Nobody's perfect, and very often our garden doesn't turn out perfect. We had high hopes for lots of tomatoes for canning and ended up pulling dead plants out weekly. Blame the weather, or mistakes made, whatever. It all makes for a great experiment we've been wanting to try! We took cuttings from the healthiest looking remaining plants and put them in glasses of water to root. You can do this with so many plants, some are better than others, some need a little extra help like a rooting hormone powder or gel. Tomatoes are easy, maybe you've seen the stems and branches sending roots out above the ground. After a good amount of roots came out, maybe a week or two in time, we planted them in soil. We'll see how it goes! The plan is to keep these babies in pots in the greenhouse and see if we can have Christmas tomatoes. Guessing pollinators and daylight could be an issue, but we can cheat with qtips.
Fennel! These plants struggled last year, but then survived the winter to grow taller than me this year and filled with seeds. Fennel is one of the star ingredients in both my tranquil tummy tea and elixir. It's definitely a flavor that shines through above all the others. Sweet, a flavor soothing to the tummy. Sometimes when my tummy is grumbly crampy or overfilled I skip all the work and just pop some seeds in my mouth to chew on for a while. Turns out my chickens love it too! They devoured any seeds that were in reach.
When I started Smiling Earth Elixirs 4 years ago, the intention was to do more than tea, thus the 'elixirs' part of the name. But I got steeped in tea, and distracted with countless other projects. I never stopped working on them, and I'm very excited to finally start introducing these new elixirs! First up is Tranquil Tummy Elixir, for a little digestive help. It's great for when you don't have the equipment or time to make tea! Stop by the West End Farmers Market in Long Branch tomorrow to learn more.
Each month and each year the garden has something new to offer, something that shines bright. This looks like our best harvest of Schisandra yet! Maybe it's the weather. Maybe the vines feel established and strong this year. Maybe she picked up on my need for her fruit. Each month and each year the world has something new to offer me and something I can offer back. Without that balance, there is stress. Schisandra can help bring balance. She has 5 flavors. Each time she'll taste a little different. #schisandra #balance #adaptogen #fiveflavoredfruit #wuweizi #stressrelief #energizer
Come out to @creamridgewinery for a #minimadeinmonmouth event. We're here today til 6 with teas, dried herbs and mushrooms and more! It's a beautiful day to sip some local wines and shop for locally made goodies! #shoplocal #madeinmonmouth #localgoods #handmade #creamridgewinery
Sometimes you never see the bug, but you know it was around... it's better when you find the shedded skeleton rather than some odd bite on your body! #prayingmantis #beneficialinsects #biodiversity
I was just about to pick this shiitake when I saw this beauty. It must have just pulled out of that old skin! So alien looking, with those "buggy" eyes. Such beautiful gem-like colors! I haven't heard many cicadas or other buzzing /chirping bugs this year, but I know they're out there. Every living species has their ups and downs from year to year, decade to decade. Should we expect different as humans?
The wild food continues! I don't know much, er, anything about fishing or crabbing, but we've been wanting to get into it. I recently gave my neighbors some extra eggs and mushrooms, and was surprised with some fresh caught crab in return. Even if you can't do it all yourself, you can trade to fill in the blanks. I'm not a lover of butter, so the crab was put on toast and topped with fresh picked tomatoes, red onion and dill, and then some yummy cheese.
I wasn't really up for the second hike in the rain, but these yummy wine berries help bring the smile back! These babies are so much better than raspberries. You don't even have to chew them, just squish with your tongue and you don't get seeds stuck in your teeth. And the thorns are softer than blackberry vines.