I got a little bit of gardening done this weekend. I went through the cell packs I planted in the late fall and got rid of the pots which failed to grow seedlings. I found some Mushrooms in some.
There were Celtuce that surprisingly survived, so I planted those into a large Daiso pot.
I also pulled a lot of weeds near Veggie Beds 1 and 2 and pick off damaged and dead leaves from plants.
As I was weeding I noticed that there was another volunteer Litchi Tomatoes, making the total to three plants now. They are also starting to form flower buds. These are sure strong plants… or maybe they like cooler weather. I’ll have to pot these up into a large container and give Litchi Tomatoes another try.
Around the beds, volunteer Calendulas and Daffodils are blooming.
I even caught the first Spring Starflower to bloom, which means there are about 100 more to come.
Also starting to bloom are some fruit trees, including the two unknown Asian Plums, the grafted Inca Plum and surprisingly a very very early grafted Anna Apple. I’ll have to start grafting Plums next weekend.
I never posted photos of the Apple & Pear Sauce which I made back in September 2011… So here they are.
I harvested a bunch of Apples and Pears from our garden. We have a bunch of trees, so I just take a couple here and a couple there for a mixture of different Apples, Pears and Asian Pears.
Just dump them into the sink and wash them in a pool of water.
Skin them… You can leave the skins on, but I like the Apple and Pear sauce without the skins. Chop them up into pieces.
Place the sliced Apples and Pears into a big pot with about a teaspoon of cinnamon and some sugar. I usually put about a quarter to a third of the amount that the recipe calls for because my Mom doesn’t like it too sweet. You can also add a little bit of lemon or use honey instead of sugar… You can find various recipes online.
Set the stove between medium and high until the Apples and Pears soften and releases its liquid (I don’t even add water). Once it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low… then just continue to mix, mash and cook it down until it’s a consistency that you like. I like a little bit of fruit chunks, so I don’t cook it too long. It will get darker as you cook it more.
Once done, I place them in prepared canning bottles and boil the bottles according to the canning instructions. Once cooled, these should last for a while.
We have ours stored in the pantry and sometimes when I feel like making a simple and quick pastry, I’ll open a bottle and fill biscuit dough (from those refrigerated tubes) with about a teaspoon of sauce. Fold the edge together to enclose the filling and crimp the edges.
Then roll the dough in cinnamon sugar and bake. Eat while warm because once they cool down, the pastry may get soggy.
We have this Apple growing in our yard, but we lost the plant tag a long time ago. It has a really good taste that is sweet and a little tangy. When you slice it open, there are portions of the flesh that are semi-translucent–like it’s been frozen–but it hasn’t. I haven’t seen this in any other Apples. My Mom says that the fruits are always like this and it reminds her of a Pineapple.
This weekend, we had beautiful summer-like weather with highs reaching 78°F (normal average is 63°F). Looks like we are going to have an early spring (which is what I think Mr. Groundhog told us). I remember last year, I couldn’t plant outside until May because he had rain everyday in April.
It’s funny seeing myself plant seeds… Does anyone else sit down cross-legged with slippers and short on and work on the ground like that? I think I need a potting table…
I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and start planting seeds… and I did some massive seed sowing:
– Lemon Cucumber
– Cosmos ‘Picotee’
– Cosmos ‘Sensation Mixed Colors’
– Orange Cosmos from treebreeze (Thank you for these! :)
– Sunflower ‘Summer Sun’ (Ox-Eye) (Heliopsis Scabra)
– Agrostemma ‘Ocean Pearl’
– Strawflower (Helichrysum) Tall Double Mixed Colors
– Nasturtium ‘Jewel Mixed Colors’
– Zinnia ‘Envy’
– Zinnia ‘Candy Cane Mix’
– Zinnia ‘Dahlia Flowered Mixed Colors’
– Zinnia ‘Giant Cactus Mixed Colors’
– Zinnia ‘Thumbelina’
– Lamb’s Ears (I think they are Lamb’s Ears) seeds that I collect from San Anselmo
Spiders, Spiders, Spiders: As I was filling the 6-pack cell pots with soil, I found a Spider living in between them. I released it so it can find a new home. My Mom then noticed a Spider that had made a home in our of our decorative bird house. Then when I was sowing the seeds, I notice hundreds of tiny baby spiders around the 6-packs, so I tried to disperse them around the garden to make new homes.
Peanuts: I also took the Peanut outdoors and repotted it (again) into a larger container (its permanent home) filled with potting soil and a lot of perlite to make the soil really loose.
Recent blooms: Spring Starflower, Rananculus
About to bloom: the very first Columbine, Pears, Apples, Clematis, Wisteria