Thursday, May 30, 2013

Everyone can preserve food.....Berries!!

So as summer creeps into the back yard with warm weather, bright evenings and quick summer storms, I can think of only one thing.....strawberries. It is the season because it leads to a stream of fantastic fruits after fruits after fruits.

Since we only eat strawberries when they are in season locally, its a big deal when the season comes along. So to help this season last into the winter months, I freeze summer berries. Summer berries for my family include blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. So here is how you do it....

Get your berries, preferably local, and wash the berries.

Then if you have strawberries, cut off the tops. The tops get saved at our house because they are a tasty treat for the ladies out back. If you have blueberries, remove any stems.

Placed all the berries on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You place them on the cookie sheet so the fruit freezes before putting them in the bag to reduce squashing. 

Then place the tray in the freezer over night. The following day, remove the tray and place the berries into a freezer zip plastic bag. 

Try to remove as much air as possible, label and place back into the freezer. Easy right, if you followed the above steps, congrats on preserving the first of many batches of berries this summer.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A planting I shall go...

Back in early April, I started my garden by planting seeds. Since it's cool outside with warm weather soon to be on its way, I planted the following seeds: spinach, lettuce, carrot, squash, cucumbers and onions.

Here is the garden growing as of Mother's Day.....

Carrot Forest
Cucumbers, pickles will be in our future. 
onions with a few left over carrots growing.

So the first weekend after Derby, which is a standard event that marks planting your garden in Louisville. Because everyone knows up until then it could be sunny, rainy or even snowy. With that date in mind, I took a vacation day the Monday after Mother's day just to plant my garden.

The day before JP helped me take the compost out of our two bins. It was nice to see that rich black soil that we made from our food scrapes, leaves, grass and chicken coop straw. There was enough to fill the potato bed high and add some to each of the other raised beds to be worked into the soil. With joint effort we got this done rather quickly.

I woke up just as if it was another work day, went through my routine. Dropped little bit off at day care and stopped on the way home for a jog. By 9 a.m. I was dressed in a tank top, overalls and boots. Wheel barrel, shovels and garden plan out and ready to go. It took several trips to get all the plants down to the garden.

Reviewing the garden layout, I got all the plants next to their raised bed. I made sure to rotate plants into different beds. Here are the beds after hours of work, joyful work.

Pepper plants I purchase from the farmers market, half of mine seeds did not sprout.
Here are some of my pepper plants, small compared to the others I purchased. 


More tomato plants!!
So after all was said and done, I planted 50+ tomato plants including cherry, yellow pear, roma, early girl, beefy and heirloom, 30+ pepper plants including bell pepper and banana, 9 squash/zucchini. It was  a wonderfully cool slightly breezy day, with the sunny popping in and out. I also planted a bed of potatoes.

Now I just need to keep it de-weeded, watered and growing. This is going to be our best garden yet, can't wait to see all that it produces.

Here's whats growing in my herb garden...

First Strawberry
Less then an week later.... this is what I saw, my greenbeans sprouted

Monday, May 20, 2013

My Fairy Tale Weekend

Farmers Market Fresh

The Ultimate Hop Scotch by Avery

Sunday Evening Dessert capturing the taste of summer a.k.a Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Fairy Tale Mother's Day Weekend

Sonya made me a magnetic at school

Mother's Day Breakfast (I'm in the middle of a 30 day Green Smoothie Challenge)

A Trip to the Zoo for Mother's Day