The time of summer where you have to gather up your growing and keep harvests coming.
I tend to lack my luster this time of year. It’s so hot to be continuing to cook in the kitchen and some plants are beginning to die back from the heat that motivation is lost. Not this year. This year the garden will get a big boost of pruning and extra water to try and keep it strong through autumn.
One issue is there are a lot of spring blooming flowers and August blooming flowers. Nothing in between. I am in need of some July blooming plants.
Regardless I am bringing in some old tricks and also trying a few new things. I find doing old or seasoned skills keeps confidence up enough to stay motivated but learning new things keeps boredom at bay.
Back on the granola bar train.
Recently I got a new car and I banned milk and crumbly food from my back seat – where the toddlers sit.
Ever since having kids my vehicles just get this… smell.
Well despite banning the items from my car, it still developed a smell. Where it comes from? No clue.
Anyway… I am back to making the kids granola bars. I added milled flax, coconut, and sunflower seeds. They are actually really fricken good.
The boys love them too.
Peanut butter (or any nut butter) can hide anything healthy. 😉
How to ‘Can’ Canning Illness...?
Every year I make a list of goals for the year – tasks or skills I would like to accomplish.
This year was preserving food was on the list. I had mastered my jams and jellies last year so what could be so hard?
Well the fact that when I opened my black beans from a few weeks back and they fizzed and smelled to the high heavens….
I had a feeling that was going to happen if you remember my last post about canning. I just like to learn my experiment sometime. I am going to ask for a canning book for Christmas and put the task on next years list of skills.
That will not deter me from preserving food this year. We have a vacuum sealer and freezer I can use. I also have some experience in fermenting.
We will learn to safely can. I will not give my family botulism.
How did people learn to preserve back in the day? Did they make their families ill often? How did so many years of skills and learning get lost SO FAST. Like one generation wasn’t interested and BOOM nobody has the art anymore.
We are SO reliant on what is in the store.
I know I am not the first trying to bring back this art. I just want my children to know how to do some of these skills. I also want to spread awareness by writing about it.
For this week I stuck to canning my syrup and bone broth.
But I am questioning… if I need to add salt or acid to my broth. I suspect I need a test kit.
I collected a heap of nettles and dried them. It was a TON.
Then I made my first nettle infusion and I weighed my 1oz dried nettles for 1 quart infusion.
It was my entire jar! 😱
I weighed it like three times.
I thought I had enough for winter. I didn’t.
Needless to say I will be out harvesting nettle the rest of the year.
The infusion isn’t the BEST tasting thing in the entire world but it isn’t bad. It tastes like drinking a salad. I will probably add some lemon and honey and it will doctor it up well enough.
The benefits are outstanding and I keep telling myself food is for fuel. We are taught to eat for comfort or taste. That’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s good to fuel our bodies.
I told ya I collected nettle.
The benefit of collecting nettle is that it grows on a single stalk, but when you pluck it, two more grow. So, the more you collect, the bushier it gets.
Dahlias do the same thing.
It seems counter intuitive but some planes just grow that way. Lucky for me, so does nettle. Also… collecting stalks prevents the plant from going straight to seed.
Mute more you collect, the more you get.
I suspect I’ll have to let it go to seed at some point or I’ll kill my patch for next year.
Save the Honey Bees.
Bringing the 4yo to flag football this week we saw some… HONEYBEES.
Not the fluffy bumble bees, but true honey bees.
It makes me so anxious to eventually add them to our farm. Within the next few years I would really like to build an addition for them. In due time.
I see honey bees on sedum and other similar ‘bee’ plants but to see them on clover at the park just made my heart dance.
As a child I never remember seeing the pretty honey bee, just the fluffy bumble bee or nasty wasp/hornet.
Whenever honey bees visit flowers it changes the flavor of the honey they are building. It pollinates the plants and allows them to build their food reserve for winter. The dying bees are able to build their colonies.
I want bees. 🐝
From making an old favorite like granola bars to trying nettles infusion and beyond.. it’s nice to keep a balance.
If you ever have any questions, or ideas for future blogs, comment below or shoot me an email!
From the farm,