Monday, June 25, 2012

Balcony Garden and Canning update

I know you've all been on the edge of your seats awaiting updates of my adventures in growing and preserving local food. Wait no longer!

Balcony Garden:
There's good news and bad news. First the bad: despite rosemary growing like a weed most places in North Carolina, I couldn't keep it alive in premium potting soil on my balcony. I'm guessing it never got enough sun so I had to pull the poor thing. The thyme is also not looking great but seems to still be hanging in there. The good news: everything else seems to be pretty happy. I've added a red basil plant from a friend and re-potted the green basil. The Roma tomato is absolutely thriving and the Early Girl is, well, not dead.

Look how high that Roma tomato is on the far right!
The strawberry jam has been delicious the last couple weeks. I've been using it instead of store-bought jelly, local peanut butter from Simply Local, and Nova's Bakery bread for all my sandwiches. These PB&Js are the perfect triathlon training snacks especially because they have no preservatives and just the sugar of the jam. They also make great gifts for friends!

Because the first experiment was so successful, I tried my hand at peach jam yesterday. I used the same ratio of fruit to sugar as the Pioneer Woman's strawberry jam but added a half cup of lemon juice. I also opted to use pectin this time. After doing some reading up on what it is, I decided pectin isn't that bad for us and will be helpful in keeping the jam good for longer.

My peach jam jars waiting for their lids to pop

Next stop on the gardening and canning adventure ride is tomato sauce once tomatoes are more prevalent at the market and are growing on the balcony!

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