Ward House

Red Clover

July is almost half over and I feel as if life has picked up the pace and I am being swept away.  A big bottle of cheap vodka and grand plans for herb tinctures is still a plain bottle of vodka and, well, no tinctures.  *sighs*  I am trying to catch up on blog reading and found Joyce Ann’s post about  making red clover syrup.  I have read other bloggers ‘speak’ of the benefits of red clover and, since is it growing in the side yard, thought I’d try my hand at it.  Joyce Ann is having issues with Blogger so the link to her recipe can be found here.  There are several recipes available on the link page (red clover lemonade, red clover rice, etc); this is the one I want to try:

Red clover blossom syrup

This syrup can be a great Christmas present as it is canned so one can make lots of it. RedClover

Ingredients The main ingredient is 1 quart of red clover blossoms.

Other ingredients are:
1 quart (4 cups) water
4 cups sugar
½ lemon or orange (organic if possible) chopped, peel and all
1 Tbsp beet juice or berry juice (Optional)
Remember: The citrus is optional. Using the citrus will give the syrup an orangey or lemony flavor. In case you want the pure red clover flavor instead, don’t use the citrus. Both ways still make for a fantastic treat.
Preparation
1.) The blossoms and water are put in a pot
2.) They are then simmered gently for 15- 20 minutes and the heat subsequently turned off. Then cover and let sit overnight.
3.) The next day, strain and press liquid out of spent flowers.
4.) Sugar and sliced citrus are then added and heat slowly, stirring now and again for several hours or until reduced to thick syrup that looks like honey.
5.) One can add 1 Tbsp of beet juice or berry juice to help color the syrup as its brownish like maple syrup. (Optional)
6.) Can in ½ pint or 1 pint Jars.
This recipe makes a little more than 1 pint. One can triple or quadruple this and make more than one batch when they are in season to have enough for the whole year.

I am so excited!!

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July 10, 2010 Posted by | Canning, herbs, recipes, self sufficiency | , , , | 2 Comments

Fungus amongus

I thought this was caused by the dog pee’ing in the garden; that appears to be incorrect.  Surfing the web has brought to light my potato plants may have a fungus; a vascular wilt.  Fusarium to be exact.  Apparantly this organism can live in the soil, without a host (my potato plants) for several years.  Not encouraging.  The tops of these taters cannot go into the compost pile as they are infected and could infect parts of the garden that are currently ok.  Looks like more fodder for the burn pile.

vascular wiltBeans and corn were planted in this corner of the garden last year and I notice no problems so am curious how long this organism has been hanging out?  Potatoes were placed in this spot for this season so as to rotate. There are several articles online, about studies showing the effects of compost tea with disease control in plants – specifically potatoes.  The one article, to which I wanted to link, is no longer available.  =(

I dug up the wilting plants and found that the potatoes beneath were just fine, though not the same size one would find in the grocery.  Tasty nonetheless.  One of the seed potatoes was still intact and a slimy, stinking glob when dug from the ground.  huh?  What happened here?

Oh, and tomatoes are not immune to this type of cootie either.

What advise do more experienced potato growers have for me?

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Gardening | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crazy!

I’m still here.  Work has ‘exploded’ since the lunar eclipse; think full moon craziness with an extension.  Exploded does not need a slew of new business, just crazy stuff happening with existing business.  The garden is ok – we have begun watering in the evenings since the 90+ temps and no rain have been hard on growing things.  School is good though consumes much of my time > took one of the board exams last night (170 questions) and passed with a 72 – must have 70 to pass.  Yes, this was a NATIONAL, certifying test that I took.  Shame it does not count for my license.  =)  Just a test grade.

Anyway, all is good though quiet on the blogging side of things.  I am still reading your blogs, though, it fits between activities.  Keep writing – I’ll be back soon!

July 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Where did it go?

Still looking for my mind; what appears to be missing from society as a whole (or at least from those with whom I come in contact) is personal responsibility.  It is always someone elses’ responsibility or fault. Sadly my girls are famous for the phrase “but he/she made me mad” or “made me do it”.  When did we, as individuals relinquish control over our own thoughts and actions to someone else?  Yes, as a people we have relinquished control to the government and perhaps that has trickled down to our kids? And no, I did not get myself into trouble.  Just listening to people and having a ‘what tha’ moment.

Then, I read this post by Molly, of A Foothill Home Companion, about the definition of Humble and – wow.  My hackles were all raised in self-righteous bruhaha that humility had been pushed aside.  Read the post; it is not long and has some great photographs.  The phrase that felled me was. . .

I’m open to the possibility that I am wrong, but until proven so, I will continue to do what I think is right

Powerful words.

I leave you with this excerpt from Mary Oliver’s poem, The  Summer Day:

…I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

July 1, 2010 Posted by | Intentions | 2 Comments