I just read the question about what to do with grapes. One of my favorite things is pickled grapes. They are delicious! I have seen recipes for canning them, but have only made refrigerator pickles (I am afraid that canning them would take the crunch out). The recipe I like (I don’t remember where I got it):
2 cups seedless grapes (very pretty when you use a combination of red, green, and black)
2 cups white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 sprig fresh rosemary
hot pepper flakes to taste
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 cup water
Take the grapes off the stems and pack into three or four pint-size jars, or a couple of quarts. Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour over the grapes, making sure to cover them. Cover tightly and refrigerate. They will be ready to eat when cold, but I like to wait (or try to) for a couple of days. They keep very well for a few weeks.
North Royalton, Ohio
I have seen recipes using the kind of spices used for watermelon rind pickles, and think that would be great too. Thanks for sharing! That recipe sounds great. I’m sure plenty of readers will enjoy it. — Jackie
We moved to this homestead property two years ago in June and were happy to find a maturing apricot tree but, alas, no fruit. The following spring, zero blossoms, bummer. Then, this spring — Bonanza! — wall to wall blossoms! But, alas all over again, at fruit set, all the little fruits withered and fell to the ground plus many of the new branch shoots withered and turned brown — branch and leaf alike. We’ll probably get a harvest just employing patience, but, Doctor, what do think that withering and fruit-dropping is all about?
Always happy to hear you on the Self-Reliance Expozed radio show,
My best guess is that your tree suffered frost damage while just forming fruit. This also causes new shoots and leaves to die off. Prune off all dead branches and keep the grass and weeds mowed beneath the tree. Hopefully next year you’ll get apricots. It’s so hard to wait, isn’t it? — Jackie
The squash bugs are busy at work in my garden. I hand pick all the bugs and eggs I can find. My question: is there anything I can brush over the eggs so they won’t hatch? I only ask because when hand picking the eggs I usually end up tearing the leaf.
I don’t know of anything that will kill the eggs, but I might try brushing neem oil on them to see if that would smother the eggs. I usually just hold the leaf upside down and scrape the eggs off with a table knife. This works well and doesn’t usually harm the leaf. Be sure to burn all squash and pumpkin plant debris this fall. The bugs over winter in the dead vines and you don’t want so many “friends” next year! — Jackie