Each gardening season I've experimented with a plant I've never grown before. This year there are actually a few new faces in my garden.
Here is one: meet miss asparagus pea.
I bought the seeds while attending the Chicagoland Flower and Garden show with my buddy Barb this past March. And now, here she is in bloom. I'm advised to pick the pods when they are very small, less then 2 inches, 1 inch preferred, or they will be tough. I'll be checking them twice a day now, as this heat is making things pop. A little steam cooking, and melted butter and I can't wait to let you know if they'll be a regular in my garden from now on. They are very pretty.
In the June/July issue of Organic Gardening there is a recipe for Raspberry Shrub. Though my own plants will not be producing enough this season, my good friends Lovina and Eli will have much to sell. I plan to buy and freeze some and also make a batch of this.The recipe is as follows:
1 cup cider vinegar
6 cups raspberries
1. In a nonreactive bowl, pour vinegar over raspberries. Let stand, covered with a clean cloth or cheesecloth, for 24 to 48 hours (the mixture will become very strong smelling.) Strain with a fine mesh sieve, carefully pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. discard seeds. Measure liquid (there should be 2 cups.)
2. In a medium saucepan, add liquid and for every 2 cups liquid, 1 scant cup of sugar. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Cool, pour into glass jars, and cover tightly. As it ages, the shrub will take on a syruplike consistency. Keep in a cool dark place until needed. Raspberry shrub will keep for months if refrigerated.
3. To serve: In a tall glass filled with ice, pour 2 tablespoons shrub. Fill glass with cold water, seltzer water, lemonade or ginger ale.
It does sound delicious, no??
Last evening when I put the chickens to bed I spotted a family of raccoons walking across the orchard and my heart quickened a bit worrying about the hens. My friend down the road lost some of her chickens to raccoons. Lately I've found some evidence of raccoons (they just love to dig in pots or the ground where I've recently used or added my favorite potting mix.) I spotted a lone adult a few nights ago, but seeing this whole family made me hope they were just passing through and haven't taken up residence in the wreck of a barn on the edge of our property. (you can see that wreck on the far edge of the middle photo above.) Handy, my fruits, vegetables, and chickens so nearby, who could blame them.