Thirsty Thursday July 19th

This month we will concentrate a bit on mint and blueberriess. Blueberries are in season now at your local farmers markets and stands. Mint is always in good supply and somewhat invasive. We are also highlighting cucumber since it is light and refreshing and we are still in a drought.  Very soon your gardens will be overflowing with cucumbers and we want to make sure you don’t have to throw any away.

I also want to take the time to have you taste my simple syrup again this made with Stevia leaves instead of sugar. It is completely natural and sugar free. If you are trying to cut sugar out of your diet and especially your “extra” calories that come from cocktails- be sure to have that conversation with me.

Grandma’s Mint Iced Tea
In a large container:
Add 7 regular tea bags and approx.. 24 mint leaves
Pour in a quart of boiling water and steep for 4-5 minutes
Remove mint and tea bags and set aside
Pour tea into a gallon container
Add ½ cup of sugar
4-5 packets of stevia
A few ice cubes
Stir until sugar dissolves
Steep mint and tea bags a second time for 4-5 minutes
Drain contents into a gallon container
Add 1 6oz can of frozen lemonade and stir
Squeeze any tea from mint and tea bags into container

Yield: 1 gal (if shy, just top off with some water)

Continue reading “Thirsty Thursday July 19th”

Thirsty Thursday June 21st

This month we will concentrate a bit on herbs and strawberries.  Strawberries are in season now at your local farmers markets and stands.   Herbs are always in good supply.   We are also highlighting cucumber since it is light and refreshing and we are in a drought.   Pairing cucumber with a ghost pepper tequila may surprise you, but it is refreshing, bright, bubbly with a hint of heat on your lips.  It will cool you off!

I also want to take the time to have you taste my simple syrup made with Stevia leaves instead of sugar. It is completely natural and sugar free.  If you are trying to cut sugar out of your diet and especially your “extra” calories that come from cocktails- be sure to have that conversation with me.

Continue reading “Thirsty Thursday June 21st”

ITOH Peony

A must have in the garden

Itoh Peony is also known as an Intersectional Hybrid.  This plant is a cross between a traditional garden peony and a woody tree peony, taking the best attributes of both plants.  It has up to 50 enormous sized flowers once established.  This hybrid is a relatively creation with the first successful cross made in 1948 by the Japanese breeder Mr.Tiochi Itoh.

Planting & Care Instructions

Itoh Peony is easy to grow in moist, well-drained soil.  Work the soil around the planting area to allow for a deep and extensive root system to develop.  Place the plant in the ground, keeping the plant even with the soil line.  Once in the ground keep the soil moist but take care not to over water.  Provide an extra helping of fertilizer that is low in Nitrogen like Espoma Plantone while the plant is in bloom.  Also remove spent flowers to encourage a fresh burst of color.  In the fall, cut the Itoh back to 4-6 inches up from the soil level.

Features

  • Flowers open in succession for up to a month!
  • Sturdy stems do not require staking, even when the plant is loaded with flowers or even after a rainfall.
  • Fragrant and great cut flower.
  • Disease resistant, deer resistant, and winter hardy.
  • Plant is sterile and therefore does not attract ants like a standard garden peony does.
  • Plant takes full sun, but some light shade will help flowers last longer.
  • Height of 30inches,  Width of 30inches
  • Zone 4-9

Berrilicious

Plant Your Own Smoothie

Make a pie, tart, jams, parfait, fruit salad, juice, muffins, pancakes, popsicles, etc…No matter which berry you choose (or choose them all), you are sure to enjoy the fruits of your labor!  Growing your own couldn’t get any better than berries.

Strawberries
June bearing strawberries give their biggest harvest in June (obviously), while everbearing bear the same amount of fruit but it is spread throughout the summer.  With so many varieties, there’s sure to be a
strawberry that thrives in your space. Plant in early spring. Strawberries typically are grown in beds/rows directly into the ground. Now with all the different varieties you can also grow them in a containers like strawberry jars, window boxes and hanging baskets.  Continue reading “Berrilicious”