Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Great Tomato Mix Up of 2010

Last year I made a ton of online trades through garden websites, as well as with neighbors and friends. After all my collecting I ended up with a beautiful pile of heirloom variety tomatoes I wanted to try. I had some germination issues and had to retry a few types I absolutely had to have.

My big choices for the year were:
Italian Market Wonder
White Wonder
Chocolate Cherry
Ester's Yellow Cherry
Purple Cherokee
Green Sausage

I ended up with 14 beautiful strong plants (1 died of a fungal disease after the first harvest, but I managed to save all my others).

Somewhere along the line, I either mislabeled my plants, or was given bad information on what the kinds I had were. I even saved some seeds and planted from last year and I'm not so sure they are winners.

In fact, my White wonder are a very dark red with green on top even when ripe, and an ox heart shape. Not as dark at the Purple Cherokee are supposed to be. Then the supposed Purple Cherokee are only the size of a quarter right now, with maybe 5 on 2 plants. The roomi have no tomatoes to be seen, and the Italian Market look more orange/yellow then photos I've seen of them. The only plant that is labeled properly is the chocolate cherry!

I will get photos later with my concerns, but I've decided next year I will order my tomatoes from a trusted source and try again. I want to make sure I know what I have before I start saving seeds for myself, and to trade.

Where did I go wrong!? :/

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sweaty, but Alive!

I haven't had much to share from my garden lately. I've done a couple mornings of deep watering, but other then that its been too hot to do any weeding, and I've been late to harvesting. This heat has literally made me sick, and my A/C system can barely keep it 80 in the house.

I've been able to harvest a little bit, some tomatoes mostly. Because I haven't been as vigilant the June Bugs have done a number on some of my tomatoes, and at least 2 lbs of those have been offered up to the chickens as a treat in these hot times.

Sadly, yesterday, my small pen of Black Tailed White Japanese Bantam Chicks (7 weeks old) had 2 casualties. I lost a pullet and what appears to be a young roo. That leaves me with 7 chicks, and it only appears I have 3 pullets left from the group. I've been bringing them water daily as well as the rest of my chickens, and I've even given them watermelon, apples wedges and tons of veggie and fruit scraps from my jam prep. I think its at least made them fat and happy!

As you see, even in this heat, I have been canning and jamming when I can. Mostly at night when it begins to cool off. I was thrilled because starting last week the figs at our local farm were ready... and I'm THRILLED to have gotten a good 15-18lbs of them already. They make for the BEST jam! Check it out at my store while its still available!

You don't want to miss this one, its a limited edition all the way!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cheese Stuffed Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe -
Cut off top and remove seeds from 12-18 cherry tomatoes. Heirloom are your most flavorful choice. Set aside.
Then mix in a bowl 1/2 cup shredded mozerella,1/4-1/2 cup bread crumbs, 2+ tbsp olive oil (enough so everything sticks and blends well), a handful of fresh chopped basil, salt and pepper.

Stuff tomatoes and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Eat hot, OR cold as a side or appetizer.

Etsy Front Page Feature - Blueberry Juice Concentrate -

I was so lucky to find a site that tells you if you appear on the front page of etsy, and when it was... and of course WHAT made it! I found yesterday I was in a treasury that made it to the front page of Esty, even though it was at 3am. :)
The lucky item, my Blueberry Juice Concentrate: http://www.etsy.com/listing/51061021/8-oz-jar-of-organic-blueberry-juice

It definitely feels good to be noticed!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I've Been Jamming!

I've been harvesting and picking and jamming for weeks now. I've sold several dozens of jars already this year. I'm trying to get a good stock to get through the winter for our family, and for my business... I just never thought I would be so busy as I am that I can't get ahead. I sell at my Etsy store of course (http://BiscottiQueen.Etsy.com), but I also sell at Holland Farms, a local farm with a public stand near town. I am trying to get enough together to offer at a coffee house in Garner, NC as well. So it looks like I need to double up what I do in a day... especially since this is all I have left in my possession!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Yum Yum! Berries, Goat Cheese & Cream!

I made a simple dessert last night for my company. Tis' the season for Berries, so they should be included in meals, desserts, drinks and simple snacks for as long as possible... for the season is too short :( So what I whipped up was:

I cooked down 2 cups of each berry I had (blueberries, blackberries & strawberries) until all the juice was bubbling in the pot. This took like 10 minutes on medium heat.

I strained out the berries and put those in the fridge to chill, then added 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup red wine. I cooked this down by 1/2 into a syrup.

In the food processor I mixed 6 oz cold goat cheese and 3/4 cup of whipping cream with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Put in the fridge to chill too,

When the syrup was ready I let it sit and thicken to room temp.

I served this after dinner on the deck with glasses of wine for the company. Berries and syrup over a slice of angel food cake and then topped with the whipped goat cheese topping!!! Mmmmm