Monday, November 25, 2013

Planting garlic with a little help from my girls

I’m a little late planting garlic this fall, but, because our ground does not freeze, it will be okay.  As you can see from the photos, November is still bare feet weather in SC.  Later on the day of garlic planting we all switched to shorts because we became too warm in sweatshirts, even though snow had fallen a few days before.  Only in SC can we have such crazy weather!
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I dug trenches about 4 inches deep and about 6 inches apart, and the girls put the garlic cloves in pointed side up, about 6 inches apart.  I put in a sample row and had the girls put in their cloves in line with mine. 
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I covered the garlic with soil, and then put a thick layer of hay on top to reduce weeding chores.  Besides pulling the weeds that will penetrate the straw, my garlic chores will be over until early next summer.  When the plants send up stalks to bloom, I’ll break them off and use the tender garlic scapes in stir-fries.  After the leaves turn brown, on a hot morning I’ll pull the plants from the ground, let them dry in the sun, and I’ll bring them into the shed to finish curing.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Harvesting Saffron



 Saffron is an expensive spice when purchased at the store (I think I paid $14 for a normally-sized spice jar of it when I last purchased it), but it's easy and inexpensive to grow in the garden.  Saffron crocus is not the same as the ordinary crocus grown in flower beds.  The ornamental crocus blooms in the late winter, and saffron blooms in October, and the flower of the saffron crocus is prettier, I think (picture below).

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Beautiful saffron flower
Pick the flower on the morning of a dry day while it's still fresh, and remove the red-orange filaments from the flowers.  I laid them on a plate to dry indoors, and I'll store them in the freezer to use in cooking.
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Harvested saffron ready to dry
For more information, visit this website and to purchase corms, here's an option.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Our locally grown fall supper


My potatoes that I harvested back in the early summer are sprouting eyes, even though I have kept them in the coolest area of the house, and in darkness.  I'll plant the smallest ones out tomorrow, I hope, and I'll see how they do over the winter.  It's not potato-planting time in SC, but the ground doesn't usually freeze here, and I hope that I can preserve these under a layer of mulch until February.  We won't eat the small ones, regardless, so it's not a waste of potatoes.

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The potatoes that are large enough to eat I peeled and I am cooking for supper.  Yes, I grow purple potatoes.


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Along with my garlic and cabbage, we are eating Wil-Moore Farms' pork bratwurst.  Their farm is about 10 miles from my house, and, although I have some tomatoes from Mexico and some bananas from South America, I rejoice in feeding my family locally-grown meals as much as I am able.  

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