Peaches from Eastern Washington

22 lbs. for $15.

22 lbs. for $15.


Peaches did not grow in Minnesota (too cold) and were shipped in from Colorado or California back then. We did not eat many fresh peaches. Now I see peaches readily available and at very reasonable prices. Yesterday I got a 22 lb. box of Freestone peaches for only $15. At Olmsteads fruit stand (and nursery in Poulsbo). I also learned the difference between Cling (which ripen in June/July) and Freestone (which ripen now). This is an important distinction, because I planned to process them for freezing.

Planning ahead before you start is the key to success. For me, it was like setting up stations at school.

Station 1
Crate of peaches (cut an X at top of each peach. This will help with peeling), water boiling in a large pot (blanch 40 seconds) , large bowl of ice water to stop the blanching and bowls to drain the cooled peaches.

Station 2
Plastic bag in a pot to contain the mess of waste, skins and seeds. A bowl with Fruit Fresh (dissolved in water as stated on the package), the glass container used to freeze sliced peaches overnight before cutting them in Ziplock freezer bags for storage.

I got all the peaches processed to the end of station one, or to the draining point, before I peeled and cut any.

IMG_9779.JPG
This has been a very satisfying preservation project that took about 1 1/2 hours to complete. Tomorrow I will transfer the frozen peaches to Ziplock bags for storage.

Double Owie! :(

This should be my lesson to NEVER pull a weed without gloves on my hands. If there is one weed we need to learn how to identify, it stinging nettle. OMG! But it was in my prized exhibition mini and miniflora raised bed and I don’t want weeds there. Right. But then… I decided to deadhead roses.

20140608-160732-58052258.jpg
Yes somewhere along the way a bee decided he did not like what I was doing… Enough gardening for today. I am indoors nursing my owies!

Slug resistant garden containers

I love growing in my raised bed veggie gardens and sometimes the slugs love my veggies too. The smaller the starts, the easier they are to be destroyed. So last fall I found some copper tape on clearance and figured out that the roll contained just enough to encircle two plastic “flower boxes” and enough to surround the drainage holes on the bottom. This has been very successful! I have basil and a few lettuce plants that are growing in this prime real estate. When I want a few lettuce leaves to put on a sandwich, I do not want Swiss cheese lettuce.

20140526-131511-47711305.jpg

Hanging baskets from scratch

This is one of my most satisfying gardening projects. I start petunias in January the transplant them into hanging baskets in March. They spend the next six weeks growing in the cool greenhouse before moving to their hanging location at the front of our home.

20140302-132411.jpg
I start with clean, reused plastic hanging basket. A coffee filter helps contain the potting mix but allows drainage.

20140302-132550.jpg
I put in a layer of mix the some pre moistened water saving crystals. Pre moistened is the key word here. If you forget this step, you could see an erupting soil volcano when they finally absorb water!

20140302-132806.jpg
Then I gently transplanted the petunias into the pots. The following is an example of a pot by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.