• Last spring my garden is alive after along winter sleep. Plenty of work to be done. Planted many vegetable seedlings grown in the greenhouse. Lettuce, carrot (sowed direct into the ground), collard, kale, Swiss chard, corn, pumpkin, potato, beet, summer squash, tomato and leek. The garden is doing great. Just yesterday I harvested several zuccinni. Right away I made zuccinni chocolate cake. It is always a joy to be able to harvest from your own garden and cook with the vegetable that you grow yourself. Gardening is an excellent exercise for body and mind. Regardless how big or small your garden is.
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Abundance Berries in Your Garden, Freeze it

If you have  an abundance berries from your garden here is a few good way to preserve for winter consumption. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries the lesser known berries in America is suitable for freezing.

Such great tasting berries, blueberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants.  Some berries, including raspberries and blackberries also contribute a good amount of fiber to your diet, which helps lower your risk of developing heart disease and certain cancer.  So adding berries to your diet is a wonderful idea.  Berries average about 25 calories and zero grams of fat.

Berries, when frozen properly, can be stored in the freezer for up to 9 months. Freezing your own berries is far less expensive than purchasing berries from the store every time you make a berry smoothie or berry treat.  

Frozen Strawberries

1. Gently was the fresh berries. If you are freezing blueberries, don’t wash them before hand because it will toughen the skins. Instead, wash the thawed blueberries before using.

2. Pat the berries dry with a paper towel.

3. Arrange the berries in a single layer on a baking sheet.

4. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the berries are firm. This will help to prevent the berries from sticking together in a big clump.

5. Once the berries are firm, remove them from the freezer and transfer the frozen berries to a freezer-weight resealable plastic bag.

6. Place the bag of berries in the freezer and store for up to 9 months.

A delicious recipe perfect for lazy summer.

Strawberry Smoothie

3 cups milk

1 lb strawberries

4 generously piled tablespoons vanilla ice cream

1/4 cup sugar or more to taste

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons whipped cream

Blend first five ingredients in blender.  Pour onto tall glass.  Top with generous whipped cream and one or two whole strawberries.

Serving 4

Note:  you can substitute milk for soy or coconut milk.

Enjoy !

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Cherry-Plum Tree in The Spring


Sunshine, blue sky, wispy white clouds here and there.  Robins chasing the worms and blue jay searching for twigs to build a nest in nearby tree.   Daffodils, crocuses have emerged from their winter slumber.  Spring is in the air.  I love spring everything is fresh and new. 

Another sign of spring is the cherry plum trees in my garden.  They are always the first to bloom showing their magnificent white flowers.  Bees attracted to their strong scent.  I stood one sunny day in front of the trees and listen the bees buzzing along feasting on the cherry plum blossoms it was an awesome sound.   Robins like to eat the fruit too, ripen in late July through August.  To cover trees with bird net it is impossible.  There are plenty of fruit to share around for human and birds. 

Latin  for cherry plum,  prunus cerasifera or the myrobalan cherry tree.  A deciduous tree belongs to the rose family,  (Rosaceae in Latin).  Will grow from 15 to 30 feet.  The cherry plum in my garden is about 25 feet with a spread of 30 feet.  These trees are good for screening neighborhood eyesores.  The flower is about 3/4 to 1 inch with 5 petals.  Fruit size similar to cherry with characteristic of a plum.  Cherry plum taste of a combination cherry and plum.  It has a pit like cherry.  Fruit color is deep red.  My cherry plum tree leaves are deep green, some say they are purple, this probably came from different cultivation.  In autumn the leaves turn reddish-purple.  

Grown in acidic soil, might also be able to grow in mild alkaline soil.   Cherry plum tree prefers full sun and moist soil which is suitable growing condition in Oregon.  The seeds dispersed by wild life.  Walking through my property occasionally I found cherry plum seedlings.  I would dig them out and transplanted in a different place.  A slow growing tree I should say. 

I like eating cherry plum picked fresh from the tree or make them into jam, chutneys, pies and cobblers.  Use recipe as you are making cherry pie.  Last year I made cherry plum jam and taste wonderful. 

  

Cherry-Plum blossoms at its peak.

 

  

Happy  Gardening