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.
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.
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.
A recent #gardenchat discussion got me thinking about garlic scapes and how I use them.
I cut them now, as seen in the photo, before they flower and make pesto, just substituting garlic scape for basil. This will freeze easily in small cubes, if you have a plastic cube tray or as blobs on a lined freezer tray. Then put them in a Ziplock freezer bag for storage.
Another easy use for garlic scapes are as a substitution for green onions in a salad or as a very mild garlic when garlic is called for in a recipe.
The remainder of the stem and garlic bulb are left in the ground to dry and cure as usual.
I have to remind myself about the enjoyment part of gardening. Every day I mentally say “what needs to be done in the garden today?” I spend a lot of time doing things in the garden. For example, yesterday I potted up 25 or more chrysanthemums to their final pots. You will see them next fall. Right now my first flush of roses needs to be deadheaded, but today I am a bit under the weather so I just went out to enjoy the flowers. A rare pleasure.
Sequim, WA is well known for growing Lavender in the rain shadow of the Olympic mountains. Another lesser well known group of plants that grow really well in that somewhat dry region of Western Washington are peonies. My garden club had a field trip today to the Peony Farm where we learned about three types of peonies. The prices ranged from $28. To $110. I was surprised by that fact. They get dug and delivered for planting in November. My luck, they would make a very expensive salad bar for the deer, but they sure make beautiful subjects for photographs.
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.