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Botanical Illustration and Gardener’s Art Books - gardenerstips.co.uk
01.08.2023 / 14:49

Botanical Illustration and Gardener’s Art Books

For something a bit different this book on botanic art covers some of the unusual colours from black flowers, plants and seaweed like strange green, blue and puce pink.

Canning and Preserving Tips: Why Blanch? - hgic.clemson.edu
24.07.2023 / 12:31

Canning and Preserving Tips: Why Blanch?

Why blanch vegetables before freezing? Blanching vegetables before freezing is critical to quality, but not safety. Blanching is scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time. It is typically followed by quick, thorough cooling in very cold or ice water. Blanching stops enzyme actions which otherwise cause a loss of flavor, color, and texture. In addition, blanching removes some surface dirt and microorganisms, brightens color, and helps slow vitamin losses. It also wilts greens, softens some vegetables, such as broccoli and asparagus, and makes them easier to pack. It is critical to use the correct blanching time for the size and type of vegetable (see table below). Under-blanching stimulates enzyme activity and is worse than not blanching. Over-blanching leads to partial cooking and causes loss of flavor, color, vitamins, and minerals.

Biggest book giveaway, and a new friend - awaytogarden.com - county Garden
21.07.2023 / 23:13

Biggest book giveaway, and a new friend

THE PATH TO FULLTIME LIFE IN THE GARDEN–to a little more peace than my former city corporate life included–keeps offering up unexpected extras, especially in the form of new friends. This week’s book giveaway–the biggest yet, with chances to win four copies of my upcoming book and four of “The Gift of an Ordinary Day” author Katrina Kenison’s, too–is a collaborative cross-blog effort with a kindred spirit that you won’t want to miss.

Book giveaway, and my new old love: glass - awaytogarden.com
21.07.2023 / 23:12

Book giveaway, and my new old love: glass

Just jump in (down below in the comments) and tell me a tip, trick or insight you have to share about saving some kind of food for later use (or simply say hello; I’ll count your entry anyhow). Here’s mine:I’m using Mason or Ball jars for freezing this year, gradually phasing out most of my plastic food-storage containers. That’s a frozen test jar up top of my first 2010-vintage tomato sauce (popped out of the freezer for a moment for its portrait).Why this change?I keep reading more all the time about food and their reactions to contact with various plastics. Apparently “p

April book giveaway: ruth stout and jim crockett! - awaytogarden.com
21.07.2023 / 23:10

April book giveaway: ruth stout and jim crockett!

Last month’s giveaway, my first ever on the blog, was such a hit that I promised a monthly event (though in April we might just have a surprise “extra” edition, so stay tuned).  As a garden writer, it seems fitting that I should give away not just my own book (as I did last month, and promise to again) but also books by those who’ve taught me. I have been stockpiling some goodies from the used-book dealers the last few weeks.Crockett’s Victory Garden James Underwood Crockett (first published, 1977) The star of the PBS series “The Victory Garden” was also the author of a series of books on how to garden, and this is my favorite of his. It was my first garden book ever, given to me by my sister, so maybe that’s why, but I think its value far exceeds the sentiment attached. Dated (meaning chemic

The age of asparagus, and a 5-cookbook giveaway! - awaytogarden.com
21.07.2023 / 23:04

The age of asparagus, and a 5-cookbook giveaway!

To enter to win a copy, simply scroll down to the comments and tell us how you like your spears. Type a whole recipe right into the comment box, or just a link to a recipe on your blog or another’s, or perhaps a tip instead about what you like asparagus served with (Anna says dill and lemon come to mind, for starters).The backstory: I met Anna Thomas when “Love Soup” came out last fall, and promptly stocked my freezer with double batches of several of her recipes made from my winter squash and sweet potatoes and kale and the like, and stocked up on copies to give as holiday gifts. Now a whole new season of homegrown vegetables has begun, and I’m working my way through “Chapter 9: First Tastes of Spring,” and on to “Chapter 10: Green and Greener.” Heaven. Vats of Asparagus Bisque, here I come.Thismust-have cookbook features 160 vegetarian recipes for soups and all the extras, from b

Links: intimate flowers, bird poop, and why vulnerability is a good thing - awaytogarden.com - state Florida - state Massachusets
21.07.2023 / 23:02

Links: intimate flowers, bird poop, and why vulnerability is a good thing

EXPLODING Eremurus, why vulnerability is good for us, and the answer to why bird poop is white—all, and more, in the latest collections of links I’ve loved lately while staring into my computer screen (which I alternately do between long gazes out the window). Five links worth exploring:

Book giveaway: alicia paulson’s magic garden - awaytogarden.com - state Oregon
21.07.2023 / 23:02

Book giveaway: alicia paulson’s magic garden

From the first time I landed on her popular blog Posie Gets Cozy, I knew there would be a connection—again, though I was the hopeless (and embarrassed) girl who hemmed her junior high school dressmaking project right onto the lap of the skirt she was wearing, and when the bell rang for next period had to go there “wearing” both.Alicia (self-portrait, left) welcomed me into her sewing circle, anyhow, charming me in the funniest Alicia-style ways. I mean, what’s not to like about a woman you don’t even know who says, “I want to be a gardener. Like Margaret.”A woman who emails you—though you are still total strangers, really—and asks you about the potato she has planted in a smallish flower pot, and how to care for it? (Answer: Get it out of the confines of that pot, a.k.a., my curriculum of How Not to Grow a Potato 101.)A woman who sends you link

More frost and freezes: minimizing damage - awaytogarden.com - Japan
21.07.2023 / 23:01

More frost and freezes: minimizing damage

In March, I outlined tactics–such as making sure things are well-watered before a dip in temperatures–and offered links to detailed frost-minimizing strategies in this story that would be a helpful read if you’re gardening in a blue zone as I am on the current National Weather Service map.This weekend, I pulled out all the stops (and empty pots, tomato cages, bed linens, garden carts, you name it…) like in the slideshow below, and got help to wheel my big potted Japanese maples–whose leaves are very sensitive to frost–back into the barn, where I overwinter them, but had set them free a week ago. Oops.(Click on the first thumbnail to start the slideshow, then toggle from side to slide with the arrow keys on your computer, or using the arrows next to each caption.)Always be sure to remove covers before the sun hits the plants the next day, even if another night of frost or freeze is forecast. Which means out I go before supper to re-cover everything and hope aga

Simmering harvest-flavor soups, and a book - awaytogarden.com
21.07.2023 / 22:55

Simmering harvest-flavor soups, and a book

Now I have a third way to put up my annual bounty of parsley (the first two are here): three “bunches” will go into each batch of “Parsley Soup” that Thomas says is like “a rustic leek and potato soup that’s been taken over by a gang of parsley, but in the nicest way.”A double batch of “Green Soup With Sweet Potatoes and Sage” (top photo, in the bowl on the right) is already in my freezer; a whole section of “green soups” (using leafy greens as a key ingredient) is a particular delight, since I seem to have mastered their growing this year and have more than I thought I could ever otherwise use.T

Book giveaway: in the kitchen with melissa clark - awaytogarden.com - France - New York
21.07.2023 / 22:52

Book giveaway: in the kitchen with melissa clark

Each of her 150 recipes is delightfully prefaced with what amounts to its provenance: a juicy and sometimes hilarious back story that Clark tells in as simple yet deft a fashion as the style of the dish that follows. I sat right down to chapters like “Better Fried” and “It Tastes Like Chicken” and “My Mother’s Sandwich Theory of Life,” the perfect mix of a good read and a good meal.For me—a flavor-fearing kid who rinsed most of her entrees off at the sink conveniently positioned halfway between the Garland range and the family dinner table—Clark’s childhood tales are positively hair-raising: Summer vacations were spent touring France with her psychiatrist parents, gourmands determined to eat at every Michelin-starred restaurant there. Worse yet (or to Clark, more thrilling): Th

2 book-giveaway winners, and more to come - awaytogarden.com
21.07.2023 / 22:49

2 book-giveaway winners, and more to come

I guessed out loud to a friend that we’d see 500 entries. Not a bad guess, Margaret: After 519 (minus my own 3 welcome messages embracing hundreds of first-time commenters) we finished out at 516 eligible comments before midnight my time Friday.  Using the random-number generator on Random.org, the winners are:Number 50, Mary from Minneapolis, and, Number 513, Tracey, who lost limbs from her apple tree, as I did, in recent storms. Congratulations to you both.Most of all, though, let me repeat my sincere thanks to all of you who came out of the background and commented for the first time. It was great to meet you, finally (all you lurkers!).Because it was the second birthday week of the blog, it was especially sweet to hear from you at this time. As a result of the outpouring, we also passed the 10,000-comment mark during this contest, too, so it all felt like a giant celebrati

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