Just in time for frost… My Heritage and Anne raspberries are finally producing!
What’s going strong in your garden?
This week is spring break and I’m planning to enjoy the time off on my vacation. The sunny location I’m visiting is right in my own yard. I spent today outside in the gardens, cleaning up and getting ready for the growing season. When all the work was done, I grabbed my camera so I could post an update.
I started the day by planting more raspberries, this time Royalty Purple, and some Chester blackberries. The photo above shows leaves on the Heritage Red raspberries we planted about a month ago.
In the vegetable garden, the mixed baby lettuce is starting to emerge, which is the first among the many different lettuce varieties I planted.
The peas are up and stretching toward the sun. I hope to see their tendrils wrapping around the wires before long.
I weeded and cleaned out the front and back flower gardens, as the hydrangeas, bleeding hearts and peonies are coming out of dormancy. But the flowers already in bloom stole the show.
The daffodils are still beautiful, as more and more of them open each day. I’m already scheming to plant more of these bulbs up around our mailbox in the fall. The one day of planting is well worth the show in spring.
The potted pansies are still showing off, thriving with the chilly evening temperatures.
What’s going on in your gardens?
Heritage Red Raspberry
It was beginning to feel like winter would never end, but spring is officially here. We got our berries in, and I spent this sunny Saturday morning out in the garden planting seeds.
Ed helped me get the soil ready, and I planted Johnny jump-ups along the fence, then got to work planting everything that could go into the ground now. I planted many different varieties of salad greens but made sure not to plant too many lettuces that will all be ready at the same time, to avoid waste. We’ll use succession plantings (I left room) so that we’ll have a nice supply of lettuce throughout the spring, summer and fall. The salad greens planted include a baby lettuce mix, lamb’s lettuce, buttercrunch, four seasons lettuce, rouge d’hiver (a red romaine that we loved last year), Cherokee crisphead, green butterhead and red butterhead. I’m daydreaming about those fresh salads.
I also planted some red, yellow, white and purple carrots, in addition to the traditional orange ones. We love to eat roasted carrots and I can imagine how pretty the multicolored version will look.
A few red cabbage seeds filled in the row that the overwintered spinach occupies, and I’m imagining the cute little heads of cabbage coming in. One of my favorite fairy tales has always been Rapunzel, and so I think the cabbage is fitting in my garden. Rapunzel was named after the cabbage that her mother stole from the witch, resulting in the witch taking the baby… I know, what an awful story! But I just liked her long hair. Perhaps I’ll call my cabbage “rapunzel” from now on.
I planted some leek and scallion seeds, which I’ve never grown before. I’m excited to see how they do this year, and thinking about the different recipes I’ll use them in. The scallions will be great in my crab cakes or crab cake burgers.
Finally, I planted some sugar snap peas where Ed moved the trellis. I had tried to move it myself, but I quickly realized that I’m not strong enough to use a sledge hammer with one hand while holding the post in the other. I can’t wait to pick those green pods.
As far as I know, there’s no such thing as a bumbleberry. I think it’s a term used to name a mixture of berries or a wild berry that you don’t know the name of. Anyway, you can use any mixture of berries for this dessert, and today I used some raspberries and blueberries that I froze last summer. When I think about the berry patch I’ll plant this spring, I imagine making lots of cobblers, pies, crisps, jams, jellies, and freezing berries so we can eat them all winter long.
Combine berries with 3 Tbsp sugar, pour into a baking dish. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Crumble the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers. Mix the egg and buttermilk, then pour into the dry ingredients, reserving about 1 Tbsp of the egg/buttermilk mixture. Stir to combine, then knead gently. Form into about 9 biscuits and place on top of the berries. Brush the egg/buttermilk mixture thinly on top of the biscuits, then sprinkle sugar on top of the biscuits. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and the berries are bubbling up around them. Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Happy New Year! I’m not making resolutions for myself, I’m making plans instead. I posted the other day about putting in a little orchard starting with about 6 apple trees, and I’ve mentioned getting a couple of laying hens, but today I’m thinking about berries.
The snowy, wind-whipped section of our backyard above is where I want to plant a berry patch. Here’s what it will include:
I’ve selected berries that are supposed to be good for smaller, home gardens and that will be ripe at different times, to spread them out over the summer and until the first frost. I was planning to skip blueberries, since they need more acidic soil, and I’ve had trouble keeping my hydrangeas blue (although the purple they’ve turned has been pretty). However, Saskatoon blueberries are not true blueberries, and therefore don’t need the acidic soil. I figured it couldn’t hurt to give them a try.
My mom reminded me how much I hated picking up the cut off raspberry brambles each year. But, I guess like with most things, the memory of the sweet berries overshadowed the memory of the sharp thorns. Not to mention that our patch will be much smaller than the one on the farm.
Mix apples and raspberries in a pie pan. Combine flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon with your fingers until crumbly. Pour on top of the fruit and bake 375°F for about 1 hour, until bubbly and crisp. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
I had some leftover pie crust in the fridge from my last pie, and needed to use it up. It was only enough for a bottom crust, so I decided to make a crumb topping. Ed and I were both pleased with the results! I doubled the filling recipe and froze one pie’s worth, which doesn’t take that much time, since you’re already peeling and slicing the peaches.
Peach Raspberry Crumb Pie
Line the pie plate the the pie crust and crimp the edges. Combine peaches, raspberries, sugar and flour in a large bowl. Pour into the crust. Combine all ingredients for the crumb topping, using your fingers to mix until crumbly. Top pie with topping, and bake in a 350°F oven until the fruit is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. You probably want to put it on a tray to prevent drips in your oven.
If you want to freeze a pie’s worth of filling, double the recipe for the filling. Line a pie pan with foil, then pour half of the filling in it. Freeze until hard, then remove from the pan, peel off the foil, and store in a gallon-sized freezer bag. For a picture, see my post about freezing peach pie filling.