Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Experiments in Summer

Well, my sausage making didn't turn out the way I had planned. My grinder plate was missing, so we used a different one which destroyed the sausage horn (tube that squishes the sausage into the casing), and seeing as small bits of aluminum were getting into the end product, we decided to call it a day. Put the marinated meat back in the freezer and went looking for parts. Apparently, our local supply for sausage making equipment has dried up (lack of interest), so now we have to drive an hour or so to another city and get some more, which hopefully we can do in the near future.

On another note, the balcony garden is doing mostly fabulous, and I've learned a few good things about gardening. We had a terrific wind storm which tortured my seedlings, which despite looking awful for a while came back to life. The tomatoes are doing really well, once I figured out the first few had blossom end rot caused by infrequent watering. I water them every day, but where we are it's been a super hot and dry summer, so I have to water twice a day. I've got some good looking heritage tomatoes:

This is my Black Krim tomato (very yummy), I'm still waiting for my Striped German (a Brandywine variety) to produce fruit. I'm using the upside down planters which seem to work well (and good for limited spaces), and on a suggestion from somewhere have also planted something different in the top:

One planter has nasturtiums (also edible), one has fuchsias which are just pretty (although some sources say they are edible too, but I haven't tried them yet). I also have some snapdragons (in a separate container) because I've always loved them; these again are apparently edible but I have yet to experiment with them. I adore the colour of these, they're just gorgeous!

Herbs this year are cilantro, spearmint, rosemary, oregano, lemon thyme, lemon balm, catnip and 2 kinds of basil. The basil really loves the sun and is doing quite well:

Hopefully there will be enough to make a few jars of pesto this year!

I'm also growing a few kinds of peppers (mostly hot, hubby loves those). My failed garden experiments include snow peas (planted them in too small of a container) and lettuce (my cat kept eating the sprouts!).

At this moment I'm drying tomatoes in the oven, we'll see how that goes. Now to fold laundry and watch a movie my hubby won't watch (Lady Chatterley). Ah, the secret pleasures of solitude!

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