Dear Tom, Time for Jam City!

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Wild Plum.

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Black Plum.

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Nectarine.

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Apricot.

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Peach.

Oscar and I went out to pick blackberries yesterday – found a great patch, one of the best in years – but occupants of a homeless encampment had picked pretty much all of them. Yes, they can use the fruit, but I would have loved making the jam!

Garden News:

I’ve harvested my first crop of onions. They are curing in the garage – I’ve actually been using them for months and I planted another couple rows. The garlic is curing along with the onions. We dug up fifteen pounds of potatoes yesterday – although I’ve sort of been digging all along as they’ve been ready for harvest. I still have another bed that won’t be ready until fall.

The asparagus didn’t produce this spring but it’s producing now. Yay! Still getting lettuce and arugula and turnip greens. Just picked my first crop of Japanese eggplants and red jalapenos. Oh! I’m now harvesting some of my Kambocha squash! The squash has to sit for 4-6 weeks to develop the sugars. I’ve picked six big suckers so far- each 3-4 pounds. Two squash plants are growing over my fences. They resemble the plant from Little Shop of Horrors. Might just take over the world. (Frankly I can imagine worse alternatives.)

Kambocha.

Kambocha.

I’ve got four strawberry pots. We don’t have a lot of fruit this year, but enough that every week I can pick a handful. And that’s a handful I didn’t have the week before!

My herbs are growing like they’ve imbibed insanity sauce. Crazy! I keep trying to keep up– of course when you dry herbs they take up less space, but still I have jars and jars of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. πŸ™‚

And a robin update! I think I mentioned that the babies were so big by the time they left the nest they could already fly – at least two of them could. The third was flying by his second day out of the nest. They spent a week in our redwoods but have since branched out, so to speak, spreading throughout Mr. Robin’s territory. This morning I was out in front watering. One of the babies flew past me. He perched on the edge of the roof, not six feet from me. We chatted for quite a long time. Still has his spots, but he’s a handsome devil- inherited his dad’s Mohawk. I’m pretty sure he’s the baby I heard singing this morning. About 5:30 this morning I heard the dad singing his morning melody from across the street. Next thing I knew I heard this adolescent bird (cracked voice) singing a slightly different song- from right outside my window. Similar but definitely unique to him. So cool!

I haven’t seen the mom. I suspect she built another nest somewhere nearby and she’s sitting on another clutch of eggs. I noticed a couple fly catchers eying her nest up under the eves. Perhaps we’ll soon have new residents.

As you can see, I’ve been busy. Can’t believe I ever have time to write. Still have blueberry jam to make today.

XOXO! Julia

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16 thoughts on “Dear Tom, Time for Jam City!

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I have been busy, Roberta! The sad thing? I barely eat jam. I’ve vowed to start! I do love peach jam.

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  1. Diana Stevan

    You put me to shame. My mother had an amazing garden. All I have is a sandbox sized one full of beets and dill. I do have three tomato pots, some herbs, but that’s it. But I do love gardening. I putter with my flowers and other non-vegetable producing plants.

    I did notice on a walk along the ocean yesterday tons of blackberries. They’re still sour, but in a week’s time we’ll go picking. Maybe I’ll make some jam, which I have done before. Don’t know as daughter and grandkids are about to arrive for ten days, so knowing them, we’ll be running here and there and everywhere. Hope you’re having a great summer.

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Jam cooks pretty fast, Diana. Easy peasy. Have fun with the grandkids! I forget that you are a little farther north so your berries ripen a little later. Ours are late this year. Usually they ripen around July 4th.

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  2. Marylin Warner

    Local asparagus was late and just took off, so now the Farmers’ Market sells it fresh and in jams (Jalapeno-asparagus and white grape–amazingly good) and in soaps (asparagus and blueberry, asparagus and sage with mint were the two I saw).
    Your jams look wonderful! You should start your own business: Jams by Julia.

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I think I will, Marylin – Forbidden Fruit! How’s that? The local market said they’ll buy it. I need to figure out how to make a label. I have to be honest. I’m not sure I could eat asparagus jam! πŸ˜‰

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I wish you were here, Anny! My mom taught me to can when I was a kid – jam is super easy. But I learned how to really can when I lived in Utah. Mormons are canning wizards.

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Hahahah! The same baby robin came to hang out with Oscar too, Sandra – when he was out watering the lemon tree. Guess he got accustomed to watching us chase the dog around the backyard.

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  3. fangswandsfairy(alt)

    Weird year in the garden. We just realized our poppies never bloomed. I wonder if it was too cold, or there was too much ________ fill in the blank______. I hope they come back next year.

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