Monday, February 29, 2016

Garden Share Collective - Preserve

This month I am back into blogging and back into the Garden Share Collective.  I look forward to continuing to be involved with this network of likeminded gardeners and sharing in their experiences each month.  This month's topic is Preserve.

Coming to the end of summer Preserve seems logical as fruits and vegetables are running rampant in the garden and it is time to fill the cupboards for winter.  Apart from bottling fruit and making jam this year I have added a dehydrator to my arsenal.  When we had mushrooms appearing daily in the paddocks I took the opportunity to store some away for hearty stews and risottos.  Likewise my sulphite free dried apricots will be great in homemade muesli bars.  As the apple tree heaves with Peasgood Nonsuch beauties I will be turning to the dehydrator again to make some apple chips and if I can beat the birds to the pears I will try some of them too.

One of my favourite ways to preserve fruits is in liqueurs.  Fill a preserving jar with fruit, add sugar and vodka/gin.  Shake daily for a week, then leave for 6 months.  Strain and enjoy.  I have done some Damson Gin and Vodka this week and have plenty more fruit to do a couple more jars.  Give it a couple of months and I will be doing the same with the Medlar.  I have also made apricot and raspberry jam although I still have Damson jam left over from last year, as well as bottling apricots, plums and peaches.

I had always dreamed of a pantry full of colourful preserves.

Gardening with animals and children can be a challenge at times and preserving my sanity is something I am continuing to work on.  I have finally grown tomatoes so successfully I have more than we are eating!  I made some pasta sauce, and since I was so inspired I made some homemade farfalle pasta to go with it.  Some sauce did make it into a jar as well though!  I have grown a number of Heirloom varieties of tomatoes this year including Black Krim, Green Zebra and Brandywine Pink.  Once the fruiting is over I am planning to save some seeds as well to use next summer.

The glasshouse grown Brandywine dwarfs the outside grown Black Krim.

My forest garden project is coming along nicely with the purchase of a dozen herb plants yesterday.  I am embracing chop and drop mulching, and reading anything and everything I can find related to this.  Watch this space....


  1. That sounds great, welcome back. It looks as though the glasshouse is what your tomatoes need. I went out in the garden to take photos for my post, and then got busy with chores and by the time I was ready to take the photos it was dark. Hopefully I get it up tommorrow.

  2. Lovely to have you join in this month Ailsa. A dehydrator is a great tool for a home gardener. I love having sulphate free fruit on hand too, that was a major reason I decided to get one. I like the sound of your fruit liqueurs. Lucky you having mushrooms to collect from the paddock! Enjoy your month in the garden

  3. It sound like you have had a very fruitful season this summer, enjoy your preserves.

  4. Lovely work. I am especially jealous of the damson gin! I love dried pears, they are one of my favorite dehydrated fruits.

  5. I love the idea of preserving fruit in alcohol. What a wonderful treat for a cold winter's night (for the adults, anyway).