Lots of seeds started now in the veggie grow-op, a heat-mat makes a huge difference in how fast germination occurs. Onions, leeks, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and celery all started. Each of the small pots contains 6-25 seeds which potted out a few weeks from now will be several hundred pots so I’ve set up a separate grow light in the basement for the tomatoes – I’m hoping the cooler temp there will stop the tomato plants from getting so leggy like last year. Still lots more seeds to be sown in pots, but not this weekend. Tip: beer cups make great cheap plant pots just slice or snip a few holes into the base.
On the garden front, the snow is melting and the garden looks like the lakes district from space, it will be a lovely 10 degrees Celsius today so I’ll be heading outside soon as I post this. I pulled on my wellies and did a garden tour yesterday and I was thrilled to see the purple sprouting broccoli is looking lovely. The thymes also survived (I protected them with the cold frame) and so did the rosemary it was near the cold frame must have sheltered it somewhat. Am now anxiously watching all the fruit plant buds.
I got into cheese making a few years ago, but its been a while now since I’ve made any (except fresh mexican cheese for tacos) and recently decided to start making Camembert again (the one type of cheese I had the best success with). I ordered some fresh supplies from New England Cheese Making Supply this morning. Woohoo. :) Future cheese posts to follow.
After successfully making some lovely red wine vinegar from both a vinegar mother and from just raw red wine vinegar, I have been wanting to try white wine vinegar. As noted in my previous vinegar posts I had to order my red wine mother from the US so I thought I’d first try making it with a raw cider vinegar (looked for raw white wine vinegar but no luck). Worst case it doesn’t work. I used Riesling only because that’s what my mum drinks so I’ll be able to sneak some from her bottle every two weeks to keep it going (kidding she knows!) because I prefer to drink red.
We tried to make a lot of different things over the winter but hands down the best new discovery was preserved lemons (the other was the homemade garlic powder). I will be making these for life and when I made the last batch a couple weeks ago I also started a jar of limes. Just for fun I also tried it with the rather meager kumquat harvest, which are basically too sour/bitter for fresh eating and I hate to waste them. Time to pull on my wellies and muck about outside even though there’s not much to do yet. :)