Monday, August 11, 2014

Aronia harvest

I am estimating around 23 lbs from our 4 bushes.  I had pruned them back this year thinking we wouldn't get as many.  I was wrong. I will work on making some syrup and jelly.  Whatever I can't get too will be frozen and tossed into smoothies throughout the year.

aronia berries

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Growing Winecap Mushrooms in the Home Garden

Winecap Mushroom Spores

I have always thought it would be cool to get mushrooms from the backyard.  I bought some winecap mushroom spores from Field and Forest Products and built a box with the salvageable wood from an old garden bed.  

I filled it with free municipal woodchips and followed the instructions from the company.  Hopefully I will see some mushrooms in the fall!

growing mushrooms

winecap mushroom spawn

winecap mushroom spawnwinecap mushroom spawn

winecap mushroom spawn

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to Braid Garlic

garlic harvest

How to Braid Garlic

I pulled all my garlic a few weeks ago, because the last few years I have had issues with the cloves starting to separate and not storing well.  I had enough that I wanted to try making a few garlic braids to see if that would also help prolong the storage.

I found this nice video tutorial from and watched it several times before I got started.

First, I sorted my garlic into small and large piles and found some yarn and a piece of garden wire for each braid.

harvest garlic

trimming garlic roots

I trimmed the roots and brushed off any dirt.

braiding garlic

I twisted wire around one large and two small cloves to get the braid started.
braiding garlic 

I began to braid the garlic.  This is similar to doing a french braid with hair.  Add a piece of garlic and fold to the right.  Then add a piece and fold to the left.  I had to restart several times because the garlic was stiff and it was hard on my hands. If you are unfamiliar with french braiding or need a better visual, watch the video above from Gardenerd. I used the yard to tie up the top and create a loop for hanging.
Over all I found that this was fairly difficult to get right and will require a bit more practice to get nice looking braids.  I am out of garlic, so that will have to wait until next year.  I ended up with three imperfect but functional braids.  

garlic braids