Monday, January 31, 2011

January's garden

My garden continues to bring me great pleasure as I venture out to see what can be freshly picked and added to our meals. At the moment the chillies are plentiful! I have made chili corn bread, thrown chillies into our meals to spice them up, and made a jar of really hot chili and garlic hot that I decided to freeze in in ice trays so that I can drop a cube into our Mexican meals when we need that extra bite as I thought we would never get through a jar of such hot sauce. A dear friend got a little jar of it as a gift too as she loves hot chili.

Basil is abundant too and I am enjoying the flavour it adds to a simple sandwich or a delicious meal. Of course I have made Basil Pesto and when friends joined us for lunch the other day, the entire jar was polished off in one sitting! I will be making more.

We are picking the odd strawberry, plump and juicy. The gooseberries are done for now. Tomatoes are springing up all over the place and either get eaten right away or popped into the freezer whole to make sauce at a later stage.Beans are also getting blanched and popped into the freezer for later use.

My friends have had a good chuckle at me. I have been setting my alarm at 6 a.m. in order to go out and pollinate my butternuts! The bees or other critters arrive early in the morning and cart off the pollen while neglecting to do their job of pollinating the female flowers!
I have lost at least a dozen or more butternuts that have not been pollinated and rotted on the vine, hence the need for me to pollinate them. The female flowers bulge at the base, heavy with fruit, while the male flowers have no fruit but are laden with much needed pollen. I simply take the pollen from the male flower and dab in onto the female flowers stigma. All I have wanted all season , is for at least one butternut to survive.

It looks like I have two survivors for now!

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