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Harvesting, storing, preserving..... anything else?


By joey


With just a week and a half until my sisters wedding, I am thinking about all the rose petals I harvested earlier this year to make into confetti. My mum has a huge garden with lots of roses and she allowed me to do a slightly premature dead-head round. I pulled the petals off the roses and arranged them in a large baking tray lined with newspaper. I popped this in the cold oven of the aga (works at home with a very low oven!) until some of the water had been removed and then put them in a box in the airing cupboard…. and thats when I last saw them.

In a sale in a bookshop the other day I picked out a book on preserves and pickling as I always remember jam and chutney making when I was small and would love to learn to do it with my own grown veg. I think apart from the hardy few that still do it, it is a dying art. I remember we used a large jam pan, an upside down stool and a large sheet of muslin for draining the jam!

So, I would love to hear your stories, tips and advice on harvesting and storing fruit, veg and flowers…. from basics to, dare I say it, secret recipes!

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Its a lovely time to make jam as there is a lot in the hedgerows this year. I have enjoyed making damson jam and also have started fermenting blackberry wine and elderberry wine . It is so pleasant to get your nose round all those fruity juicy berries. Yum.

29 Aug, 2007


Yum, that sounds fantastic! Living near to the M25 and Heathrow - I am a bit wary of hedgerow fruit as it all seems a bit blacker than it should be!

30 Aug, 2007


I love preserving - and even bought a dehydrator last year to dry apple rings, raspberries, strawberries and courgettes for winter use! Most of my mulberries go into kilner jars with a little sugar and topped off with vodka or gin. Shaken once a week -after 2-3 months I decant the liqueor off into bottles - good christmas presents, then I have to eat all the fruit up - hic! Good way of getting vitamins in the winter - at the slightest sniffle - a tot of mulberry gin and hot water does the job! I make lots of chutneys too, and crab-apple jelly, and grow a few different varieties of chilies which i freeze, pickle or make extra hot chutney with!

30 Aug, 2007


Sorry to be totally facetious but I thought you might laugh when I tell you that our Labrador goes in for 'Pick Your Own'!! He goes in the greenhouse and picks and eats my tomatoes, and on our walks together he picks his own blackberries! :-)

30 Aug, 2007


Brilliant, what a clever dog Spritz! Pity you can't train him to do my old pick your own favourite of 'one for me - one for the pot'!!! :D

31 Aug, 2007


A very quick and sugarless icecream can be made made by blitzing frozen raspberries or strawberries with a banana for sweetness, if you get the proportions right the frozen fruit freezes the banana to a smooth icecream, if it is still a bit runny just pop it back into the freezer for a short while. It makes a suitable icecream for my diabetic mum. children love this in home made lollies,no e numbers and much better for them.

11 Sep, 2007

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