Sunday, August 15, 2010

More Peach Jam

Dan and I are finally starting to get comfortable making jam. Yesterday, we made our second batch of peach jam. It was amazing to us how different the two batches are. The first batch we made with some freestone yellow peaches from the farmer's market. The jam has this lovely pink hue to it and a very sweet flavor. Then, this second batch was made with clingstone yellow peaches from the Path to Freedom Urban Homestead. The jam came out much more yellow and the flavor was not quite as sweet as that first batch even though we used the exact same recipe. We really love the diversity in the jam that using different varieties of peaches have given us. It is a great reminder to us as to why it is so important to make sure that this type of biodiversity continues to exist.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer in the Garden - Part IV

Our weather has been unseasonably cool this year. Most mornings are grey and overcast for several hours before the sun finally breaks through. And, the highs in our area have only been in the low to mid 80s. Normally, it would be in the high 80s or 90s. I guess this is part of climate change. We have a mild summer while the East Coast has one heat wave after another. 

Regardless, of the the lack of heat, our tomatoes are ripening up. These are Yellow Grapes. I am hoping to harvest these in the next day or two. We already have a bunch of the Isis Candy and a few Sungolds that have been picked. They have been really sweet and delicious. The verdict is still out on our Romas though. A couple of the plants have a few fruits  on them but then the other plants have flowers and no fruit. Yet, they have been getting taller. Not sure if we'll be getting much from those. And, here I was hoping for enough Romas to can a batch of tomatoes. Something tells me that I may have to buy them at the farmer's market if I want to do that.

This is just one of several Japanese eggplants that have emerged in the last week or so. There is even one that is almost large enough to harvest. May be by next weekend, there will be a few to grill.

Our first Jalapeno pepper has finally emerged. Might be able to harvest it this week if the weather gets warmer and this little guy has a growth spurt. We have one very small Red Bell pepper that is to pick. And, there are more on that plant that are starting to ripen and the plant is getting top-heavy so I need stake it.

The Sante Fe lettuce is finally getting big enough to almost eat. We have a couple of heads that might make for nice little salad later this week. Though I am a bit disappointed that so few of the seeds that I planted germinated. I usually have better luck with lettuce but not this time. Time to plant some more seeds and see what happens.

Peach Jam

I am a bit late posting this. Dan and I actually made this peach jam last Saturday. This is our second canning project. And, it came out pretty damn delicious. I was able to get peaches at the Pasadena Farmer's Market at a really great price. One of the farmers often has a couple of boxes of seconds. I dug through the box and got enough peaches to make this batch of jam. The seconds were only $.90 per pound, which is a great price and totally makes doing this worthwhile. What is batch number three is going to be? Not sure yet,  might be fig jam or may be pickled carrots.