Homeschooling Garden Club – Make the Most of The Garden Produce

We are all feeling a whole lot better since the weather broke and it is a lot more reasonable in temperature. We have been busy little beavers collecting in all the good things. We have now covered a number of food processing techniques; freezing, jam making, curb making, fruit cheese making, pickling vinegars, drying herbs and apple rings. This week, we have been making fruit leathers. Very tasty, so much so that we didn’t have many left for storage (or the photographs it appears) after we sampled every bodies effort.

The garden has now had a number of well needed showers. The high temperatures have taken its toll on the grass and some of the plants despite being watered every day. Autumn has come early as some of the trees has started to drop crispy brown leaves.

The harvests are coming in nicely and because we have progressively sown (sowing littles amounts each week) the harvest is manageable, which is just as well because at the temperature it over 34 degrees in my kitchen - my freezer gave up. It was a mad dash, getting the frozen food in to other freezers. Thank you to friends and family who offered up some space, particularly for the garden produce and all those prepared pie fillings, crumbles, soups, frozen vegetable pickings portioned out for winter meals and all the herbs frozen in to ice cubes ready to pop in to dishes later on. If there is ever a lesson in processing the food from the garden in many different ways – this week was it.

The sunflower competition has been officially won after everyone conceded that Fin’s sunflower standing tallest at 2.4m could not be beaten by Bank Holiday Monday, next week. (For safeguarding reasons, we can’t show you the photograph as it has both Fin’s face and door number in shot. Fin is sharing his photographs on his Facebook page for his family and friends to enjoy). I would like to say: well done to the Grandad for instigating the competition and being such a gracious loser after being in the lead for most of the summer. He very kindly provided the seeds, pots and compost to start the seeds off and generously give out lots of advice on growing and supporting the flowers to all the children, both on his street taking part and to us at Orchard Training Homeschool Garden Club.

I lived too far away to receive any of the original seeds and during the spring I was not able to buy any tall sunflower seeds but instead bought a packet called Vince. Although my sunflowers were a whole 2 metres shorter than Fin’s, I did get a variety of sunflowers which I have really enjoyed growing.

Those of you who have sunflower seeds to eat, we will be covering how to turn them in to a tasty snack soon in the Orchard Training Cooking Club.


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