Peaches galore!

This was the a great year for peach harvests. A friend called me and told me they picked over 200 lbs of peaches off of their two peach trees! The tree variety is called Contender, and she bought them from Tooley’s Trees up in Truchas. She invited me to come and get some and I took about 15 lbs of peaches.

I made two wonderful galettes with peaches and raspberries. I used Deborah Madison’s recipe for the galette crust from her Seasonal Fruit Desserts book. Really simple to do and the best crust ever-light and flaky!

I also made 24 jars of peach-raspberry jam with honey–Delicious!

The rest of the fresh peaches were eaten within the week! What a treat!

2019 Garden pics!

Here are some pics of my garden this year. Now that we are in September, I wanted to capture it in all it’s glory before it’s gone. I’ve worked hard tweaking out the infrastructure with new framed beds and weed barriers and wood chips in the paths this year. Having retired from the Santa Fe Farmers Market two seasons ago has allowed me to do more in the garden. I also added some perennial fruit like raspberries and blackberries since I don’t need space for 125 tomato plants anymore! By mid-October or sooner, it will be toast with the first frost so might as well enjoy it while I have it. I have an abundance of flowers this year that I grew for my edible flower class and besides being beautiful and edible, they attract many beneficial insects and pollinators. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Salmonberries

If you live in the Northwest, you probably heard of Salmonberries but I have not heard of them here in Santa Fe. My neighbor has a Salmonberry bush that produced heavily this year and I got some.

At first I thought it was a gold raspberry but it is not.  It’s a beautiful berry similar to a raspberry but more delicate in flavor and is gold-salmon-pinkish color.

The salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis is native to the US Northwest moist coastal regions and some parts of Europe. I wouldn’t think they would thrive in our drier conditions and yet here is one and it is not in a wet area. Traditionally, the berries were eaten by Native Americans with salmon or salmon roe, hence the name. It is sometimes called the Joffelberry as well. What a wonderful treat! They don’t freeze well so we just gobbled them all up!

Apricots galore!

It’s apricot season and I’ve been picking lots! It’s unusual to get apricots here in Santa Fe (about every 7 years for me) as usually a late freeze comes in spring and freezes all the blossoms, but not this year!

I have a wonderful apricot jam recipe that has St. Germain’s liquor in it. St Germain’s is a liquor made out of elderberries and is delicious by itself but when added to apricot jam while cooking, it gives a wonderful floral nuance to the jam that is delicious. So I am excited to make more this year as I’m down to my last jar of apricot jam. The recipe can be found here.

Wow, what a fruit season it’s been so far-first mega strawberries, then thousands of cherries, now apricots and my neighbor has salmonberries now and coming up right behind will be raspberries and blackberries in another month and then apples in the fall.

AND we haven’t even gotten to the veggies being produced right now but that’s for another post!

 

Abundant year for Cherries too! Check out this cherry pitter

My friend, Bob Z has an abundance of Bing cherries on his tree this year. I went by yesterday and helped pick some. Anybody who knows Bob, call him if you want to go pick cherries-pick some for yourself.

I took home 6 lbs of cherries. I use to use a cherry pitter that you did one at a time but a few years ago I got a new NORPRO Deluxe Cherry Pitter that makes it much easier and faster to pit cherries. It took less than 10 minutes to do 3 lbs! Above is a video of it in action.

STRAWBERRIES-a bumper crop this year!

My strawberries are going nuts this year. This is the biggest crop I’ve ever had in 25 years! I think we’ve harvested about 6 GALLONS of them so far and still more to go. I think it’s because of all the moisture we had this winter and spring AND the Azomite mineral supplement I gave them last year. I’ve taken them to parties, given them to friends who froze some, and I’m am going to make some galettes and strawberry-balsamic jam with some of them and trading Bob’s cherries for some as well (I hope-are you listening Bob?)

Perennial fruit care in spring

Strawberries grew unbelievably with the addition of Azomite last year

As far as perennial fruit goes, I already cut back the new raspberry plants a few days ago. They are a fall variety called Polana from Norse nursery online. They were fantastic last year with us harvesting lots of raspberries in their first year. So this is their first trimming. I trimmed them back within an inch or two of the ground and they are all still alive. I wasn’t sure as I forgot to water them last fall for a few months but with all the precipitation we got this winter, they are fine.

I also cut back the new blackberry plants called Triple Crown, and saw lots of new start-ups that rooted that I will move. Now I won’t have to buy some to finish up the blackberry row. Hopefully I will get blackberries in their second year.

Today I pulled away all the dead leaves around the rhubarb (Victoria) and they are starting to come up too. A very hardy perennial plant.

I checked the strawberries and pulled all the dead borage plants that grow up in the strawberry patch each year from dropped seeds. Borage is a good companion plant for strawberries and the bees love them. The strawberries need a haircut too-but not too short. The strawberries did fantastic last year.

The verdict is out on the artichoke. It came back last year in its second year but I don’t see any signs of life yet this year. They actually are not supposed to be grown here as a perennial because we are in a colder zone than they like, so we will see if it makes it or not.

Next up is to prune back the grapes and the apple trees and other fruit trees. I’m late on the apple trees but they need to be desperately thinned and pruned now before they come back to life. Last year I put Azomite, a mineral supplement, in my veggie garden which really helped the crops and I have some leftover which I will sprinkle around the fruit trees this year.