Friday, October 4, 2013

Nuts and Berries...

Random garden notes:

Oh, if Martha could see me now.  Our property has surprised us with the following "bonus food" this year.  I think I was actually dressed like Martha when these things were all planted, so, you know, I'm thinking that totally helped. 

Our lone filbert (hazelnut-type) nut tree has been in our yard for more than 10 years, and this year it HAS ACTUAL NUTS ON IT.  omg.  Too cool!  Not just a few, either--We already picked and have eaten quite a few, but today I sent our youngest out to see what else she could find to gather, and she brought back a small laundry basket full.  sa-weet 

The single formerly non-fruiting black walnut tree we have, dropped one...single...walnut today.  Ok.  But still, it's something--

I found a stray volunteer bush in the front yard and realized it's a elderberry, which can be used to make an awesome medicinal cold/flu syrup.  *check*  Plus, they say fairies gather under elderberry bushes at night or something, so now I have an excuse to be in the garden at midnight.  (bonus!) <~~that's a joke, people.

A "flowering plum" tree that has just...flowered..., for years, was covered in FRUIT this year. 

Downside:  Of the FOUR apple trees we have, NONE of them have fruit.  No, wait.  I picked a total of 8 off the one, and got two spider bites on my head for my trouble, which caused me to dream that I had a spider in my hair and wake up thinking there was one in my bed (not cool. at all).  The apple trees are 11 years old and usually produce more apples than I really need, especially since I'm not a fan of apple products (no pun intended).  Maybe I should wear Martha-ish stuff when I prune in the spring or something.  I can only assume we had a killing frost late in the spring...everything else about them looks fine.  Not that I'm any sort of expert; they could have some rare apple tree disease, and I'd be the last to know.
Yep, that's most of the apples. And a hair clip that almost caused me to hang myself from an apple branch

And, in case you've ever tried drying your own fruit leather for the first time (you remember, that stuff mom made when we were kids, which we gobbled up the same day it was made), but then you forgot to take it out of the oven/dryer overnight and cooked it somewhat into almost oblivion, where the (also experimental) wax paper has more or less molecularly fused onto the leather...I would just like to point out that you can save it by gradually brushing it with water and allowing it to sort of rehydrate.  Once you have added enough moisture back to it, it will no longer qualify as fruit "chips" (or rock candy, or charcoal), and the wax paper will also now magically be able to be removed, so don't throw out the fruit leather, lady.

I'm going to be starting over on another batch soon, but I am so glad I did NOT just totally waste yesterday by stirring plum puree ALL DAY, only to wake up to ruined leather this morning.

Sorry.  Just had to write this all down for future reference. 

Carry on

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