Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Flower and Harvest Update

Probably no one out there cares, but I wanted to have a little record (since this blog serves as my garden journal in addition to my baby books) that the irises are officially no longer blooming. We have a few fading flowers at this point.

The daylilies have sent up their flower stems, so we're hoping for blooms soon. We're pretty indifferent to the flowers out in the garden, but learned last year they are quite wonderful as daily cut flowers for the kitchen. (Eventually we'll probably plant something other than orange ones.)

The wildflowers have gone crazy with all the rain (and still no one to mow; anyone have a tractor and want to mow a couple of acres for us?). The plains larkspur have bloomed all over the yard and they're lovely. We also have lots of sweet little yellow flowers all over. I'm not quite sure what they are as I didn't take any pictures yesterday or bring any in and there are a bunch of possibilities. According to our paper, Kansas is one of the  most prolific states in wildflowers and I'd have to say our bit of the Range is living up to their expectations.

Oh, and Kansas Dad picked 16 pounds of strawberries yesterday morning. Instead of mopping, I spent the entire day dealing with berries:
  • made 2.5 pints of strawberry-banana freezer jam (incredibly easy with the freezer pectin) which First Son thought was good but the girls both hated,
  • hulled 24 cups of whole strawberries, cooked and crushed them, then let them sit in cheesecloth overnight to drain juice for jelly (a double batch scheduled for this morning),
  • hulled and crushed 6 cups of strawberries for strawberry lemon marmalade, also scheduled for this morning,
  • we ate strawberries at lunch, dinner and breakfast...and there are still a few sitting out.
Anyone want to come pick strawberries? You can take home whatever you can fit in your baskets! (I'm not kidding. Really.)


  1. We still have a few irises, the daylilies are starting to bloom, but most of the wildflowers are gone since Dan mowed all day Saturday. That is one of the best things about moving out of the suburbs - no need to keep up a "perfectly manicured" lawn. Dandelions are welcome here!

    All of your strawberry doings sound wonderful. I am seriously wanting to come pick a bunch. For once the kids could eat as many as they wanted. We can easily go through a 4# box in two sittings.

  2. H of B, please come! Or just send Dan! Kansas Dad and I are beginning to dread the berry haul, though we are pleased to see our jam jars all lined along the hutch.

    As soon as the June-bearing plants are done we'll be back to a more manageable harvest each day. We'll probably miss them all after a few weeks!

  3. I'd LOVE to come pick strawberries as well!! When would be a good time to do that?

    Also, I have an AWESOME book called "Prairie Lands Gardener's Guide" by Cathy Wilkinson Barash that talks about all the native flowers, grasses, shrubs, etc. of Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, & N & S Dakotas.

  4. I would love to pick strawberries, since they are pricey around here. Alas, it's a 1400 mile commute to the range from the Garden State.

    But we'll be there in 2012.

  5. 2012? For some reason I thought it was 2011.

    Either way, you're welcome.

    Maybe we can send some jars of jam this year. Then you can think of us while munching on PB&J (or strawberry-lemon marmalade on toast).

  6. I just might have to start calling you Ma Ingalls. You never cease to amaze me :)

  7. Jill, we're listening to the Little House books and let me tell you, I'm not only not Ma Ingalls, I don't want to be her! She had to work way too hard, all day every day.

    It turns out strawberry jam is actually quite easy, if a bit time-consuming (mostly waiting for things to boil, with a few high heat moments of stirring). It is, however, extremely satisfying. It's much easier to point to a pile of jam jars and say "That's what I did today." than to point to my computer and say the same thing about working (or blogging).

    Oh, and Kansas Dad has been an invaluable help in the canning. I would not have felt confident enough to try to can anything by myself with the kids running around. (I did finally can some jam without him the other night, but I just set the jars to simmer and then finished the actual jam part after the kids went to bed. It made for a pretty late night, though.)


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