My fermenting obsession continues to play out at a fever pitch. The honey wine is kicking ass and I just purchased 4lbs of parsnips from the farmers’ market with a loose plan to make parsnip wine. The book, (“Country Wines” 1953) speaks very highly of this particular brew.
Thanks to Paula, who sent me a link to the video (above) featuring Alex Hozven, the proprietor of a pickling business called The Cultured Pickle Shop, in Berkeley, CA (How many more reasons do I need to get my butt out to Berkeley?). Her enthusiasm is infectious and her ideas… Let me put it this way: fermentation is a great, wild world and I am only just barely beginning to scratch its surface.
Black and white galley copies of my new book, Easy Growing: Organic Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces arrived on my doorstep late last week, signalling that we are one step closer to the publication date in early February 2012. If you’re a long-lead publication that would like to write a review or do an interview with me, please get in touch with my Publicist at Clarkson Potter/Random House, Anna Mintz, 212-572-6186.
I am also in the process of scheduling appearances/workshops/presentations for the 2012 growing season. If you’d like to have me come out to your event, shop, etc next year please do get in touch via the contact form with any pertinent information.
The book is currently on sale as a pre-order through several online vendors, but will not be shipped or hit bookstore shelves before February. Since this idea went over so nicely with the last book, I’ve gone ahead and made hi-res promissory notes that you can print out and slip into a card to let friends know that you’ve pre-ordered a copy for them as a holiday or birthday gift.
Probably my favourite part about giving presentations and running workshops is the one-on-one chatting that happens with fellow gardeners and aspiring gardeners afterward. I love those moments connecting directly with other people who share the same excitement and passion. I love hearing about what they’re doing and the look of satisfaction on their faces is contagious.
For that reason Seedchat turned out to be one of the highlights of my week. The transcript is now online, so you can still be in on the conversation even if Twitter isn’t your cup of tea.
I’ve compiled a few of my favourite tips below:
Herbs That Dry Easily: Lemon verbena, ‘Dark Opal’ and ‘Purple Ruffles’ basil. We dry and use oregano, marjoram, and thyme year-round in cooking. Lemon balm, mint, anise-hyssop & lemongrass for tea. Also: lavender, calendula petals, rosemary, sage, winter savory, dill seed, citrus peels….
Lavender Syrup (you can do this with just about any herb): 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, handful of lavender flowers. Bring to boil until thick. Let cool. Strain. Refrigerate
In response to the high cost of canning jars: Remember that they are reused over and over so your investment will pay off over time.
Herbal Vinegar: To a clean jar add: Sprigs of fresh tarragon and a few strips of lemon peel. Top with warm (not boiling) vinegar)
There are several more tips in the transcript including: preserving tomatoes, drying beans, drying herbs, uses for various herbs, favourite tomato varieties, harvesting seed, lots of good canning resource suggestions, thrifting for jars, addressing the fear around canning for the first time, making fermented drinks…
Wondering what to do with the various and sundry bits that remain in the late season garden? Join me on Twitter tomorrow night where I’ll be guest hosting Seed Chat for an hour on the topic of preserving the harvest.
Be sure to pre-submit your question through the Seed Chat form to ensure that your question makes it within the time frame.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
8pm Central / 9pm Eastern
Follow along using the hashtag #SeedChat or via TweetChat
Just a heads up to say that I’m going to be speaking at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in just a few weeks. I am very much looking forward to this first trip to Georgia, although I have been forewarned that I will miss the peach season that is practically synonymous with the state. For the record, the Niagara Region turns out some pretty good peaches, too. I am eating one as I write this.
When: Wednesday, September 21
7 p.m. Where: Alston Lecture, Atlanta Botanical Gardens
1345 Piedmont Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
p.s. If you have any suggestions for things to do and see in and around Atlanta or Athens, I am all ears!