I always say that we are traveling on an adventure with what we are doing here. Sometimes, though, we engage in experimentation. Truthfully… that’s how all of my gardening gets done lately. “Let’s try this plant. Let’s try this on the grasshoppers. Let’s try this on the gophers.” Sometimes things work, but more often than not, they don’t. It can be very disheartening. But we continue along.

Lately, we’ve been coming up with windfalls from places other than our own garden or orchards. We received a couple of HUGE bags of Juniper berries via the church from a “Feeding America” delivery. They didn’t really fit in the food pantry, so I accepted them for experimenting. Also, one day a guy showed up at the gun shop with extra produce that he can’t use: swiss chard, beets, radishes, cabbages, lemons, grapefruit and a couple other things. Yes, I took them… that’s a lot of what the chicken get in their morning greens and grains. We shared some of the non-chicken food with neighbors. Then, this weekend, and the one before, we did some experiments. I won’t go into them too much, but I will share some photos.

This was a couple weekends ago. It was an experiment involving the use of juniper berries (and other spices with a few herbs) to make gin. It looks like a very little bit, but it is 750 ml. That’s a small bottle that you’d find in any liquor or grocery store. This came out pretty good. When it’s gone, I’ll make some more and tweak the recipe a bit more. I like my gin a bit more herbaceous than this turned out. Maybe letting things infuse a bit longer. I’ll keep experimenting.

This weekend I experimented with beets. They had been outside in the wind for several days, in bags, but still they were very dried out by the time we reached the weekend. I let them soak in water for a couple of days, then roasted them. They came out tasting pretty good, but boy were they dark! I then used an easy refrigerator pickling recipe and am letting them soak. They’ll be ready to eat by the weekend. We’re planning a huge chef’s salad! So, if they’re any good, I’ll do a follow up. In the mean time, below is the sequence of the beet experiment in photos. They looked awful on the outside, but were an amazingly gorgeous blood red on the inside! Then they turned a sinister looking black after roasting. Currently, they are soaking up the brine and turning a luscious deep red. Hope you enjoy the photo montage below. We will catch up with you again soon. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!