Dog days of summer are wearing thin. Come in and sample a couple of refreshing summer cocktails Thursday August 16th from 5:30-7pm. This event is FREE. Learn how to use the produce you’ve grown in your gardens and make fun cocktails out of them. We will be serving up:
Peach Bourbon Thyme Smash
2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Lemon juice
1 oz. Thyme Simple syrup or plain simple syrup
1 Ripe peach
2 Sprigs fresh thyme, one stripped of leaves
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)
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.
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.
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.
So here we are again… Gardening season, spring, our bodies are starting to wake up and lean towards the warmth of the sun- FINALLY! With that we start up our Thirsty Thursdays again. May brings the beginning of many flavors. This week we highlight Basil, Strawberries, Rhubarb, Blueberries and Lemon Verbena.