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Canning & Freezing Info Beet Greens Growing Sweet Potato Slips Making Lilac Honey

As the growing season begins, it is also time to think about what you want to do with your bounty!! Not only eating it during the season, but what to do with the extra...not letting it go to waste!!

Plus saving locally grown produce & fruit taste sooo much better than traveled store bought. But you need to preserve & store it correctly to really enjoy the flavor. That means either canning, freezing, roasting or drying properly. Then this year I want to try fermenting...

For the freezing process, I spend the time to learn which veggies & fruits can be & how to... The process can take some time to do, but having that full flavor & freshness in the dead of winter is worth the time!!
I have been using the 'Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving' http://www.freshpreserving.com

This year I purchased a new book for more info: 'So Easy to Preserve' http://setp.uga.edu/book.html

Then I also use the 'FoodSaver' to keep the air out & from getting freezer burn which ruins the taste...YUCK!! 
http://www.foodsaver.com/vacuum-sealers/

Canning: hot water bath or presser canning, different foods require different processes. Besides books, I have also been very lucky to get incredible info & guidance from my friends Jim & Candy who got me started in canning over the phone...

For info & recipes, besides the 2 books (the new book, this will be my 1st year to try it) above here's another one that I have found some good recipes 'Blue Ribbon Preserves'

http://www.blueribbonpreserves.com

I have not done fermenting or made sourdough before... So I'm making my 1st sourdough starter from scratch!! You use raisins as apart of creating the starter, which turns them into fermented raisins...YUMM!! They are great to use in baked goods like cinnamon buns & peanut butter cookies...wonderful flavor!!

It is a long process to create the starter from scratch, but the flavor should be worth it!!

Here's a yellow beet head that the greens have been cut off & eaten already. I put it in water that was left out without a top to off-gas for 24 hours before using.
The greens are really growing!!
These are my sweet potatoes that I have started to grow for their slips that I will use to grow sweet potatoes from this year.
They are slow in getting started but making progress!!


Lilac infused honey... it's easy, tasty
& smells wonderful!!
-Start by harvesting fresh lilac flowers at the
height of their bloom, early in the morning before
the fragrance disappears then rinse and dry the flowers thoroughly.
-This takes awhile, but pluck the individual blossoms from the stems and fill your jar.
-Pour your raw, local liquid honey into the jar until the flowers are covered, then wait for the honey to slowly flow its way around the flowers, use a wooden or plastic chop-stix to eliminate air pockets and continue to fill till flowers are covered.
-Put the lilac honey jar on your window sill & let steep for a week so the flavor can infuse. Try to stir the flowers back into the honey with the chop-stix at least once a day. The flowers will greatly reduce in volume overnight & float to the top.
I removed most of the flowers coated with the honey & used them in the bird/critter bread I baked... Also my rabbit loved the fresh lilac flowers to eat too.
Bee pollen: http://www.creativebirdtoys.com/category-s/1835.h...
Bread Recipe Bamboo Cone Stainless Steel Straw Cleaner Seed Paper Heart
Our Price: $0.85
Our Price: $1.95
Our Price: $2.00

Bread making for the beak, plus my rabbit & guinea pig love it too!!

I tweaked this recipe, it also is a great way to get them to eat what they usually won't:

http://hellyeahitsvegan.com/vegan-zucchini-bread/

Here are some of the tweaks:

-I cut the sugar to 1/2cup at most. you could use honey, your homemade lilac honey with flowers or molasses too

-instead of zucchini I use grated: carrot, rainbow chard or spinach, broccoli, cooked sweet potato, red pepper, fresh sprouts...these are just suggestions

-instead of spices: kelp powder, bee pollen, dried flowers, dried red pepper flakes: 
http://www.creativebirdtoys.com/category-s/1835.htm
-add: dried fruits, nuts, seeds

-I also made the applesauce from scratch. Made a batch that I was able to freeze- 5...1/2cup servings for future breads.

Bamboo Cone to stuff with like:
-crinkle/shred paper & goodies for foraging
-timothy hay, dried flowers/greens for foraging
non-toxic glue

Part: china

Size: tip to tip...5.5"L
opening...2.25"w
Made of high-quality, durable stainless steel
with nylon bristles. Perfect for cleaning our stainless steel
and glass straws. Rinses and cleans easily.
Suitable for cleaning inside SS &/or Glass Straws
or any thing with a small opening.
Recommend thoroughly cleaning your
new Straw Cleaner with soap and water
before use. Particles rinse away easily with water,
thanks to it’s simple design with well spaced bristles.
Your Straw Cleaner should be dried well
after each use and stored in a dry place.

One Seed Heart, it is great foraging to add to toys
or just as a foraging foot toy.
Handmade from paper with a tiel seed mix added.
Fun for small critters too!!

Size: 2.5" x .25" thick

Made in USA-Certified
Mouse Cookie Cutter 3 5/8" Carrot Cookie Cutter 4 3/8" Floppy Bunny Cookie Cutter 3 3/4" Rabbit Face Cookie Cutter 4 1/4"
Our Price: $2.25
Our Price: $2.25
Our Price: $2.25
Our Price: $2.25
The 3 5/8" Mouse Cookie Cutter is much cuter than a real mouse in your house- and Cinderella would be a fan! Use this shape for a science lesson, or make a platter of cookies.
  • Size: 3 5/8"
  • Made in USA
  • What a great shape to make healthy cookie treats to share with your small critter to rabbit companion!!
    What's up, Doc?
  • Size: 4 3/8"
  • Made in USA
  • Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin' down the bunny trail! Too cute & great for any time you want a springtime pick-me-up. This is one bunny you won't have to feed.
  • Size: 3 3/4"
  • Made in USA
  • The 4 1/4" Rabbit Face Cookie Cutter will bring smiles all around!! Kids will have a blast using this shape to cut cookies or other healthy treats.
  • Size: 4 1/4"
  • Made in USA
  • Dog Bone Cookie Cutter 2" Hedgehog Cookie Cutter 3 1/2" Feather Cookie Cutter 4 1/2" Starfish Cookie Cutter 4"
    Our Price: $2.25
    Our Price: $2.25
    Our Price: $2.25
    Our Price: $2.25

    This is a small dog bone shape, and it makes for an excellent size to make biscuits for our companion bird, small critter to rabbit...even dogs too!! The Dog Bone Cookie Cutter, 2", will make your pet feel pampered as can be!! You will also enjoy using the shape for decoration or crafting, or even (human edible) cookies.

  • Size: 2"
  • Made in USA
  • It's a little prickly, but we like it anyway. Get ready for a dose of adorable with the 3 1/2" Hedgehog Cookie Cutter!
  • Size: 3 1/2"
  • Made in USA
  • Shake your tail feather with the 4 1/2" Feather cookie cutter! This Boho Chic shape is great for any activity that pertains to birds, feathered creatures or bohemian style. Use it for cutting soft foods, cookies or healthy treats.
  • Size: 4 1/2"
  • Made in USA
  • You may live 1,000 miles away from the ocean, but a Starfish Cookie Cutter, 4", will make you feel like you're on the shore. This cool shape is fun to eat!!.
  • Size: 4"
  • Made in USA
  •