A combination of some or all of the following herbs.
SageWash the herbs and place in dehydrator. Dehydrate at 105 degrees until leaves are crispy (about an hour or two).
After a very hot and dry July, August’s rains turned my lawn a shade I could almost describe as green, filled my rain barrel and finally brought out some more food in my garden: strawberries and peppers, which we’ve gotten to enjoy for the last month.
The peppers brought scores of ants, but I’ve been trying keeping them at bay with my all-natural pest deterrent. It doesn’t deter them all, but it led to a significant decrease in ants right away. I was motivated to take great care of my peppers after most of my vegetables failed in the heat earlier this summer. See July’s post for a reminder of my vegetable garden of shame!
The measurements need not be exact. Combine in a jar and shake well. Spray or pour over plants with firm skins like peppers. Reapply every few days. Wash vegetables well before eating, naturally!
The spray would work on vegetables with firm skins not delicate skins like strawberries or peaches that I imagine would soak in the taste of the spray.
The spray worked well enough to allow my peppers to ripen unhindered, then I made salsa with one of the peppers plus basil from my garden and the rest of the organic tomatoes from my Palatine delivery. Salsa is easy to make and the ingredients are cheap, no need to buy a jar. I like a mild salsa with a bit of sweetness and tang. I know basil is nontraditional, but for me, it gave the salsa just the right personality!
2 large tomatoes
1 large onion
1 pepper, finely chopped
2 jalepeño peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tbsp Herbamare seasoning
1/8 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 large pieces of basil, minced
Finely chop all vegetables. Place all ingredients except the basil in a pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a low boil for at least 15 minutes. Add the basil and stir well. Pour into glass jars and can, refrigerate or freeze.
I love summer. I look forward all year to my summer garden and I’m one of those people who love the heat
This year…. the vegetables are not so great. My spinach and rhubarb are done for the season after a meager harvest and the rest of the vegetables are doing poorly. The peppers and zucchini aren’t up yet, still just flowers, which could be a pollinating problem, or too much heat. I’ve chatted with neighbours with vegetable gardens and they are reporting the same frustrations.
I tried two cauliflower plants this year; both ruined by heat and caterpillars, see photo of all the eggs in the cauliflower. Gross.
On the positive side, we are reveling in a plethora of raspberries right now.
I’ve been making raspberry smoothies, raspberry jam, raspberry muffins, and of course, just eating them fresh off the canes.
Strawberries are doing well too this year. I moved them to different location than they were last year, and that has resulted in less ants in the containers. Growing my own fruit and vegetables makes me deeply appreciate organic farmers; keeping insects away with no pesticides is quite a challenge.
The Saskatoon berries never came up, too much damage from the animals in the spring; hopefully we’ll get a good harvest next summer. For the first time in a dozen years, our mulberry hasn’t had ripe fruit by June, the berries are still small and white, though they look like they’ll be ready to eat in a week or two. The herbs are hanging in there with the heat. We finally had rain this week, which was desperately needed, my rain barrel was just about empty.
Anyone with tips for organic fruit and vegetable gardening? I’d love to hear your comments.
Roses and clematis.
The raspberries are just coming out now. The Saskatoon berry bush shows no sign of producing this year, perhaps too much damage from the rabbits and ground hog. No mulberries yet either which are normally ready by mid-June.
Henry enjoys the salad bar.
My first year attempting to grow cauliflower. The above picture was taken two weeks ago. Unfortunately, my cauliflower turned purple in last week’s heat wave (and it’s not a purple variety cauliflower). I learned after the fact that I should have blanched the curds when they appear by covering them with the leaves so they could finish growing in the shade. Lesson learned for next year!
Rhubarb. Hm, what shall I make? Muffins?
Spectacular peonies! They smell heavenly too.
Roses in an up-cycled tea tin.
Beautiful basil in my herb pot.
Zucchini blossom. Can’t wait to enjoy their veggies in a few more weeks. The spinach has been out for a few weeks though I just have three plants of them. The peppers barely have buds, so we’ll have to wait a while longer for them.
How goes your garden so far?