Saturday, September 22, 2012

Willy Woodpecker

A fruit farmers challenge!!! Who picks faster, the farmer or the woodpecker????

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Flowers 4 our Pollinators by Debbie Mcweeney

Hello! My name is Debbie Mcsweeney and I am on the Board here at PFSP. I am looking forward to serving all our members and making this a great year forward for our pollinators. I wanted to share some tips to help you in all that you are doing for our bees and wild pollinators! First find a list of flowering plants that work in your area!
1828 Beaver St
Santa Rosa, California 95404
II wanted to share some tips to help you in all that you are doing for our bees and wild pollinators! First find a list of flowering plants that work in your area! This is how I found the best advice in regards to wild flowers. Also be aware of changes in the flower industry. They are now producing pollenless sunflowers! Do not buy these and start asking your growers now to bring in more pollinator friendly plants for next year. The consumer runs the markets in these areas and education is key. Let your local greenhouses know how important it is to provide more food for our bees and wild pollinators. You need to avoid flowers with double blooms--single petal varieties are better and the colors of white, yellow and blue are the best. Heirlooms are a good choice! The bees need pollen and nectar sources in Spring, Summer and Fall. One of the MOST important food sources for honey bees in the Spring when they start to build up are dandelions! Also remember that herbicides, fungicides & pesticides will all harm or kill our little friends! Education is so important--talk to your friends, neighbors and co-workers about the plight of the pollinators. It is amazing how many people do not even know there is a problem. If all of us spread the word and start educating people on what needs to change--then change will come. Remember it "takes a village"!

Fall planting. Think about our bees,


Bulbs For Bees You might be thinking of putting in some bulbs this Fall. Why not plant some that bees can use for nectar and pollen? There are many native bulbs that bees use, check with your local native plant society for suggestions. In general, here is a short list of bee bulbs:
Allium - a wide variety of colors and heights
Broadiaeas - a wildflower bulb that bees adore in early Spring
Calochortus - pretty cup-shaped flowers are easily accessed by bees
Camassia - native to the Pacific Northwest
Fritillaria -does well in shade
Hyacinthoides - Spanish Bluebells
Muscari - Grape hyacinth
Scilla - Siberian Squill
These should be available at your local nursery or on line. Remember, when planting for bees, they like to have a nice large “patch” of flowers, so plant as many as you can- lining a driveway or planting strip, in large swaths under trees or in meadows or even in lawns.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mountains of Cucumbers!

What to do with mountains of cucumbers??? I have been waiting for my tomatoes to be ready to explore making catsups. Did you know that not all catsups are made from tomatoes? Catsups originally were made from a variety of fruits and vegetables. In my search for recipes I came across this old recipe for Cucumber Catsup. Its delicious!!! I'll offer it at my Garden Gate Sales on Saturday.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What to do with a Mountain of Cucumbers???

Farmer Gar keeps bringing me mountains of cucumbers!!! What we don't sell at our weekly Garden Gate I process in some way.
Thank goodness I have a food processor to help with all the slicing!

Sliced cukes & onions.  They will sit in a salt water solution for a few hours. 

First I made some Yum Yum pickles. Yum yums are sweeter than Bread & Butter pickles.

Then I decided to adapt a recipe and create a Hot Cucumber Sauce. It has a real zing!!!

Just for those people that like a hotter , spicer taste experience.

Monday, September 3, 2012

My new Canning Kitchen

Today I got busy and processed three new recipes.  I always process our own fruits and vegetables right away.  I either can, juice or dehydrate everything left over from our Garden Gate Sales.
I dehydrated some Hall's Pink apples, carrots and beets to put together packages of what I call,
ABC Sprinkles.
Hall's Pink apples are pink under their red skin.  They are an early delicious juicy apple.

Dehydrated carrots.

Tomorrow I'll do the beets and then the next day put together the ABC Sprinkles.

My first new recipe to make was called Roasted Garlic Onion Jam.  It started out as a lot of work because first I had to roast the garlics.  Then pop them out of their skins.

Roasted Garlics
I prepared the walla walla onions and started cooking them in some of our  own soft apple cider.  I didn't want to cook them with oil as that isn't recommended in a canning process.   

Walla walla onions

Now the onions and the garlics are cooked down in a slow reduction with a balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.

My neighbour Max came over and did a sample testing.  She said it was AWESOME!

While the Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam was cooking away, I started some Tomato Peach Chutney.   I used our own fresh tomatoes.
The tomatoes were seeded and chopped.

Then I added my friend Beverley's peaches.  I took the skins off and chopped them too.
Beverley's peaches were grown right here on Mayne Island, BC.

Then,  I added raisins, onion, sugar, curry and ginger.