The State of the U-Pick 2013 (+ Recipe)

Strawberry-Canning.jpgSTRAWBERRIES

I went strawberry picking a few times, gathering a total of 22.88 pounds. I had a canning party with two girlfriends, and froze the rest:

  • 3- 1/2 pint jars of strawberry butter
  • 4 pint  jars strawberry lemonade concentrate
  • 2 – 3/4 pint jars strawberry lemonade concentrate
  • 1- 1/2 pint jar strawberry chamomile syrup
  • 18 1/2 pints frozen
  • 2 quarts strawberry vodka

BLACK RASPBERRIES

We harvested about 12 cups of black raspberries from the backyard, but none made it to the freezer– we ate them too fast!

Maraschino-Cherries-2.jpg

CHERRIES

The cherry crop at most of the local farms took a hit this summer, and most of them weren’t offering U-Pick. Grisamore’s was, though, but warned us the season would be short. So when we had an opportunity to U-Pick sweet cherries, we went all out and I came home with 14.4 pounds of what I believe are Bings and maybe Rainiers (?). This was just a few days before our long weekend in Ohio for the family reunion, so I had a few late nights of pitting and freezing cherries- there was no time for canning! I ended up with:

  • 4 1/2 pints frozen Bings
  • 1 1/2 pints of the maybe-Rainiers
  • 9- 2 cup bags of mixed cherries (and 1- 1/2 cup bag)
As for sour cherries, I picked 5.5 pounds, which I oven-dried and turned into maraschino cherries:

GARLIC SCAPES

I had some extra that needed to be used, so we have 1 jar of scape pesto frozen for later.

Plums.jpg

PLUMS

This was another “we’ll only have these for a few days” U-Pick purchase, this time at Indian Creek. I expect we will eat most of these fresh or as a grilled cobbler (recipe below!), but I saved a bunch of the pits and have started making this liquour.

SUMMER SQUASH

Since my own zucchini growing was a bust, I picked up a ton of squash at the market this weekend. I’m planning on grilling some tomorrow, letting it cool and then package it up for freezing!

Pickles.jpg… 

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Savvy Garden 2013: Zucchini

JulyGarden 2

There is an old tradition of slipping your family, friends and neighbors some summer squash whenever you can manage, because home gardeners are usually drowning in zucchini and summer squash around this time of year.  In fact, August 8 is the official “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night.”

You know who will not be participating in that holiday? The Savvy Household.  Because somehow, zucchini seems to be one of the only things I cannot successfully grow.

The other one? Peppers. I think it just doesn’t get sunny and hot enough in the backyard for long enough.

The first year we were in the house, my zucchini plants got a bad case of powdery mildew and had to be tossed before any vegetables formed.  Last year, they were attacked by bugs, and I again got zero zucchini.  This summer, my zucchini plants were lush and leafy. I cross-planted them with borage and nasturtium to help with the bugs, and everything seemed to be going well.  Except, the female flowers never seemed to open.  The result? Tiny 2″-long zucchini-to-be that withered and died because they never got pollinated.  

Sad face.  However, I have been getting a ton of cucumbers (5 last week alone, and plenty more babies on the vine) and the beans have started coming in.  I’ve never had more basil, and I just harvested the garlic and shallots.  And I think I’m going to throw in the towel on the zucchini this week and plant some carrots and salad greens in their place.

How is your gardening going?