Preserving the harvest!

Now is the time to start thinking about how you are going to use up all your garden goodies.  A little advanced planning allows you to ensure you have all the tools and supplies you need so there is no last minute panic as you seek to stretch out the window you can enjoy your harvest into the late fall and winter.  This can be by drying, freezing, canning, pickling or even using some in your beauty routines.

There are many resources out there from books to google that can give you unlimited creative ideas. A few such resources I have come across include all the books by Gayla Trail. Her books, and information on her website are specifically towards urbsn small space gardeners. This is where I discovered garlic scapes, borage, lemon balm, nasturiums and whst to do with corriander seeds, hibiscus punch, herbals salts, chive blossom vinegar and much more and were the first gardening books I bought.

Since then I always have at least one ice cube tray in my freezer full of pesto (this make grest single use portions that can be tossed on top of some pasta while still hot to melt). Garlic Scape Pesto and Lemon Balm Pesto are two of my favourites but I’ve also made regular basil pesto, beet green pesto and have heard of oregano pesto but have never made this one.

Then I was introduced to the book Power Plants by Frankie Flowers and Bryce Wylde. This lead me to make my own oreagano oil, rosemary tea, and toner using thyme from the garden and witchhazel. My kitchen and bathroom are now full of jars and contianers containing these types of garden projects. I also have the urge to grow wheatgrass but havnet gotten to it yet.

Another great resource is to subscribe to the newsletter or podcast of A way to Garden. So much great info and interviews with garden experts that you may not have heard of before.

A few recipies I’ve had Success with!

Crisp Pickled Green Beans

Sweet and Spicy, Honey, Zucchini Relish

Preserving & Canning Books

Canning for a New Generation

Food in Jars – Preserving in small batches year round

Summer is here – Let’s Explore!

The rain has left and this goregeous sunshine is forcasted to stick around. The City of Surrey offers a wide range of events and activities when not soaking up the sun in your community garden plot.  On a gardening side note get those cucumbers, peppers, squash, and tomatoes plants into the ground.

What better way to spend a leisurely Sunday morning than The Cloverdale Market (Fleamarket) in search of hidden treasures. From plants, flowers, and produce to garden art, home decor and much much more. Happens weekly at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

Looking for a date night activity or some family fun stroll through through the nearly 200 food and merchandise vendors at the Surrey Night Market. With free parking, $2 admission, international foodstalls, pedicures, cosmetics, jewlery, clothing, toys, and handbags this is a must see for this summer. Located at The Cloverdale Fairgrounds every Friday, Saturday, & Sunday from 6pm to 11pm, May 29 to September 20.

Starting on June 29th you can enjoy the Sounds of Summer Music Series which are held at various locations throught Surrey from 6:30pm. What better way to spend a summer evening than enjoying beautiful music in a stunning setting.

Enjoy some family friendly fun at the Newton Wave Pool on June 27th with the 20th annual Newton Community Festival

Next Week: June in the Garden

The Farmer’s Market’s are Opening – time to start exploring!

Farmer’s markets are a great place to have the opportunity to chat directly with the farmers and producers of various products.  They often have some great tips and new ways of preparing foods that you never thought of previously.  It is also a good way to support local and get to learn about veggies and other local products you may have not known about before.  The first time I saw garlic scapes was at a farmer’s market and now I love this early partial harvest from hard-neck garlic.  I’ve seen everything from tea infused marshmallows, to pickled beets, specialty cheeses, local seafood and beef products, to honey and popping corn.

This article from the kitchn gives some great tips for anyone new to farmer’s markets or just looking for a better way to get the most out of them.  10 Etiquette & Shopping Tips to Help You Enjoy the Farmer’s Market. Some of these guidelines may not apply to the local market you attend so be sure to get a feel for your market.  I personally love the idea of walking the entire market before making any purchases – it’s easy to get excited and buy something at the first stall.

Here are a few local markets that are worth checking out

The Surrey Urban Farmers Market Association is located Surrey City Hall Plaza and runs Wednesdays from June 10th until October 7th.  Although I have never been to this particular market because it is closed by the time I get home from work I’ve always wanted to check it out.   Be sure to look into getting a Membership for special insider discounts and other benefits.   New to the market this year will be monthly feature that include recipe demonstrations, art displays and local vendor showcases.  Their annual general meeting is on Thursday, June 4th at 7pm at the Surrey Nature Centre – meet the board members, learn about what is happening at the market, and sign up for your membership.

The White Rock Farmer’s Market is located on Russell Avenue in White Rock and runs Sundays from 10am-2pm starting May 24th until October 11th.  This market I have been and I have to say it is fantastic.  This was a Sunday adventure that I happened to stumbled upon last summer and can’t wait to get back.  One of my favourites is that they have a vendor that offers grass-fed beef which is hard to find (I’ve only seen one independent grocery store in Surrey offer this but it’s not local).  The person who I went with also purchased some amazing hot sauce. They also have local jewelry, art, soap, fermented products, chocolate, baked goods, cheese, wine, berries, spices, jam, honey and much more!

And although not in Surrey but very easily accessible from North Surrey is the Royal City Farmers Market located at Tipperary Park in New Westminister on Thursdays from 3pm – 7pm starting on May 21st.   I have never been to the summer market again because of work timing but I have been to the winter market on several occasions.  This is a well established market that makes it a must on anyone’s list.  Like the other markets along with a music stage they have a wide variety of local goodies to try from produce to local arts.

Next Post: More Garden Inspired Recipes