Garden Goddess

Garden Goddess

Getting’ Dirty with
The Garden Goddesses
By Earlene Eisley-Freeman & Cyndi Davis


Yes We Can Can!

by Earlene Eisley-Freeman
Who says they only like fried okra, or don’t like okra at all. Try this Pickled Okra and you might find a use for that slimy vegetable after all!!

PICKLED DILL OKRA
7 lbs. small okra pods 2/3 cup canning or pickling salt
6 small hot peppers 6 cups water
4 tsp. dill seed 6 cups vinegar (5%)
8 to 9 garlic cloves

Wash and trim okra. Prepare canner, jars and lids. Fill hot jars with whole okra, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Place 1 garlic clove in each jar.
In a large deep stainless steel saucepan, combine salt, hot peppers, dill seed, water, and vinegar, and bring to a boil. Pour hot pickling solution over okra, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rim and put on lids and rings. Screw ring down finger tight. Place jars in canner, completely covering with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove cover and let jars sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars, cool 12 hours and store. Makes about 8-9 pint jars. (From Complete Guide to Home Canning, USDA Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539; pg. 6-19; USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, revised 2015.)

You can reach the Master Food Preservers at (530)621-5506 or MFP e-mail: edmfp@ucdavis.edu
MFP website:http://cecentralsierra.ucanr.org/MasterFoodPreservers/

Getting’ Dirty with
The Garden Goddesses
By Earlene Eisley-Freeman & Cyndi Davis

Yes We Can Can ……… by Earlene Eisley-Freeman
Apricots ripen in our area in June through late summer-early fall depending on the variety. Pick them from your own tree, or buy them at the farmer’s market, a pick-your-own farm, or the local grocery store. Fresh from the tree or farm is always the best!
APRICOT JAM
2 qts. peeled, pitted, crushed apricots (about 4 lbs.)
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
6 cups sugar
Wash apricots; drain. To peel, blanch in boiling water 30-60 seconds; transfer to cold water container. Remove peel; cut in half lengthwise; remove pit and coarsely chop. Crush with potato masher. Measure out 2 qts. of pulp.
Prepare canner, jars and lids. In a large deep stainless steel saucepan, combine crushed apricots, lemon juice and sugar. Bring mixture slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and cook rapidly to gelling point (220°F), stirring to prevent sticking. Remove from heat and skim off foam if necessary.
Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4” headspace. Remove air bubbles, and adjust headspace if necessary, by adding hot jam. Wipe rim and put on lids and rings. Screw ring down finger tight. Place jars in canner, completely covering with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, remove cover and let jars sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars, cool 12 hours and store. Makes about 5 pint jars. (From Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, edition 37; pg. 49; Hearthmark LLC, 2014)

You can reach the Master Food Preservers at (530)621-5506 or MFP e-mail: edmfp@ucdavis.edu
MFP website:http://cecentralsierra.ucanr.org/MasterFoodPreservers/

Getting’ Dirty with
The Garden Goddesses By Earlene Eisley-Freeman & Cyndi Davis

Yes We Can, Can!
Red Chili Cherry Jam
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 qt. chopped, pitted tart red cherries (about 2 lbs.)
1 cup red bell pepper (about 1 large)
1 Cayenne pepper
6 Tb. Ball Classic Pectin
2 Tb. lime juice
Remove stems and pit cherries; coarsely chop cherries. Measure 1 qt. chopped cherries. Re-
move stems and seeds from bell and cayenne peppers; finely chop peppers using a food processor or food grinder. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine cherries, peppers, pectin and lime juice, stirring to blend in pectin. Bring mixture slowly to a boil over medium-high heat. Add sugar, stirring until sugar dis- solves. Bring mixture to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring con- stantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam if necessary.
Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1⁄4” headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim and put on lids. Screw band down finger tight. Place jars in canner, completely covering with water. Bring to a boil and process half-pint jars for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and remove canner lid; wait 5 minutes, then re- move jars, cool 12 hours and store. Makes about six half-pint jars. (From Ball Blue Book Guide to Pre- serving, edition 37; pg. 124; Hearthmark LLC, 2014)

Getting’ Dirty with
The Garden Goddesses By Earlene Eisley-Freeman & Cyndi Davis

Marmalades always include citrus fruit pulp and usually the rind, in this recipe from limes. Other fruits may be added for fun. In this recipe, you can substitute other fruits, but the overall quantities must remain equal, ie. 2 cups chopped apples instead of pears.
Pear Kiwi Lime Marmalade
3 limes, very thinly sliced 2 cups peeled chopped kiwifruit
2-1/2 cups water (about 9 kiwifruit)
2 cups peeled, chopped pears (about 3 pears) 4-1/2 cups granulated sugar
Prepare canner, jars and lids. Place limes and water in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and boil gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pears and kiwi. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat, and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sugar, return to a boil over high heat and boil rapidly, uncovered, until mixture will form a gel, about 35 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/2” headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust head space if necessary, by adding additional mixture. Wipe rim and put on lids and rings. Screw ring down finger tight. Place jars in canner, completely covering with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store. Makes about 6-1/2 cups. (From Preserving Made Easy, by Ellie Topp & Margaret Howard, Firefly Books, 2012, pg. 96)

You can reach the Master Food Preservers at (530)621-5506 or MFP e-mail: edmfp@ucdavis.edu
MFP website:http://cecentralsierra.ucanr.org/MasterFoodPreservers/

Getting’ Dirty with
The Garden Goddesses By Earlene Eisley-Freeman & Cyndi Davis

Yes We Can Can ……… by Earlene Eisley-Freeman
Peaches and nectarines (use either in this recipe), as well as pears, are now
readily available at the Farmer’s Market and the grocery store if you don’t have your own trees. They can all be used in this yummy recipe. Just make sure the total amount of fruit is unchanged.
Peach Pear Jam with Lime
Rind of 1 lime 5 cups granulated sugar 2 cups each finely chopped peeled peaches & pears
1 box regular powdered fruit pectin
Prepare canner, jars and lids. Remove thin outer rind from lime with vegetable peeler and cut into fine strips with scissors or sharp knife (or use a zester). Place rind in a small microwaveable con- tainer with 1/4 cup water. Microwave on high (100%) for 1 minute. Drain and discard liquid; reserve rind.
Place peaches, pears, lime rind and pectin in a very large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar, return to a full boil and boil hard for 1 min- ute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/2” headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust head space if neces- sary, by adding additional fruit. Wipe rim and put on lids and rings. Screw ring down finger tight. Place jars in canner, completely covering with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Wait 5 min- utes, then remove jars, cool and store. Makes about seven 8-oz. jars. (From Preserving Made Easy, by Ellie Topp & Margaret Howard, Firefly Books, 2012, pg. 44)

Zucchini Pickles ……… by Earlene Eisley-Freeman.

This is the time of year when we start wondering was to do with all that zucchini coming out of the garden, especially when neighbors and friends start to run when they see you coming..
Zucchini Pickles
5 lbs. medium zucchini cut into 1/4” thick slices 2 lbs. mild white onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup salt
Ice water
4 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity) 2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. mustard seed
1 Tbsp. celery seeds
1 Tbsp. ground turmeric 2 tsp. ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
Prepare canner, jars and lids. Place zucchini, onions and salt in a large kettle; cover with ice water and let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Drain, rinse well and drain again. In a large kettle mix vinegar, sugar, mustard and celery seeds, turmeric and ginger. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in zucchini mixture, return to a boil and boil for 2 more minutes.
Pack hot mixture into hot jars, leaving 1/2” headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim and put on lids and rings. Screw ring down finger tight. Place jars in canner, completely covering with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove jars, cool and store. Makes about 8 pints. (From Pickles, Relishes and Chutneys, UC Publication #4080)

Getting’ Dirty with The Garden Goddesses

By Earlene Eisley-Freeman & Cyndi Davis

Yes We Can Can ……… by Earlene Eisley-Freeman.
Fruit butters are smooth creamy spreads which can be used as cake or cookie fillings, layered with fruit and pudding or whipped cream for triffles, or use the following one on a turkey sandwich instead of cranberry sauce—yum!
Cranapple Butter
6 lbs. apples, cored, peeled & chopped 8 cups cranberry juice cocktail 4 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine apples and cranberry juice cocktail. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 15 minutes. Work- ing in batches, transfer apple mixture to a food mill or food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy.
In a clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine apple puree, sugar cinnamon and nut- meg. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon. Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids.
Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1⁄4” headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust head- space if necessary, by adding hot butter. Wipe rim and put on lids. Screw band down finger tight. Place jars in canner, completely covering with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Re- move canner lid; wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store. Makes about four pint jars or nine 8-oz. jars. (From Ball The Complete Book of Home Preserving, edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren
Devine; pg. 54; Robert Rose Inc., 2012)

You can reach the Master Food Preservers at (530)621-5506 or MFP e-mail: edmfp@ucdavis.edu MFP website:http://cecentralsierra.ucanr.org/MasterFoodPreservers/

(Listen to the Garden Goddesses on AM 950 KAHI from 9-10 a.m. each Saturday except the last Saturday of each month)

Getting’ Dirty with The Garden Goddesses

By Earlene Eisley-Freeman & Cyndi Davis

Yes We Can Can ……… by Earlene Eisley-Freeman .

Compote (French for “mixture”) is a dessert originating from 17th-century France made of whole or pieces of fruit in a sugar syrup. Whole fruits are cooked in water with sugar and spices. The compote may be served either warm or cold.

Autumn Glory Compote

5 cups cubed (3⁄4”) seeded peeled pie pumpkin 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces 5 cups cubed (3⁄4”) seeded cored fresh pineapple 1 cup golden raisins
1 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots 21⁄2 cups granulated sugar
Grated zest & juice of 2 lemons 1⁄2 cup water

Prepare canner, jars and lids. Tie cinnamon sticks in a square of cheesecloth. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine pumpkin and pineapple. Add lemon zest and juice, apricots, rai- sins, sugar, water and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Re- duce heat and boil gently, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard cinna- mon.

Using a slotted spoon, pack hot pumpkin mixture into hot jars, to within a generous 1⁄2” of top of jar. Ladle hot syrup into jar to cover pumpkin mixture, leaving 1⁄2” headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if necessary, by adding hot syrup. Wipe rim and put on lids. Screw band down finger tight. Place jars in canner, completely covering with water. Bring to a boil and process for 25 minutes. Remove canner lid; wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store. Makes about four pint jars.(From Ball The Complete Book of Home Preserving, edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine;

pg. 167; Robert Rose Inc., 2012)

You can reach the Master Food Preservers at (530)621-5506 or MFP e-mail: edmfp@ucdavis.edu MFP website:http://cecentralsierra.ucanr.org/MasterFoodPreservers/

(Listen to the Garden Goddesses on AM 950 KAHI from 9-10 a.m. each Saturday except the last Saturday of each month)

Getting’ Dirty with The Garden Goddesses

By Earlene Eisley-Freeman & Cyndi Davis

Yes We Can Can ……… by Earlene Eisley-Freeman

This is the time of year when we start thinking of barbecues and picnics and lots of fresh deli-cious fruit, so why not try a fruity barbecue sauce for those summer outings.
Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce
6 cups finely chopped pitted peeled peaches
1 cup finely chopped seeded red bell pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion 3 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 1/4 cup liquid honey 3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 2 tsp hot pepper flakes
2 tsp dry mustard 2 tsp salt
Prepare canner, jars and lids. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened to the consistency of a thin commercial barbeque sauce, about 25 minutes.
Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2” headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust head-space if necessary, by adding hot sauce. Wipe rim and put on lids. Screw band down finger tight. Place jars in canner, completely covering with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Re-move canner lid; wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store. Makes about eight 8-oz. jars.(From Ball The Complete Book of Home Preserving, edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine; pg. 263; Robert Rose Inc., 2012)
You can reach the Master Food Preservers at (530)621-5506 or MFP e-mail: edmfp@ucdavis.edu
MFP website:http://cecentralsierra.ucanr.org/MasterFoodPreservers/

(Listen to the Garden Goddesses on AM 950 KAHI from 9-10 a.m. each Saturday except the last Saturday of each month)


Getting’ Dirty with The Garden Goddesses

By Earlene Eisley-Freeman & Cyndi Davis

Yes We Can, Can! Not Your Grandma’s Marmalade…
Marmalade can best be described as citrus fruit preserve, containing both the fruit pulp and peel. The original European marmalades were made using quince, and the Portuguese word marmelada actually means ‘quince jam’. Toast with marmalade is a traditional breakfast favorite, but marmalade can be used as a glaze over sweet or savory food, and added to marinade for a sweet savory flavor. The following recipe is just one yummy example.

Easiest Ever Marmalade:
3 sm. oranges, unpeeled,seeded
1 lemon, unpeeled,seeded
1 sm. grapefruit, unpeeled,seeded
2 cups canned crushed pineapple w/juice
6 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped, drained Maraschino cherries

In food processor, pulse oranges, lemon & grapefruit in batches until finely chopped. Do not puree. In large stainless steel saucepan, combine chopped fruit, pineapple with juice and sugar; bring to a boil over med-high heat to dissolve sugar. Boil hard, stirring constantly, until syrup sheets from a metal spoon, about 20 minutes. Add cherries and continue boiling until mixture reaches the gel stage, about 5 more minutes. Skim off foam, and ladle into hot jars. Process in water bath for 10 minutes; wait 5 minutes before re-moving jars from water bath. Cool, store & enjoy! Makes about 7 8-oz. jars.

 

Getting’ Dirty with The Garden Goddesses

By Earlene Eisley-Freeman & Cyndi Davis

So You Think You Can Can ………………… by Earlene Eisley-Freeman
“Days of old” canning is not recommended in today’s world. Remember when Grandma used to put wax on top of the Jelly? It’s not the recommended way to seal jars anymore. Number one, California is really too hot to use that technique, and number two, you really don’t get a tight seal to keep out all the bad guys out.
All the BAD GUYS I’m talking about are all the bacteria that could grow on a jar of home preserved food that was not processed in accordance to the National Headquarters for Safe Home Food Preserving Guidelines, which, by the way, are located at the University of Georgia. You can go on their website and check out the newest and safest way to preserve your food without causing your friends and family to get sick (or worse yet kill them off) because you didn’t follow safe food preservation recommendations.
REMEMBER YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF THE SAFETY OF YOUR HOME MADE PRESERVES NO MATTER WHAT YOU’RE CANNING – BE SAFE, NOT SORRY!
Have you ever opened a jar of jam that has been in the refrigerator, scraped out the mold, and thought you were safe from the bacteria? Well you weren’t safe at all. I like to think of mold as a Jelly fish: the top of the jelly fish you can see, so imagine that part as the visable mold. Now imagine all the little tentacles or ribbons of the jelly fish floating down throughout the jar of jam and, you guessed it, the bacteria is throughout the jar of jam. So you might have removed the larger portion of the mold, but remember that the bacteria are throughout the product, so when in doubt, throw it out.

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Getting’ Dirty with The Garden Goddesses

By Earlene Eisley-Freeman & Cyndi Davis

I am a ‘Master Food Preserver of El Dorado County’, trained by The University of California Davis Cooperative Extension in Home Food Preserving. What a mouthful! What this means is that I took the Master Food Preserving Classes and graduated in 2012.Growing up I remember sitting at the kitchen table with all the Grandmas, Aunts and my sister Susan. We all sat around the table, peeling and processing whatever fruit or vegetable were ready to harvest at that time. Lugs of peaches, pears and vegetables that were all grown in our multi-family garden. I remember sitting on the kitchen stool; my job was watching the temperature gauge on the pressure canner when we were processing the green beans. After a day of canning, the family members would divide up the jars of canned goods, and off for home they would go. In our garage we had shelves and shelves of our canned goods ready for the upcoming year. There is nothing like opening a jar of stewed tomatoes, and tasting the summer garden in the middle of winter.I was “never gonna” do all that work when I grew up. Well times have changed and I have a new appreciation for home food preserving. I know how it was grown; I know if I used any type of pesticide (very minimal and only when necessary); and I know I can pronounce any ingredient that is in my final product. This has been a great new learning experience for me, and I continue to keep learning by taking the Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County public classes. Heck, I even get to do demonstrations at some of them. The class schedule is available at our front counter by our newsletter; the only hitch is these classes are held in Placerville at the El Dorado Co. Fairgrounds. I will be doing some presentations at the Nursery, so look for our handout on these classes also. Hope to see you at some of these.You can reach the Master Food Preservers at (530)621-5506 or MFP e-mail: edmfp@ucdavis.eduMFP website:http://cecentralsierra.ucanr.org/MasterFoodPreservers/GARDEN ACTIVITIES FOR JULY(Listen to the Garden Goddesses on AM 950 KAHI from 9-10 a.m. each Saturday except the last Saturday of each month)

 

GETTIN’ DIRTY with the Garden Goddesses…

By Earlene Eisley-Freeman and Cyndi Davis

We seem to be getting spring and summer off to an early start this year, with many of you planting flowers and veggies during the great weather we had in April. The groundhog was correct in predicting an early spring – what a treat! However, with nice spring days, and anticipating a warm summer, now is the time to do some prep work and planning.

It is really important to check your watering system, whether sprinklers or drip, to make sure that all emitters, sprinkler heads and water lines are working properly. On warm days, it doesn’t take very long to lose several plants when something isn’t getting water. You also need to look at your mature plants that have been in the ground for a while and make adjustments to the volume of water they are receiving, the number of emitters they may need, and adjusting the watering zone to cover a larger root system and canopy. It can really help to dig down several inches before and after watering to see how dry (or wet) the root system & soil is, and how deeply the water is actually travelling into the soil. Remember that the plant roots are several inches down (or feet in the case of large trees and shrubs). We had a dry winter and spring so the water table is not as high as it can be on good years.

Another thing to think about is adding a nice layer of mulch around your plants. A 2-4” layer of mulch will hold in soil moisture, keep the soil temperature cooler, reduce weed growth, and amend your soil as it gradually decomposes. It also attracts worms, reduces soil erosion, is easy to walk on & looks nice – what a great idea! “Mulch” is a general term which might include bark chips, leaves, grass clippings, hay or straw, rock or rubber bark, or local products like pine needles and oak leaves, cocoa shells, seaweed or rice hulls, and even rolls of black fabric (or any combination).

So instead of just getting’ dirty, let’s get muddy while we’re checking on our plants!!

Earlene Eisley-Freeman and Cyndi Davis can be found at Eisley Nursery in Auburn, 380 Nevada St., 530-885-5163.

 

GETTIN’ DIRTY with the Garden Goddesses…

By Earlene Eisley-Freeman and Cyndi Davis

March was a busy month at the nursery thanks to remarkably nice weather. As the Goddesses, we participated in the Lyons’ Club Celebrity Chef event, which was a lot of fun and combined with an evening of dicing and cooking. We served our Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Marinated Shrimp, and ran out in about an hour – we’ll have to triple our recipe next time. With the rotelli pasta we combined marinated artichokes, fresh baby spinach, diced bell peppers, sliced zucchini, sliced cucumbers, sliced black olives and drained petite diced tomatoes (since fresh tomatoes weren’t an option in March). We used our Vine Ripe Tomato Dressing and some of the artichoke marinade on the pasta/vegetable salad, and marinated the shrimp in our Balsamic Vinegar Italian Dressing with a little more artichoke marinade. Needless to say, it turned out great – delicious if we do say so ourselves!

We were also lucky enough to have John ‘Cedar’ Seeger from Four Winds Growers spend a day with us, giving two classes on growing citrus in the foothills. He covered planting, pruning and when to harvest fruit, as well as pointers on frost protection and cold hardiness. He noted that mandarins are the favorite citrus generally, with the Owari Satsuma the most popular and well known. His favorite, however, is Gold Nugget mandarin, a newer variety that has an extremely long harvest period over spring and summer, and excellent flavor. His other favorite citrus included: Washington Navel Orange, Meyer Lemon, Bearss Seedless Lime and Melogold Grapefruit. Hopefully we’ll be able to convince him to come again to allow more of you to learn about growing citrus in our area.

 

GETTIN’ DIRTY with the Garden Goddesses…

By Earlene Eisley-Freeman and Cyndi Davis

At the nursery we are getting an increasing number of questions about whether we sell plants or seeds that are genetically modified (GMOs). We do not sell any of these new plant creations, which have generally been created for large commercial agricultural growers. However we thought it would be a good topic to touch on for us all to think about.

GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created by gene splicing techniques of biotechnology or genetic engineering. With this technique DNA from different species are merged, creating unstable combinations of genes would not otherwise be possible in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food.

Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs:’ which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these organisms cannot be recalled.

Hybrid plants are created by mating genetically distinct parents, also known as crosses. Typically, hybrids combine the traits of their parents. Often, too, a given trait in a hybrid, say flower color, will be intermediate (for example, the hybrid’s flowers might be orange, whereas the flowers of its parents were red and yellow). Sometimes, however, a new trait not seen in either of its parents will arise in a hybrid. Typically, hybrid plants will revert to parent plant or ancestor rather than reproduce themselves identically, so seeds are usually not saved from year to year.

Open pollination is pollination by insects, birds, wind, or other natural mechanisms. Heirloom plants are open pollinated plants which, if not cross pollinated in the garden, will reproduce themselves reliably, so seeds can be saved from one year to the next.

We hope this is ‘clearer than mud’ to you, and relieves your anxiety about what to plant in your garden this year. We look forward to seeing you as the weather improves and we all get out in the yard to play!

Earlene Eisley-Freeman and Cyndi Davis can be found at Eisley Nursery in Auburn, 380 Nevada St., 530-885-5163.

 

 

GETTIN’ DIRTY with the Garden Goddesses…

By Earlene Eisley-Freeman and Cyndi Davis

Since it is December, most of us are thinking of decorating for Christmas and the holiday goodies we can look forward to. At Eisley’s we are bringing out our crop of poinsettias from the greenhouses where we have nurtured them since August. Every year we are amazed at how beautiful they are and enjoying their variety of colors. We also have received our live wreaths for your entry.

The perfect opportunity to shop the gift store will be during our Holiday Open House in Sat. Dec.15 & Sun. Dec. 16. We will be serving our caramel corn and some special snacks for you to enjoy. We will also be having some in-store specials for that week-end only. We hope you will be able to join us!

We are also setting up the Christmas decorations and the tree. When you select your Christmas tree, do you choose an artificial tree, a cut tree or a living tree you can plant in your yard for years of enjoyment. At Eisley’s we have a great selection of living Christmas trees and other evergreens that work wonderfully as a Christmas tree. We would suggest the Deodar Cedar, Incense Cedar and Blue Spruce, as well as the popular Fat Albert Blue Spruce, which stays smaller than the traditional Blue Spruce, with lovely color and shape. Even the Emerald Green Thuja would make a lovely Christmas tree. All of these do well in our area, altho’ the Spruce need regular, deep watering during our dry season.

If you need a smaller tree for your home, consider the Dwarf Alberta Spruce which is extremely slow growing, and can remain in a pot for years. Planted outside, they need some afternoon shade, but make a wonderful foundation shrub. Another choice might be our topiary “cones” of rosemary, euonymous and boxwood, a unique tree when decorated.

We recommend keeping your living tree indoors no more than 7-10 days, transitioning the tree on a patio or garage for 3-4 before moving indoors and after moving out of the home, and watering with ice cubes daily while the tree is indoors to keep the roots cool.

Once the tree or shrub is planted in the yard, decorate it each year with outdoor lights and bulbs, or with wildlife friendly treats like suet, fruit or other fun foods. Any way you choose, all of us at Eisley’s hope you have a wonderful holiday.

 

Earlene Eisley-Freeman and Cyndi Davis can be found at Eisley Nursery in Auburn, 380 Nevada St., 530-885-5163.

GETTIN’ DIRTY with the Garden Goddesses…

By Earlene Eisley-Freeman and Cyndi Davis

Nov.

As we unpacked case after case of bulbs arriving each day, it occurred to us that bulbs would be the logical subject for this month’s article. Fall is the time of year that most of us think of planting daffodils and narcissus, tulips, crocus, hyacinths and many other bulbs so that we can enjoy their colorful blooms in the early spring.

In this area, since we are warmer than many bulbs prefer, it helps to give several varieties a “winter chill” by placing them in the refrigerator (not the freezer) for four to eight weeks before planting outside in late October thru’ December after the soil cools down. Bulbs that benefit from this treatment include tulips, crocus, muscari, and hyacinths. Most other of the best known bulbs can be planted without this cooling procedure.

Many of the lesser known bulbs do very well in our area because of our more moderate temperatures. Watsonia, ranunculus, amaryllis belladonna (naked ladies), freesias, ixia, sparaxis and alliums would freeze in climates where tulips thrive, but they do great here! Daffodils and narcissus (Earlene’s favorite), and bearded iris (Cyndi’s favorites) are among the favorites for this area, because the deer usually don’t eat them, and they naturalize beautifully in our wet winter/dry summer climate.

If you like planting containers, you could try including some of the dwarf narcissus, specie tulips or dutch iris in with your bedding plants. Pansies, violas, forget-me-nots and alyssum all make great companions with bulbs, and would combine to give you great color into the late spring. Freesias and anemones work well in containers also.

Don’t forget to amend the planting area or pot with a soil amendment and bulb fertilizer! The bulbs don’t really need it now, but after they are done blooming, it will be there for the roots to absorb for the next season’s bloom. Be sure not to cut down the old foliage too soon either, because that is the way bulbs replenish themselves for the next season.

Then there is also forcing of paperwhites, hyacinths and amaryllis for your home. Come in and see our great selection of bulbs and containers for forcing, and ask Cyndi for her tips on forcing. But for now, fall is a great time to get out and have fun in your garden!!

 

Earlene Eisley-Freeman and Cyndi Davis can be found at Eisley Nursery in Auburn, 380 Nevada St., 530-885-5163.

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Gettin’ Dirty with the Garden Goddesses …

Oct 2012

Gettin’ Dirty with the Garden Goddesses…
With Earlene Eisley-Freeman and Cyndi Davis

We had one heck of a celebration for our 80th Anniversary Party in September. We hope you made it, but if not, here’s a recap of the events.

On Friday, we had a Fruit Tasting sponsored by Dave Wilson Nursery, our main bare root tree supplier. We tasted 14 different seasonal fruits (apples, asian pears, a nectarine, peaches, plums and pluots) with the favorites: Trazee Peach and Elephant Heart Plum, with the new variety Kaweah Peach coming in 3rd. We also had our first annual Fruit Pie Contest. We had official judges taste all 8 entries, and the winner was Auburnite Judy Barth’s beautiful Apple & Cranberry Pie.

On Saturday we had our Annual Tomato Tasting with 18 different varieties, provided by Pierce’s Family Farm. The first place winner was Brandy Boy, with a tie for 2nd place between Mortgage Lifter and Black Krim, and a tie for 3rd place between Brandywine and Goldie. What a great day! The E.V. Cain D.C. Troopers 2013 cooked & served hotdogs and had a bake sale on the patio, and Pierce’s Family Farm sold their produce to our customers.

On Sunday, our grand finale was a barbeque cooked and served by the Auburn Community Cancer Endowment Foundation, and our Annual Salsa Contest. Out of 16 entries, Laurie Cassidy’s (Meadow Vista) Green Salsa was our grand prize winner. We also drew names of over 100 winners of raffle prizes donated by our many sponsors and suppliers. Thank you all!!

We want to thank all of our loyal customers and friends who continue to support Eisley Nursery, and hope that you all enjoyed the weekend celebration. We look forward to “Gettin’ Dirty” with you for many more years!

Gettin’ Dirty with the Garden Goddesses …

Sept 2012

Gettin’ Dirty with the Garden Goddesses …
Well, we are all very excited about planning our 80th Anniversary Celebration this month, on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 21st, 22nd & 23rd. We have special events planned for each day, so you may want to pack your pillow and blanket to stay for the weekend (just kidding – no beds will be available!)
On Friday, we will be having a Fruit Tasting Event and a Fruit Pie Contest. We will be featuring seasonal fruit donated by Dave Wilson Nursery, our primary bare root tree vendor. We will be slicing and dicing fresh fruit for your enjoyment between 10:00 and 3:00 that day. For the Fruit Pie Contest, we will have a panel of judges taste the pies and rate them. All pie entries for the contest must be submitted before 11:00 a.m. on Friday for judging, beginning at 2:00 p.m.
On Saturday, we will be having our annual Tomato Tasting Event from 10:00 to 3:00, where you’ll have the opportunity to taste and vote for a wide variety of heirloom and novelty tomatoes grown by Pearce’s Family Farm from Eisley transplants. We then prepare a list of the top favorites for you to grow next season. Pearce’s Family Farm will also be present on Saturday to sell fresh produce and their own olive oils.
Finally, on Sunday, we will be having our annual Salsa Contest between 10:00 and 3:00. All entries must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. Saturday in order to be judged. We all get to taste and vote for our favorite to win the contest. Also on Sunday, the Auburn Community Cancer Endowment Fund will be barbecuing lunch on the patio from 11:30 to 2:30.
All three days we will be popping caramel corn, tasting delicious iced teas and our special preserves and canned goods, and talking to some of our vendor representatives. Pick up salsa containers and entry forms/rules for the contests at the nursery. We hope you can join us for all the fun stuff happening this month. After all, we would never have made it 80 years if it weren’t for you, our friends, neighbors, family and customers – thank you very, very much!

Gettin’ Dirty with the Garden Goddesses …

Aug 2012

As the summer heats up, we spend time indoors planning for the next season – fall planting! Earle is having is fall vegetable gardening class on August 11, and we’re all finally reaping the rewards of the summer garden, and planning what to plant next. And with that thought in mind, we have some exciting news. After some consideration, we have decided to drop the Ferry-Morse seed line and bring in the Burpee seed line instead. So coming soon to Eisley’s seed section will be Burpee and The Cook’s Garden flower and vegetable seeds. This line includes a great line-up of sunflowers and sweet peas, as well as marigolds, cosmos, morning glories and nasturtiums, as well as many other annuals and perennials.
And in the vegetable line, they carry an array of Asian, Spanish and Italian seeds, as well as many of our favorite tomatoes, peppers and squashes for summer. They also have a great line-up of lettuces and mesclun mixes, root crops for fall planting, peas, spinach and lots of other yummy plants. We can’t wait to get in their colorful packets, arriving soon, and get them up on the racks.
Mid-August is the time to begin planting seeds direct in the garden, such as carrots, beets, turnips, and all the other root crops. You can also start the leaf crops from seed now, spinach, bok choy, lettuce, chard, etc. Transplants of broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery and cabbage should be put out in early September (Earle plants on Labor Day weekend). According to Earle (our expert and owner), for every week you plant later, your harvest is about a month later; Earle begins harvesting his beets and carrots before Thanksgiving – wouldn’t that be fun and delicious!
So get ready for a great fall garden, and gettin’ dirty!

Gettin’ Dirty with the Garden Goddesses …

July 2012

Yes we Can Can at Eisley Nursery
If you are of middle age (not to be confused with the Middle Ages), somewhere around 45-ish and older, you can remember those days and smells. When there was fruit on the trees and vegetables on the vine, the canning supplies came out of the cupboard from way in the back (or maybe brought up from the cellar), because they had been put away last season and hadn’t been thought of since.
Well a new generation of food preservers is on the rise. Who knows why? Some say it is because of food cost, quality of food, knowing where your food was grown or what was used on it; who knows, and really who cares! The reality is that preserving your own food is returning to popularity.
Food safety is the most important aspect of canning your home grown bounty. Just like any other project, you need to have the right tools for the job. You need to use fresh produce as if you were going to eat it; old over-ripe produce is not a safe way to start. Check your jars for chips and cracks, and make sure you use new lids each season. Pectin should be fresh each season also, so check the dates on pectin, either powder or liquid.
There are so many new safety tips for the home preserver, so recipes and techniques of the past aren’t necessarily used today. These are only a few of the things you need to know about home food preserving, so to be better educated about safe canning, please come to our FREE canning classes being offered at Eisley Nursery .
Class schedule;
”Introduction to Canning” will be held 4 times for your convenience:
Friday July 20th, Saturday July 21st,
Thursday July 26th, or Saturday July 27
Each class is held at 10:00 am on the front patio at Eisley Nursery

Gettin’ Dirty with the Garden Goddesses …

June 2012

As we heat up and enter the summer weather, we still have time to plant succession crops of beans and herbs, and last crops of squash, corn, melons and pumpkins. When planting later, be sure to pick varieties with a shorter maturation date because as we get into September and October the nights cool down and so there isn’t enough heat for melons, especially, to mature.

Corn varieties need to be separated by two weeks between maturity dates. So a 70 day variety can be planted at the same time as an 84 day variety, but two 80 day varieties need to be planted two weeks apart. Corn is one of the vegetables that do cross pollinate and it will affect the crop, so succession planting can be important. With most crops, cross pollination only affects the seeds, while the fruit or vegetable will be true to variety. If you are saving seeds, this is important, but if you are just eating your harvest, it won’t matter.

Herbs such as basil, dill and cilantro are short season crops, so planting at two week intervals will ensure that you have the herbs when your tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are ripe. Planting these herbs in partial shade will also help to prevent them going to seed as quickly.

Beans, especially bush beans, are also a crop that can be succession planted so that you have a continuous crop all season long. Harvest frequently so that your plants keep producing, and enjoy picking fresh beans every day or two.

Pumpkins and winter squash are harvested in the fall as the plants start dying back. Most of these require about 100 days from planting harvesting. Winter squash are grown in the summer, harvested in fall, and stored for eating over the winter months (hence winter squash). Summer squash, such as zucchini, we harvest when they are smaller and tender, all during the summer and fall months.

So whether your garden is full, or you still have room for a little more, remember to water, fertilize and protect from all the critters that threaten your harvest, and keep those hands dirty!

 

Gettin’ Dirty with the Garden Goddesses …

I think that Mother Nature is confused this year – March is supposed to come in like a lion, and go out like a lamb, but she has it reversed this year. Hopefully April showers, which we need, will bring lovely May flowers. And certainly roses are the queen of the garden.

For the garden, floribunda roses are great – they are smaller bushes with large clusters of blooms, creating a mass of color to enjoy. Shockwave, which is also Eisley’s 75th Anniversary Rose, has blooms of pure neon yellow which fade to banana cream as they age. It blooms continuously from April to November – could only be a better rose if it had a stronger fragrance, but it is certainly one to try. It also can be grown in a container, just as you can see when you walk into our front entrance.

Grandifloras are also a great asset in the landscape. They are slightly larger than floribundas, with longer stems and fewer flowers per cluster. Grandifloras also bring color and fragrant into the house as cut flowers. One of our favorites is last year’s AARS winner, Dick Clark. With a cinnamon spice fragrance, the large blossoms open from black-red buds to creamy petals with vibrant cherry-red edges.

The most popular and well-known group of roses are the Hybrid Teas, which are tall bushes with the classic single long-stemmed blooms. One of the great ones to consider planting is Gemini, a 2000 AARS Winner. With a mild papaya scent and cream to blushing coral pink blooms, this rose is exquisite in the garden or on the coffee table in the living room.

We don’t have room this month for all the other roses, climbers, miniatures, shrubs, etc. so we’ll continue this conversation in another article later. Meanwhile, all our roses are leafing out and will be in bloom soon, so come on out and smell the roses!

Published: November 5, 2016 | Comments: 1