Sue B (antesoo) wrote,
Sue B

Herbs,syrup and Hawthorn

Well life gets in the way again and weeks have passed unnoticed here. I have not been idle though. I have now finished my  preserving for the year except perhaps for some figs when they ripen ( if I can beat the birds to them). Last week I bottled another dozen  bottles of apples, made some quince and ginger and crabapple jelly.Yesterday I made some Hawthorn syrup for winter, i will use it like honey on my morning oatmeal. This first pic is the Hawthorn berries about to be simmered. After cooking for 40 mins I strained them, added sugar and recooked for about 30 mins then bottled the syrup.
Hawthorn syrup bottled in jars to allow for the fact that it can thicken on standing,(Hawthorn contains much pectin which can set  the liquid)  so smaller necked bottles may not be successful- though I did one to see what happens with the final pour as it wasn't enough for a larger jar. It has a little ginger added for flavour and a bit of 'kick'.
I also restrained the Hawthorn tincture  that was infusing in the brandy from last month. It is now ready to use - a teaspoon a day will assist with the hearts circulation.
resize_116Hawthorn tincture in brandy being strained. Note how the berries have lost all the red colour but are now a much thicker tincture.
I also took a few pictures of the garden in the late afternoon light. The first (below) shows the pumpkins and beans  grown to the top of the arch.

A close up of the beans dangling through the arch for easy picking.This climbing bean is called Lazy Housewife and has been prolific.I have frozen over 3kg before this pic was taken and it  still has more beans coming.I will now let some dry on the vine for haricot beans.
The Autumn is being kind to the garden and Salvias and Penstemons bloom on.
Bottled apples and applesauce for an entire year ahead. Always good to have in the pantry.
Butter beans growing well but a few weeks off harvest yet. Potatoes in the background being eaten by a zillion snails but the crop has been good and so many more yet to dig,
oregano in flower
Chantenay Carrot seed drying off for next years plantings.And some for Garden Club trading table too.
Love the afternoon light in the trees.This is looking towards the chook pen  with the big Oak tree in the background, peach centre on the fence and a pistachio with red tips just beginning to head skywards after two years thinking about it. The low raised bed of strawberries is from a  buy at a charity auction I went to.Only $5.00 and I had a hardwood raised bed with hinged corners so it folded into the car.Once home, I immediately planted it up with strawberries and carrot seeds in between for luck. Note the Borage leaning over for a look at the strawberries.I believe they like to grow in proximity- time will tell.
This final pictures is from my bargain of the month. Lifeline had an Easter Bookfair and on Sunday I drove over for a look ( love my books!). Well they had books of every conceivable subject and interest there and  as it was later in Easter they marked down the already low prices even lower, so I ended up with 18 books for $26.00 and some were good Herb books I didn't have ! YAY. Some preserving and edible gift making, one on soap and fragrances.This one by Levy is interesting in that she often quotes Middle Eastern herbalists and lives in that region herself- which is a new perspective for me to learn about.resize_099
resize_096Some art and some wine books all added up to lots of winter reading for me. The top one is another on preserving with some nice recipes for me to try out next season.The Pizzey Bird Garden book is for a friend who plants only for birds and has a lovely overgrown bird garden and at 87 she still maintains it herself.
While out on the town buying books(mostly) I added three more Fuchsias to my collection and some potting mix and a few bags of manure for the new garden beds,so it was a great day out for me.Now I am off for a quiet read----hmm which one I wonder??? The nights are drawing in and becoming cooler so soon I will be lighting my open fire in the evenings- toasting my toes and chestnuts by the fire with a good book- what could be better? Winter will be soon be here but another month of Autumn to enjoy first.

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