Life Hand You A Bowl of Cherries? Make Cherry Jam

Not only is it delicious, cherry jam is easy to make

cherry jam

When we found the house at Clean Slate Farm it was like a gift. It had everything we were looking for and longed for in a home. There was a barn for Tess the horse, a million dollar view of the southern hills in central New York, perfect southern sun exposure for my vegetable and herb gardens, and a kitchen to die for. We moved in on a brisk November day and never looked back.

Come spring we found yet another reason to love Clean Slate Farm. The original owner worked for a nursery and had planted several varieties of apple trees and several cherry trees. Fast forward forty-seven years and not only do we get to enjoy the blossoms in the spring, as do our bees, we get Follow the tracks for more

Blackberry Barbecue Sauce with Ginger

We used some of this great harvest to make blackberry barbecue sauce

blackberry BBQ sauce

This year is providing a terrific harvest for berries of all kinds at Clean Slate Farm and the blackberries are no exception. In the six years we’ve been here I can’t remember a better harvest. Strawberries, cherries, now blackberries and the apples look like a great crop coming along as well.

Yesterday I took walk below the paddock to see how the blackberries were coming along and it’s a good thing I brought some quart size containers. In a matter of 1/2 hour I filled three and could have filled another if I had one.

The blackberry vines are under some pine trees with the lower branches cut off for easier access. Half of the vines get a good deal of sun with afternoon shade Follow the tracks for more

Garlic Scapes and Scape Pesto

Scape pesto is easy to make, and when frozen offers spring all winter long

garlic scapes

A few years ago I somehow lost track of our garlic harvest and didn’t have any to replant. My sister’s friend Maria was kind enough to give us twelve bulbs to restart our garlic patch. When I asked Maria what kind it was and she replied, “Hardneck. From my grandmother’s garden. All nonna’s kids plant her garlic.”

She didn’t know if it was Russian, German, Italian, Siberian, French, or red, silver. It was nonna’s garlic and that was good enough for me. As far as I was concerned all it had to be was hardneck. We wanted the garlic scapes as well as the garlic.

From those twelve bulbs we replant garlic every year. Two years ago we planted 100 cloves, last year we Follow the tracks for more