Preserving the Harvest and our ‘Photo of the Week’

Greetings Garden Friends!

What a great week it’s been here at the Garden Spot! Last Saturday we had our very first canning class with Susy Hymas of Daylight Harvest Foods. Two-thirds of the class were beginning canners, and we got some very good information.

canning class/garden-spot-nurseryA Few Canning Tips We Learned from Susy:

1– If you’re canning fruit or pickling, you can use a boiling water canner. For meats and vegetables, you need a pressure canner.

2– Don’t use overripe fruit. Canning won’t improve the quality of fruit.

3– Follow the recipe, if you add more low-acid ingredients (onions, garlic etc.) you could promote botulism.

Thanks Susy! We all had a great time and learned a lot. In case you missed the class, Susy will be at the Cordata Community Food Co-op on Sept. 23rd. Find out more here.

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tomato harvest

This time of year is grand for vegetable gardeners because we are all tasting the fruits of our labor. Crisp carrots, tasty beans and of course, tomatoes! We really had the best summer ever when it came to tomato-growing weather. Our staff and our customers all reported record tomato harvests this year.

That said, there will always be those last few green tomatoes on the vine. What can you do with these besides making fried green tomatoes? Well we’ve got an expert tip for you from one of our customers, Bonnie Dunbar of Maple Falls.

green brandywines/garden-spot-nursery

This year Bonnie grew Brandywine tomatoes for the first time, but was having trouble ripening them. Well she found this method on the internet, and yesterday she brought in a ripe and fragrant Brandywine tomato to show all of us at the Garden Spot.

ripening brandywines in jars/garden-spot-nursery

Bonnie said to simply put your tomatoes in a large jar with an apple, then cover with cling wrap and store the jar in a cool, dark place. In two weeks or so, your tomatoes will start to ripen.ย Thanks for the great tip Bonnie!

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Our Facebook “Photo of the Week” contest continued this week and the winning photo gave us a new “perspective” on the garden.

Karen Glenn Mason -spider

We enjoyed this photo because it captured the connection to the natural world that gardening gives all of us. We were pretty impressed with the lush perennials and ferns in the background as well!

Thanks to everyone who participated! YOU could win next week. To enter, just post your best garden/project/design photos to our Facebook page. One winner is chosen every Friday.

Happy Harvesting Everyone!

Susy Hymas: Teacher, Foodie and Master Preserver

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We’re very excited to say that Susy Hymas, Master Food Preserver, will be teaching a class on the Basics of Canning this coming Saturday, September 7th.

Formerly the coordinator of Whatcom County’s Master Food Preserver program, Susy owns her own business, ‘Daylight Harvest Foods‘. She teaches classes on food preservation, locally and in surrounding counties, as well as nutritional classes at Bellingham Technical College. Susy says that she enjoys meeting people who are excited to learn and being able to share what she knows about food.

Susy-Hymas

We asked Susy what got her started canning. She says in part, it’s her food culture. She grew up eating her grandmother’s canned goods, and later on, inherited her canning equipment.

I’m just a foodie who likes to preserve the harvest” Susy told us.ย She sees canning and preserving as a way to eat more locally. And wouldn’t we all like to do that?

If you want to join in on the fun this Saturday, call our store to register: 360-676-5480. Class fee is $5.