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How do YOU use what your garden produces?

31 comments


It’s interesting to me how others use what they produce in their gardens. I like to preserve some of what grows here to use through the winter. Tell us what you do with things your garden grows.
Here is what I grew and how I save it for future use…..
The thornless blackberries did extremely well and together with the cooking apples I have loads still in the freezer for pies.
I was a bit disappointed with the beet root though. I only got 4 jars of beet root chutney from a good sowing. They were very small.
Because the tomatoes were late ripening I made loads of Chinese pickle with the green ones and the cucumbers.
The damsons were very few and far between this year so no damson jam.
My friend gave me a jar of rhubarb jam and the recipe but none of us were very keen on it so I’ve stuck to pies and crumbles with ours…lol and stashed the rhubarb in the freezer. We have an old freezer in the garage which is a god send for storing extra stuff like this.
I’d love to have a go at making sloe gin but someone always gets to the sloes before me….
I tried making elderberry wine one year but it looked revolting and smelled awful while it was fermenting Terry chucked it out….
Hasn’t it been a great year for the runner beens. Every day I’ve picked them I’ve prepared them all and frozen what I didn’t need that day. I freeze them unblanched in bags big enough for 2 or 4 portions. I’m sure there will be enough to last us until Christmas.
The cooking apples, I have cooked and frozen in portions big enough for pies or crumbles and the odd small bag for apple sauce.
Eating apples, I have peeled and sliced and bagged up into portions big enough for tarts. I like to use eating apples when I make American Apple pie. It’s a kind of open tart using a cheese scone base.
That’s about all really, we don’t get enough strawberries to spare any for preserving. They are too nice eaten fresh aren’t they.
I’d be interested to learn what you preserve and how. Let me know…..

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Comments

 

I don't grow any veg HB, but I was grateful for what to do with all the apples that are around this year, people are leaving boxes of them on their walls inviting people to help themselves, so now I going to be freezing some,( cooked first). I did grow runner bean Pedro but not enough produced to freeze & as I think you said they did give up sooner than the ordinary type. Have made some quince jam( not yet sampled).

11 Nov, 2013

 

I ate all my Strawberries in Summer. I use my fragranced rose petals for Pot Pourri, I use Lavender from my bush to help me sleep by placing a few springs under my pillow. The herb patch comes in handy all year as I dry some Sage, Mint, Thyme, Rosemary and Parsley cuttings in brown paper bags in my airing cupboard too. Cumfrey I use for stings, cuts and grazes to calm and disinfect the area. Tomatoes and potatoes which I passed on growing in our new garden this year, are usually nice to eat and put in salads and omelettes. Cut flowers make great colour in vases all over the house...hmmm:)

11 Nov, 2013

 

Ooh! Yummy quince jam Ff. I have to get mine from a friends stall at various venues she attends for proceeds for her chosen charity. Must ring her and ask her if she has any this year. People don't put any apples out in our village nowadays. Such a waste I think.
Gorgeousma What a good idea to use the rose petals for pot pourri, and the lavender. It reminded me that my mum used to make lavender bags years ago to put in drawers and a few sprigs in wheat bags. I don't have much of a herb patch, just a bit of mint and rosemary but will try to get one going next year. Thanks for the tip on drying them in paper bags in the airing cupboard. I didn't know about comfrey...thank you I'll look into that. I only bring flowers in to the house that have blown down as I hate to see them lying on the grass being eaten by the creepy crawleys...lol although I love it when people bring me cut flowers.

11 Nov, 2013

 

I bought some lovely elderberry jelly, it was from Galloway Lodge foods, its very nice as an alternative to red currant or cranberry, theirs had port in too.
Like you elderberry wine was awful but next year I may have a go at the jelly,
My neighbours came for apples......they make cider.......

11 Nov, 2013

 

rhubarb is cooked as we pull it then it gets frozen.
Gooseberry & blackcurrants eaten fresh, bottled for winter use and some jammed.
Apples fresh, frozen, puried and bottled.

I also gave large amounts away to neighbours family & friends.

The small amounts of veg are only eaten in season, rarely enough to freeze.

good question.

11 Nov, 2013

 

I have only a small vegetable patch and everything I grow such as strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes and potatoes we eat as I pick them and as we had a very good crop of apples this year I gave a lot away to friends and work colleagues and the rest we ate....my wife made apple cake etc etc.

11 Nov, 2013

 

i do not have anything in my garden to save (well i do not think i have) but its great reading what other members have :-))) these kind of blogs are awesome to learn what gardening is all about :-) thank you!!!

11 Nov, 2013

 

I've made gooseberry and plum jam , and red and blackcurrant jelly .
We ate the stawbs as they arrived , and the passion fruit ( it isn't over effective ).
The grapes went mouldy in the greenhouse , and the ones outside were not sweet , so I left them on the vine too long , and they went over (still not sweet ).
I've just made some beetroot pickle , and frozen lots of apple , but last year's is still plentiful , filling up the store cupboards .
I do put out the apples Hb, but not many are taken , rather a shame .
I am collecting as much seed as I can from the flowers as there is a seed exchange scheduled early in the New Year .

11 Nov, 2013

 

I don't grow my own but we have a very kind neighbour that shares what he grows. As he lives on his own, his large crop would go to waste otherwise. We are not a huge vegetable eating household (yes, I know!) but make short work of his potatoes, tomatoes and cabbages.
I also have access to Rhubarb grown by another neighbour. Only mum likes it, so we don't use up too much. In return, I give her flowers for the house.

11 Nov, 2013

 

Pam I had never heard of elderberry jelly before. It sounds good if you can use it instead of cranberry jelly. Cranberries are so expensive to buy to make your own. I never thought of making cider. We don't drink it so that's probably why. Nice if they give you a bottle in exchange for the apples. I give my neighbour a jar of damson jam in exchange for the damsons in her garden to add to mine.

Sbgirl you do make full use of your garden produce. I've never tried bottling anything. How do you bottle your produce.
Rogi, it's lovely to be able to eat your produce fresh from the garden. It doesn't matter how small a plot we have, anything we can grow and eat fresh is a pleasure isn't it. Haven't the strawberries and apples had a good year. The cucumbers and tomatoes were late to get going here but well worth growing anyway aren't they. I forgot to put some potatoes in the potato bags this year so we haven't had the pleasure of them. I don't have anywhere else to grow them well. Apple cake sounds nice you must put the recipe up for us.
I love to hear what other people preserve and how Jane. Also what produce they like to grow.

11 Nov, 2013

 

:-)))

11 Nov, 2013

 

I didn't have much in the way of produce this year, and don't grow so much these days anyway.
But I ate all the raspberries, and we had the pot grown potatoes for dinner :o)
Kidney beans produced NONE AT ALL :o(
The eating apples are dry and tasteless ... the cooking apple tree only ever produces about 3 very tiny ones ... so they're being got rid of next year.
The thornless blackberry did produce a few. They are in the freezer waiting to be used up in something ... don't know what yet.
I'm pleased to hear you had a successful year :o)

11 Nov, 2013

 

Driad, gooseberry and plum jam sounds very exotic. I bet it taste delicious. I don't have gooseberries or I'd have a go at that. Lucky you, having passion fruit. I love it. My mum does black current jam but the faffing about taking all the stalks off drove me crazy so I don't help her with that....lol. Black current and red current jelly is so nice though. I don't have any of the bushes. It's a shame about the grapes. I turfed my grapevine out as it never fruited. I didn't really know how to look after it. I haven't collected much seed this year. Only some from the poppies and delphiniums. It's lovely to hear you also collect and preserve as much as you can from your garden. I always wonder why people would rather buy apples than have fresh apples not long picked from the tree.

Scottish that's lovely to share with neighbours. We all should do more of that. I give my outer cabbage and broccoli leaves and carrot tops to our neighbours for their rabbits and guinea pig..lol We share our toms and cucumbers with the family. A good friend sows tomato seed for me as I fail dismally with those and I set cucumber seed for us both.

11 Nov, 2013

 

Oh, blimey Hywell, what a crappy year you've had veg wise. At least it's nice to hear you got some blackberries. I wonder what happened to the kidney beans. Thrash the apple tree with a spade and tell it it's coming out if it doesn't buck it's idea up. It worked for one of ours a few years ago, it fruits well every year since, I swear.

11 Nov, 2013

 

Great blog homebird...hope you get lots of ideas.
I was interested about freezing the beans unblanched, because I tried that but when defrosted mine go all soggy?

Great idea about sharing the unwanted produce...wish our neighbour did this, every morning I have squirmed at the rotting apples on his lawn :-(

Would love a jam recipe for the gooseberry and plum jam?

Can`t really add anything of my own, except I too freeze all the apples and soft fruits, and can make pies and crumbles well into the new year. Also I freeze spinach whole when just picked and then add to anything that it compliments.

11 Nov, 2013

 

Andrea, I like the idea of freezing the spinach whole, I never thought of that. The beans are softer than fresh cooked when they've been frozen. I put the frozen beans into boiling water and bring back to the boil then serve straight up. The price of cooking apples is so high most of the year it's well worth freezing as many as you can I think. I'm no good at freezing carrots though, they always go rubbery. :o(

11 Nov, 2013

 

That`s maybe where I made the mistake, I think I put the beans into cold water and brought to the boil...will try again...Thanks

11 Nov, 2013

 

I made elderberry jelly using concentrated apple juice as OH can't take refined sugar. it was a bit hit and miss as I'd no idea how much to use. it turned out rather stiff and with the apple taste predominating but OH enjoyed it as it makes a change from Dalfour jams. My neighbour made lots of red currant jelly with some of my fruit and gave me some - that's very nice. We ate all the potatoes leeks and kale and I froze the gooseberries and rhubarb - not very adventurous I'm afraid. Rhubarb jam I used to make just about by the gallon when the boys were young. Its nice with lemon and ginger, or made half and half with Mamade lemon, which you don't see very often. Apart from that, just crumbles and so on - I use frozen blackcurrants to add to apple crumble, which I can really recommend. The raspberries were a dead loss, the summer ones were even worse than the autumn ones in spite of all the feeding and will be on the bonfire when I get round to it.
There's a Bramley apple site on the net with lots of interesting recipes.

11 Nov, 2013

 

When my Victoria Plum was still alive I used to get wonderful crops. I made jam, and stewed some of the fruit for pies and crumbles as well as making plum chutney. I have a crab apple tree and I used to make jelly every year, but the birds seem to get most of the apples these days - the tree has grown rather high! I grow a few runner beans, and love to be able to cook them straight off the plant. I have some old gooseberry bushes which have been giving a very good crop in the last couple of years. I mainly use those for gooseberry crumble. The things I use most, though, are my herbs - rosemary, especially with lamb or roast potatoes; thyme and bay in almost every stew or casserole, and sage in stocks and soups. In the summer, fennel is great in a herb mix. I use chives in mash, and as a dip with soured cream. They're also very good in a cheese sandwich! I infuse olive oil with rosemary and thyme - it smells wonderful and is great for dipping with balsamic vinegar. (I infuse that with dried figs and apricots and it's lovely. They are all bought, though, obviously.) I use pot marjoram in Italian dishes - not exactly "correct" but a good substitute for oregano. I grow basil on the kitchen windowsill - it's rather tender and I find it's a slug magnet. I do grow some in the large pots I use for my tomatoes, though. The smell is great. I have made some damson gin this year, but the damsons were bought locally in season.

I've never grown vegetables (except the beans) but I greatly admire those who do.

11 Nov, 2013

 

The gooseberry and plum jam are separate jams though Hb , I haven't combined them but I think that the red and blackcurrants may have got mixed up at some point , I never take off the stalks . I did make some redcurrant jelly on its own , I think .
Stera , rhubarb jam is good , I think that I used to put ginger in with it , and apple jelly is also very good , a beautiful golden colour . Marrow jam is a surprise , again flavoured with lemon , which seeps into the marrow chunks and is very good .
I like the suggestion of infused figs and apricots , Mel .

12 Nov, 2013

 

Thanks Steragram , you do make full use of your produce. I haven't tried making black or red current jelly but if you don't have to pull all the stalks out I will try that next year when I'm offered some again. I've always passed them on to my mother who has the patience of a saint when it comes to preparing them. As I said I wasn't keen on the rhubarb jam my friend made but it sounds good with the added lemon and ginger. Maybe worth another go. Our plum and damson trees didn't fruit well this year so no new jam made but I have a couple of jars left from last year. The greengages make a lovely yellow jam. They are a bit fiddly getting all of the stones out once the fruit is soft whilst boiling but it does stop the bitter taste you sometimes get if you leave all the stones in. I can't seem to grow raspberries well here and I really prefer them to strawberries.
I love what you do with your herbs Melchi, I really should get a herb patch going instead of using shop bought dried herbs. That's my mission for next year. My crab apple is on a very dwarf root stock and should only grow to about 6ft. But has fruited really well in the 3 years I've had it. I bought it because I loved the spring blossom and also because I used to pick next doors til new neighbours moved in and chopped it down...heathens. Damson gin sounds good. I might try that too next year if we get a better crop. I too like the idea of infusing figs and apricots.
Driad I was given a couple of marrows a couple of years ago and made marrow and ginger jam. It was delicious. I just have one jar left.
I am getting some really good suggestions here on different ways to preserve and use our produce. :o)))

12 Nov, 2013

 

Most interesting blog HB...as we only have a small garden, we do not often get enough produce to freeze, so we eat the gooseberries, strawberries, blueberries, we took out the raspberry canes and the blackberry far too rampant, as for the grapes we eat some, juice some and this year made chutney with the rest, if we do get a lot of tomatoes,those are frozen whole for casseroles.....still waiting for our goji berry to fruit, we do have quince but usually three at the most, they will go in an apple crumble.
We do grow lots of herbs, which we use in recipes, we also grow figs unfortunately the wildlife get to them before we do!! Have recently planted an actinidia will have to wait and see how this settles in.
Have made damson gin in the past so simple and delicious, got to be part of your 5 a day?

12 Nov, 2013

 

I love my herb bed, Hb! It's rather exuberant these days, but so useful. It's in one of the really sunny spots in the garden, right by the back door. Even when it's wet, I can dash out and get what I want. I find most of them easy to grow, and the bees just love them.

Do you reckon red wine is one of my 5-a-day as well, Dottydaisy? ;-)

13 Nov, 2013

 

Well I do , Mel . Its one of mine .

14 Nov, 2013

 

Good-oh!

14 Nov, 2013

 

But of course it counts!❇❇❇❇

15 Nov, 2013

 

I heartily agree.......
I am now determined to have a proper herb patch. I decided to write a list of what I wanted for it and thought about what I've already got....
I've got a spindly rosemary plant that's never been used and of course there is the garden mint that is in regular use. Basil sits on the conservatory window( bought from the supermarket and potted up) and I like to use it in tomato dishes. The chives and Oh! I just remembered the bay bush that nearly popped its clogs the winter before last. Silly me buying the leaves from the supermarket! I started some Angelica and fennel seeds off in the spring and they haven't done to badly. Not grown big enough to harvest this year though.
So that leaves sage, coriander, thyme ( I don't think the thyme I have are the culinary kind) Marjoram, and finally parsley. I'm always running out of parsley and having to nip to the shop for more.
Thanks so much everyone for taking the time to comment. I'm picking up a lot of new ideas.

16 Nov, 2013

 

Homebird, you don't have to take the currants off the stems if you're making jelly because all the stalks, skins and pips get left behind when you strain it after simmering. I do stalk the black ones though, as you can make jam without straining.

16 Nov, 2013

 

I think all the thymes can be used, Hb. I always have difficulty with parsley - I just replant every spring. The supermarket herbs seem to do fine if they are planted out reasonably promptly. Some rosemary plants always seem to be spindly. The bushy ones do really well, though - they are quite cheap at the GC. Miss Jessop's Upright is good.

16 Nov, 2013

 

Mel , I have found that the French parsley self seeds and just keeps coming back , I have it with the curly leafed one and let them get on with it . I often have to creep out with a torch to find some in the winter .
Coriander grows well from seed , Hb . Could keep some on the kitchen window-sill during the winter .

17 Nov, 2013

 

I'll try that next spring, Driad. Thanks for the tip.

17 Nov, 2013

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