What gets our juices flowing this Tuesday? Literally, juices. After putting up a stunning smelling and looking foraged Kimchi (with Daisy sprouts and buds, Dandelion leaves, heart shaped Violet Leaves, Red Clover Leaf, a little young Yellow Dock leaf, the serrated spears of Evening Primrose leaves, some ‘refound’ – or rather lost and forgotten patch- of baby Garlic and Radish leaf, and some local foraged Fiddleheads), we decided to do a batch of Dandelion wine since those sunny blossoms finally appeared (and I might do another batch, too, this week…). And then – after perusing the techniques of Pascal Baudar and Sandor Katz, we decided we wanted to try some Berry Soda so we put up a batch of Blackberry to try (so far, so good!). I think we will try some Ginger Beer and real Beer’s too.
The Violets are starting to match their leaf growth so a batch of Violet Syrup might be a consideration this week. By the end of that little endeavor, the Lilacs will likely be ready to syrup or wine-up, and then maybe the Honeysuckle. At that point, tea foraging becomes a primary focus for me – lots of Red Clover buds will be popping up to try (and maybe also make a little wine from, I tried it a few years ago and liked it very much…Goldenrod, not so much), Raspberry Leaf, Bee Balm, and as the Summer progresses my Chamomile patch will be buzzing. I love to get the drying racks up and start filling them with Calendula blossoms, Mullein leaves, Cleavers, Yarrow, and maybe this year some Wintergreen Berry, too. Amazingly I do not have a crazy patch of Mint. I have tried to start one here and there but then I generally put it somewhere I am not set on and then pile stuff on top of it, forgetting until I really want some. Though Bee Balm is in the Mint family, it doesn’t have the same cleanness to it that you want out of a Mint (but it does have a lovely well-rounded body that I enjoy). I do drink a lot of tea and hope to have enough to sell again this year.
Right now we are just excited that many of the baby Apple trees we have planted over the last couple of years are blooming. It’s an off year for the big trees but the little ones are looking pretty good despite the incessant drought and bug plague they have been struggling through. The baby plants are also looking good and can’t wait to get into the new garden – still a few finishing touches (and a fence) but we’re almost there; the coldframes are bursting! But we did finally get a first Asparagus harvest after many years since starting from seed (and the fear that the deer dug it up last year, though none of the Purple came up, perhaps they will return) – YAY!
May you have unexpected surprises!