Category Archives: Sustainable Gardening

Herbal Oils And Vinegars

Print PDFGarden To Kitchen: Beam Me In In the Seattle area, the recent heatwave was sadly mellowed by a dense haze of smoke from Northern wildfires. On the worst days, you could taste the tang of burning trees at the … Continue reading

Posted in Easy Care Perennials, Health & Wellbeing, preserving food, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Vegan Recipes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Cool When The Heat Is On

While we’re outside helping plants and critters stay alive, it’s important to keep our own cool. Cover your head with a wet bandanna before putting on your broad-brimmed sunhat and your noggin will stay pleasantly cool for about an hour. Wrap crushed ice in a bandanna and tie it around your neck for even longer relief. When I did a lot of gardening for others, I’d keep an ice cooler in my car with zip bags of gloves, socks, and shirts so I could change into cool, dry clothing every few hours. (This works great at the beach too.) After you shower, hang your damp towel on a drying rack and let it cool off the air in an overly hot room as it dries. A wet sheet draped in front of a fan can do the same thing on a larger scale. At night, fill your hot water bottle with crushed ice and snuggle with it for a chilling experience. Tuck it down by your feet to keep them cool all night.
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Posted in composting, Garden Prep, Health & Wellbeing, Planting & Transplanting, Recipes, Soil, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Vegan Recipes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Simple Garden Syrups

Simple syrups are just that; extremely simple mixtures of cane sugar and water, boiled for a few minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Before electricity and freezers were common, most fruits were canned in simple syrups, which helped preserve their quality and flavor. Simple syrups can be flavored with all sorts of things, from vanilla beans and peppercorns to toasted fennel or coriander seeds. In summer, it’s delightful to capture the fleeting scents and tastes of herbs, flowers, and even fruit in such syrups. The primary rule here is to use only organically grown fruit, flowers, and foliage, as pesticide residues are definitely not edible.
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Posted in Easy Care Perennials, Pets & Pests In The Garden, preserving food, Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Vegan Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jammin’ In The Kitchen

Pick a day when you are tired, distracted, and already busy. Search large kitchen of rental house for all needed tools which you put away with creative imagination several months ago. Measure out sugar and mashed fruit, heat not quite enough jars and lids, dust off rather elderly packet of pectin. Umm, pectin doesn’t go bad, does it? Surely not. Bring fruit to boil, stir in pectin and boil as directed, get ready to fill jars. Discover sugar still sitting in it’s measuring cup on the counter. Oops. Add sugar in wrong order, cooling off the boiling mass instantly. Oops. Bring jam (possibly?) back to a boil, despite probably over-cooking the pectin. Result definitely looks odd.

Decide what the hell, and proceed with filling and sealing jars, discovering that you are short several lids. And jars. Find more of both and put in hot water as jam cools. Reheat jam (tastes fine, looks funny). Discover large lump of something (sugar? Pectin?) on bottom of jam pan. Stir it in anyway. What can possibly go wrong? Spill a good deal of hot jam when you drop ladle. Process filled jars in hot bath for ten minutes. Put jars on cooling rack, scalding yourself several times. Listen with satisfaction as they all seal promptly. Decide who amongst your acquaintance would be kindest about the result and make gift labels.
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Posted in Recipes, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment