canning

“Preservation Pantry” by Sarah Marshall – A great guide for preserving

“Preservation Pantry: Modern Canning from root to Top & Stem to Core” by Sarah Marshall

This has got to be one of the best guides to preserving fruit and vegetables that I have seen in a while. In addition to easy-to-understand descriptions for preserving and canning, there are helpful suggestions for storage, recommendations for equipment and tools required, and even recipes using your preserves. Great range of preserving ideas. I am looking forward to preparing the white wine & tomato sauce for marina as soon as my next lot of tomatoes are ripe. I suspect that this will become an often-leafed-through book in my kitchen.

Advertisements
Seasonal guide

Things to do in Autumn

Yes I know, It’s hard to believe it, but Autumn is here already. We have at least another good month of Summer weather before we need to start on out Autumn gardening, but if you need some advice on what needs to be done check out the lists below:
What to plant in Autumn:
Salad Vegetables: Asian Greens, Lettuce, Endive, Salad Greens, Silver Beet, Spinach
Legumes: Beans, Peas
Root Vegetables: Beetroot, Carrots, Parsnips, Potatoes, Radish, Globe artichokes
Onions: Onions, Leeks, Garlic, Spring Onions, Fennel 
Brassicas: Broccoli, Broccolini, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Mustard, Chinese Cabbage
Fruit: Strawberries
 
What to Harvest:
  • Pumpkins, Squash, Corn, Potatoes
  • Capsicum, Chillies (early season)
  • Lettuce, Salad Greens, Herbs
  • Berries (early season)
  • Apples
Jobs to do:
  • Weeding
  • Remove dead annuals, trim hedges and vines
  • Dead head flowers
  • Cut away dead berry canes, prune fruit trees 
  • Clean BBQ (for Winter storage)
  • Clear Summer crops and till/fork through soil
  • Add manure, compost and fertilisers and dig through
  • Test soil and add necessary additives (dolomite for example)
  • Plant bulbs and sweat peas (April)
  • Lay down a layer of sugarcane mulch (or mulch of choice)
Potential Problems:
Sometimes cold snaps make it difficult to get seeds to germinate and seedlings to harden off (survive the cold).  You may want to consider using a frame over the beds to keep the seedlings warm.
Apples, Summer, Summer Gardening

How can you tell if apples are ready to harvest?

Are your apple trees heavy with fruit? Are you not sure if they are ready to pick yet? Here is a sure fire test:

  1. They pull off the tree with relative ease.
  2. Cut a sample piece open. If the seeds are brown, then you are good to go. If the seeds are still white then wait a little longer.
  3. Taste it. It should be firm and sweet, but not powdering or tart (unless its a green variety)

Preserves

Millions of peaches!

Well, not quite a million, but I certainly have a lot. The recent extreme heat here in Melbourne resulted in almost my entire crop of peaches ripening at once. Henry (my husband) did his best to eat as many as possible, but didn’t make much of dent in the pile. In addition to handing over enough fruit to fill pre-school and kindergarten lunches (In addition to our time-share cat, we now have two small children who come over the back fence and play in the garden), I have more than enough peaches to make a peach jam, to contribute to my summer fruits jam, and fill at least one pie! What’s even more scary is that the apples are ready to harvest too!  Need to do some preserving? Try this: Jam Recipe