Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lost in Berries....No Sugar Necessary

It's been a whirlwind month.  The raised beds seem intent on producing with a force previously unheard of to my garden-loving eyes and we have been rolling in their wonder for weeks now.  The beds have been prolific but raised as they may be, they couldn't have done this alone.  Our countertops are lined with jam jars, our bellies filled with beets, pole beans, and 101 ways to eat a strawberry.  Fatigued from great eating, we point our fingers at the mushroom compost.
It is a thing of wonder and richness so steeped in nutrients that when it arrives on the truck in large heavy loads it steams for days.  I watch it while I wash dishes at the kitchen sink in my own cloud of steam and wonder at the heat that lies beneath.  In fact, when we mixed it into our beds we had to be careful not to use too much or risk burning our plants before they ever saw the sun.
 To celebrate the strawberry bounty I made twenty jars of sugar free jam....and that doesn't mean Splenda either.  I don't consider that sugar free.  I used white grape juice concentrate and ignored the instructions about not skimping on sugar.  I didn't use a drop and it is delicious and perfectly set.
At the end of a day, Saffie loves to flip through garden magazines and wax poetic about his latest successes and failures on the growing front.  Lately it has been all about the compost.  "That stuff is really incredible," he says as he flips through the pages of Mother Earth News.  I agree of course but what, I wonder, will I do with all those beets.  They are growing like gangbusters.  I say this out loud and Saffie shouts, "Ah ha! Look at this!"  He flips to the page on canning for the backyard gardener.  A beautifully laid out article with answers to all my questions.  You get what you ask for around here.
The only remaining problem seems to be losing Lola in the strawberry beds.

Thanks for stopping by,

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