Thursday, March 29, 2018

Follow the red bird

Someone is ready for spring. I think he is telling me that I better take the lily bulbs out of the fridge's crisper drawer and plant them, already.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Life, indoors

The current bedroom situation: trees. Small, but subtropical, and all looking forward to being outdoors, again. They will have to wait for May, and nights above 50'F.

The Thai limes (windowsills) are doing well - the smaller one on the right is packed with flowers and tiny fruit. The one on the left sheds most of its fruit. Don't know why. They each receive eight cups of water a week, at the moment. In midwinter it was every two weeks - things change. The curry leaf trees (table) have settled after feeling unhappy for a while and are no longer dropping leaves. The new Meyer lemon (bottom left) is hanging in there. The cardamon (floor below table) is fine and I cut its leaves often to perfume supper. Seeds under grow lights are thinking about it, hard. The lamps are cheap Ikea, the grow light bulbs are Amazon-ordered.

Above the disco-pink lights? My friend Willemien de Villier's amazing work (prints of her embroidery) at last framed and hung. You can find her on Instagram.

I am waiting for a finger lime to arrive in the mail (isn't Internet tree shopping incredible?), and must check on its progress. The shippers were waiting for temperatures to climb above freezing before sending it.

Soon, it will be April, and spring will shift into a serious working gear.  If I am not here (mostly, I am not, just because of time - I'd like more!), I am @66squarefeet on Instagram. A tiny daily post shows what is happening in this neck of the botanical-edible-foraging woods...


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March is holding its breath

March is doing its usual thing. On again, off again. Snow, warm spell, slush, freeze, sun, rain. I like it.

And when there is a sale on daffodils, you jump on it. Buy them in tight bud. They do not last long.

Behind the daffodils, now very scented,  is my multi-stage, work-in-progress lemon syrup. Meyer lemons and sugar in equal weight. No water. The sugar draws the juice out. And then I added fir twigs, still green and fresh and fragrant, and after that, foraged juniper berries and juniper flowers. When it seems right I will strain it and bottle it.

The juniper in question is Juniperus virginiana, commonly known as eastern red cedar, and I found these trees along the Hudson, on a drive upstate. Some carried last year's fruit, some were in bud, with pollen about to burst - it is very aromatic.

Update: You can see the bubbly fermentation a few days later on Instagram.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Old Fashioned Raisin Bars

There are some very good cookies next door at 66 Square Feet (the Food).

In spring forage news, there are still spots left on my Inwood wild plant walk (April 15th). Pelham Bay is filling up fast (April 28th). Backyard Cocktails are sold out, but May's Spring Fling (May 16th) and wild soda workshop still has plenty of spots. Book in link below.