8.23.2017

Timing is Everything!

Plant Propagation Calendar - What You Should Be Doing Now
Last Updated: April 30, 2015   |   by Mike McGroarty

January-Mid Winter
You can do hardwood cuttings of deciduous plants. Just wait for a day when the ground is not frozen so you can either plant them out, or bury them as described in the section on hardwood cuttings. You can also do hardwood cuttings of evergreens, if you can provide them with some bottom heat. If you are going to do any grafting, now is the time to bring in your rootstock and let them warm up so they can begin to break dormancy.

February-Mid to Late Winter
You can still do hardwood cuttings as described for January. Start your grafting toward the middle or end of the month.

March-Late Winter, Early Spring
It’s a little late for hardwood cuttings of evergreens, but you can still do some hardwood cuttings of deciduous plants. As soon as the ground thaws and spring begins to peak around the corner you can start doing plants that can be propagated by division. You can also start to do some layering. If you have landscape plants that need pruning, do it now before they begin to grow. Even if it means losing the flower buds, if the plant needs trimming it should be done in order to develop an attractive plant. Any transplanting that you intend to do should be done now before the plants break dormancy.

April-Early Spring
There are plenty of things to do in April. You can still do some division as long as the plants are not too far out of dormancy. You can do layering and serpentine layering. If you have seeds that you have been stratifying, you can plant them out as long as they have been in stratification for the proper length of time.

May-Mid Spring
You can continue all methods of layering. All seeds should now be ready to plant out. You can also collect seeds that ripen in the spring. By the end of the month you should be able to start some softwood cuttings, unless you are in a northern state.

June-Late Spring, Early Summer
By now you should be able to do softwood cuttings of just about all deciduous plants. If you are going to do softwood cuttings of Rhododendrons, try some early in June. If they don’t do well, try a few more later in the month. If you are using intermittent mist you can experiment with all kinds of different plants. June is a little early to be doing softwood cuttings of evergreens but you can test a few.

July-Mid Summer
Continue with softwood cuttings of deciduous plants. Now is the time to start some softwood cuttings of evergreens. By mid to late July you can start budding dogwoods, apples, crab apples, cherries, and anything else you would like to bud.

August-Mid to Late Summer
Continue with softwood cuttings of evergreens. By now the wood of most deciduous plants has hardened off. You can still make cuttings with this harder wood if you are using intermittent mist, but you should use a little stronger concentration of rooting compound. Budding can be done early in August.

September-Late Summer, Early Fall
Start watching for fall seeds to ripen and start collecting them. Evergreen cuttings can still be taken and rooted under intermittent mist. If you are not using mist you can stick them in a bed of sand and keep them watered.

October-Fall
Hardwood cuttings of evergreens can be stuck in a bed of sand. Or you can start sticking hardwood cuttings of evergreens using bottom heat. After a good hard frost you can start dividing perennials. Collect pines cones from Pines, Spruce, and Firs, as the cones open they release the seeds inside. Store the seeds in a cool dry place until spring for plantings. Seed pods from Rhododendrons and Deciduous Azaleas can also be collected.

November-Late Fall
Hardwood cuttings of evergreens can be stuck either in a bed of sand outdoors or indoors with bottom heat. Hardwood cuttings of deciduous plants can be done by either of the methods mentioned in the section on hardwood cuttings. If you intend to do some grafting over the winter, now is the time to make sure your rootstock is potted up and placed in a protected, but cold area until January.

December-Early Winter
You can do hardwood cuttings of evergreens in a bed of sand or with bottom heat. You can also do hardwood cuttings of deciduous plants as long as the ground is not frozen.

8.19.2017

Pickles for a Non-Pickle-Lover

Not being a pickle lover, I had never tried pickling cucumbers. 

I do remember having the first dill pickles I liked on a farm in Washington state prepared by a wonderful woman originally from Latvia.

Once the cucumbers started to come on the vines I gave a Refrigerator recipe a try. It made a very tasty, crunchy pickle which has a thumbs-up from the pickle eaters here!

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

"These pickles taste so fresh and have just the right amount of dill and garlic. They taste great along-side a hotdog on a bun. They also taste great alone as a healthy snack. The pickles should be good for 6 weeks. Enjoy! You can also cut cucumbers into chips if you prefer a pickle chip instead of a spear."
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 cups cucumber spears
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole
  • 2 heads fresh dill

Directions


  1. Stir water, vinegar, sugar, and sea salt together in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil; remove from heat and cool completely.
  2. Combine cucumber spears, garlic cloves, and fresh dill in a large glass or plastic container. Pour cooled vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture. Seal container with lid and refrigerate for at least 3 days.

Not being a pickle lover, I had never tried pickling cucumbers. 

I do remember having the first dill pickles I liked on a farm in Washington state prepared by a wonderful woman originally from Latvia.

Once the cucumbers started to come on the vines I gave a Refrigerator recipe a try. It made a very tasty, crunchy pickle which has a thumbs-up from the pickle eaters here!

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

"These pickles taste so fresh and have just the right amount of dill and garlic. They taste great along-side a hotdog on a bun. They also taste great alone as a healthy snack. The pickles should be good for 6 weeks. Enjoy! You can also cut cucumbers into chips if you prefer a pickle chip instead of a spear."
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 cups cucumber spears
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole
  • 2 heads fresh dill

Directions


  1. Stir water, vinegar, sugar, and sea salt together in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil; remove from heat and cool completely.
  2. Combine cucumber spears, garlic cloves, and fresh dill in a large glass or plastic container. Pour cooled vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture. Seal container with lid and refrigerate for at least 3 days.

Not being a pickle lover, I had never tried pickling cucumbers. 

I do remember having the first dill pickles I liked on a farm in Washington state prepared by a wonderful woman originally from Latvia.

Once the cucumbers started to come on the vines I gave a Refrigerator recipe a try. It made a very tasty, crunchy pickle which has a thumbs-up from the pickle eaters here!

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

"These pickles taste so fresh and have just the right amount of dill and garlic. They taste great along-side a hotdog on a bun. They also taste great alone as a healthy snack. The pickles should be good for 6 weeks. Enjoy! You can also cut cucumbers into chips if you prefer a pickle chip instead of a spear."
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 cups cucumber spears
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole
  • 2 heads fresh dill

Directions


  1. Stir water, vinegar, sugar, and sea salt together in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil; remove from heat and cool completely.
  2. Combine cucumber spears, garlic cloves, and fresh dill in a large glass or plastic container. Pour cooled vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture. Seal container with lid and refrigerate for at least 3 days.

5.09.2017

Prepared Horseradish at the ASC Plant & Gourmet Food Sale

Organically pampered Horseradish Root, organic apple cider vinegar and a touch of sea salt - that is all there is

Horseradish Sauce Recipe

Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of your favorite mustard
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp chives or the tops of a green onion, chopped
Directions
Mix all ingredients together
Makes about 1/2 a cup

Serve as a sauce for steak, pork, on eggs, on cheese and crackers as an appetizer.

Annisquam Sewing Circle Plant & Gourmet Food Sale!




May 13, 2017
(the Day before Mother's Day)
8:00am - 12 Noon
Come early for the best selection!

The Annisquam Exchange Yard
32 Leonard Street, Gloucester MA 01930

Annuals and perennials from local greenhouses plus plants from the gardens of Annisquam


New this year!

Planters ready to go or select your favorite plants and the members of the ASC will plant them in a containers of your choice.
Delicious gourmet foods prepared by the members of the Annisquam Sewing Circle
plus a few surprises!

4.23.2017

The Secret Life Of Horseradish

A reposting from April 22, 2008...

Last year we planted 5 sections of horseradish root which grew to be about 4 feet tall as you can see to the right!

Most of the harvested root was made into a wonderful sauce to use on corned beef, shrimp and fish. The small pieces left over from the processing were put in a pot in dirt for the winter in the greenhouse. They gave off a heady aroma all winter!

Now the roots have put up leaves and are being planted in several garden beds as part of the companion planting scheme. One in the potato patch, one near the pear and the peach trees and one in the brassica bed. There are several more to be placed. All are being planted in bottomless pots to control the spread - I hope!

Another use for horseradish - its secret life - is explained in an article from Mother Earth News

The rough-and-ready horseradish plant has long been snubbed by prudent farmers and gardeners. The perennial horseradish (Armoracia lapathifolia) grows wildly throughout temperate climates, leading many people to consider it just another pesky weed. In fact, the plant is so tough that great efforts have been made to limit its growth. Only sauce and Bloody Mary lovers hold horseradish relish in admiration for its spicy properties. Yet the plant lives a double life that few may realize.
for complete article click here

Preparing horseradish . . .

Some suggestions

Dig the horseradish root when you are ready to prepare it. That will make a difference in its potency.

Wear gloves if your skin is sensitive.

Do not put your head directly over the root as you work with it because...

The intact horseradish root has hardly any aroma. When cut or grated, however, enzymes from the now-broken plant cells break down sinigrin (a glucosinolate) to produce allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil), which irritates the mucous membranes of the sinuses and eyes.
From wikipedia.org - Horseradish

A recipe for Prepared Horseradish




3.11.2017

Spring ritual . . .

Spring, a time of new beginnings, presents horseradish to be harvested.

The wonderful roots spent last year beside a pile of chicken manure and thrived. Soon we will be taking the brisket out of the brine for the annual St. Patrick's Day family gathering and feast. Horseradish is a vital part of this special dinner for many of us!

First you find the dried leaves from last year in a pin-wheel. There may be a few leaf buds that that have popped up in the center. With a good-sized shovel and a bit of patience dig the root. It can have many pieces heading out in several direction. Leave the small roots in the ground for next year's harvest. You can harvest horseradish anytime you need it. Leave your plants in for two growing seasons before harvesting. Keep its spread under control by digging any plants that have spread beyond the limits you have set.

The root will be washed and scrubbed or peeled to reveal the creamy white flesh inside.

The recipe is in A Circle of Recipes by the Annisquam Sewing Circle. It is a bit time consuming but well worth the effort! This recipe is for Prepared Horseradish, not Horseradish Sauce which has other ingredients. This is just plain and simple - horseradish root and vinegar, delicious!

2.18.2017

Winter finally arrived

No measurable snow until February...

Then we had more than twelve inches on the greenhouse that had to be helped off with a second storm a few days later leaving 10 inches more. And now, a week later, the temperature is forecast to go to 50 degrees.

The rosemary is blooming inside the greenhouse. The two fig plants look well. There are many pots with the trees from the Arbor Day Foundation that arrived, bare root in the fall. And an artichoke under a cover of mulch that was new in 2016. When the sun is shining it is wonderful in the greenhouse, warm and moist.

2.14.2017

February...

Snow for a few days. Rain on the way soon.

Meanwhile the seeds are sprouting. The workroom is workable again. More seeds to be planted and put in the heated greenhouse - winter sowing.

11.14.2016

ANNISQUAM 2016 SEWING CIRCLE CHRISTMAS FAIR & LUNCHEON

Saturday, December 3, 2016
8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Annisquam Village Hall
32 Leonard Street, Annisquam, MA  01930


The Annisquam Christmas Fair features handmade holiday greens, center pieces, wreaths and plants; exceptional handmade crafts and a glittering display of costume jewelry. Beautifully wrapped foods, baked goods and preserves all prepared by our members grace our gourmet table; and there is even something for a beloved pet! Delightful hostess baskets, grab bags and our own Circle of Recipes cookbook are popular traditional items at the fair.



A delicious three-course luncheon will be served at 12:30 and tickets are $18. Reservations are recommended. Please call 978-283- 2247.

Founded in 1837, the Annisquam Sewing Circle is one of the oldest continuous independent societies of women in the United States and is the oldest one on Cape Ann. All proceeds from the Fair are contributed by the Annisquam Sewing Circle to Cape Ann community programs.

Annisquam Sewing Circle.net
FaceBook: Annisquam Sewing Circle