nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘local food

Blackberry picking

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On Monday we drove from our cabin down to the lake (on our newly-mowed road) and picked a bowl of wild blackberries. The brambles were brutal and we came away with several scratches between us. But we picked berries to the tremolo of the loon on the lake and will enjoy a ‘blackberry buckle’ later this week. Blackberry buckle is made by adding sugar and water to the berries and covering with spoonfuls of dumpling mix. The dumplings cook in the steam of the simmering berries.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

September 4, 2018 at 7:23 pm

How high can I climb?

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Not that high. But I will have to figure out how to get those beans. I planted what I thought were yellow-wax beans on my deck. And they turned out to be yellow pole beans. I threw a couple of weighted strings into the maple and of course the beans climbed.

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All my best, Jane

Written by jane tims

August 13, 2018 at 7:00 am

Indoor garden

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My harvest of romaine lettuce from my AeroGarden today. Poppy seed dressing and lunch is served!

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All my best

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 10, 2018 at 12:00 pm

herb growing in winter #4

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The identity of the odd plant in my AeroGarden is no longer a secret!

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What is the plant on the right hand side of my garden?

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The plant in question is the bushy ‘herb’ to the right. It has dark green leaves and a thick stem.

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As you know, I am a botanist and if this plant was presented to me in any other way, I am sure I would have identified it immediately.

But the label said ‘mint’ and so I expected mint.

My first suggestion of mistaken identity came when I popped a few of the young leaves into my tea. The taste was terrible.

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Then I took a closer look. The stem was not square – an immediate identifier of the whole mint family.

So I went back to the package material. Possibly I switched the labels. Perhaps it was curly parsley. Deep frown. Didn’t look like curly parsley.

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All this time, I kept pruning and drying the leaves. My bottle of dried mystery leaves is quite full!

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What is it?

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Then I saw the flowers and took a step back. They were yellow and clustered. The leaves were compound, very hairy. The light came on! Tomato!

You will think I am a terrible botanist!

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So now I am waiting for my first tomatoes. I have discarded the dried leaves (tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family and the leaves contain a poisonous alkaloid).

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the unopened ‘flowers’ of my tomato plant (the hairy green buds) … in a few days I will have baby tomatoes!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

March 23, 2018 at 9:40 am

green pepper soup from my deck garden

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Since arthritis found me, I no longer keep a big garden. But for the last couple of years, I have experimented with deck gardening. This year I planted pepper and tomato plants in my Veg Trugs (mine are pop-up, foldable raised garden planters bought at Lee Valley Tools for about $70 each). They dry out quickly but otherwise are great and easy to manage. This year I have grown a nice crop of green peppers and tomatoes on my deck.

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This past weekend, I harvested my first little peppers.

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I sliced my peppers and made a nutritious soup for lunch. Ingredients: 2 peppers sliced, 1 yellow onion chopped, 1 clove garlic chopped, water, vegetable broth, gluten-free spaghetti, black pepper, basil, turmeric. Spicy but not salty. Delicious.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017 

Written by jane tims

August 30, 2017 at 7:34 am

getting the better of … a squirrel?

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At readings of my book within easy reach, I often include the poem ‘beaked hazelnuts’ and tell my audience:

If I don’t pick my hazelnuts by August 6, the squirrels will get there ahead of me. They watch the calendar!

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hazelnuts viewed from the underside of the shrub canopy

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The Beaked Hazelnut is a wiry shrub found in mixed woods. The edible nut is contained in a bristly, beaked husk. We have three clumps of the shrubs in our yard, probably sprung from the stashes of squirrels over the years!

For my battles with the squirrels over the hazelnuts, just have a look at

https://janetims.com/2011/08/07/competing-with-the-squirrels/

and

https://janetims.com/2011/08/18/competing-with-the-squirrels-2/

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This year, I also watched the calendar. And on August 5, I picked most of the hazelnuts on our hazelnut ‘trees’. Picking is tricky because those pods are covered with sticky sharp hairs that irritate thumb and fingers.

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Never-the-less, I have a small bowl of hazelnuts to call my own (I left a few for the squirrels, more than they ever did for me). Now I will wait for them to dry and then have a little feast!

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beaked hazelnuts

(Corylus cornuta Marsh.)

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hazelnuts hang

husks curve

translucent, lime

they ripen

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this year, they are mine

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uptight red squirrels agitate, on guard, we watch

the hazelnuts ripen, slow as cobwebs falling, nut pies

browning through the glass of the oven door

green berries losing yellow, making blue

dust motes in a crook of light

float, small hooked hairs

shine

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two more days

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hesitate

and red squirrels

bury their hazelnuts

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From within easy reach (Chapel Street Editions, 2016)

https://www.amazon.ca/Within-Easy-Reach-Jane-Spavold/dp/1988299004

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

August 9, 2017 at 7:45 am

Tendrils

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My cucumber vines are still thriving …


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And the tendrils are still so charming!


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This one wants to pull up a chair!


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On Friday, I had my first cucumber salad from my vines!

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 7, 2017 at 7:20 am

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