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Previously in Patti's Garden

Patti on the farmSeptember 4, 2007

Just a quick message this time to give you an update on the harvest. We're still scrambling to get all our fruit and vegetables picked and put up!

Summer has gone by in a blur of berries - beautiful, beautiful berries.

Strawberries were sweet and plentiful, tart currants were laden this year, but the best of all were the raspberries. I became one with the raspberry harvest, picking every day, going up and down the long rows, bending and stretching in the sun. I put off work in the kitchen and farmers' markets, playing hooky from reality, luxuriating in the sun-drenched berry beds. This has been a glorious summer for raspberries - the best I can remember - and I enjoyed every minute to the hilt.

Cedar waxwings flocked to sample the blackberry harvest, setting the stage for invasion by yellow jackets, but we've picked lots anyway. The blueberries are still bearing heavily, the bird netting saving the crop from avian friends, but allowing the yellow jackets. Fortunately, the wasps are so drunk with ripening fruit that as long as you don't actually grab one, they pretty much leave you alone.

Tomatoes and peppers are abundant too; we've put up the first of the season's Tomatoes Rustica and Mad Hatter's Pepper Preserve, which we will now offer in both "Zippy" and "Hot" versions.

Today we picked the first of the elderberries! Experiments with "Barley's Elderberry Preserve" begin any minute now.....

Tweedledum's Damson Plum Preserve
Available September 21, 2007

Now, for the news EVERYBODY is waiting for.........drum roll.......

Damson Plums are (nearly) Ready!

In spite of last year's devastation by porcupines and this summer's early visitation by the prickly foes, in spite of the ever present dangers from late frosts to hail to droughts, in spite of pressure from leaf spots, black knot and Japanese beetles, WE HAVE DAMSON PLUMS!

It's not a huge crop, the porcupines having really hurt the two oldest trees, our original "Shropshire Damsons," but the newer "Blue Damsons" have varying amounts of fruits and two have a significant amount. We picked the sole "French Damson" yesterday - it's fruits are darker than typical Damsons and always come about a week earlier.

Since the majority of the plums are still on the trees and because I have two big events coming up, I'm setting the date for availability of the first Tweedledum's Damson Plum Preserve on the Autumnal equinox. I am also limiting folks to five jars maximum so that everybody has a chance to get some.

Love,

Patti (and Ralph!)

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