love to snip off the bulbs as needed.
Vegetables are God's art: True Blue potato, Valentine beet, and Danvers carrot.
Next on the preservation agenda are about 30 pounds of beets. We are planning a canning party next week.