Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 11/24/14

I think our weather has schizophrenia. Midweek, we broke the record for low temperatures recorded here in November. The coldest morning was 22 degrees F. – in the South…in November! What?! Then, last night, we had thunderstorms and were under a tornado watch while today is supposed to be 76 degrees. Unlike back home in Rhode Island, where we dressed by the calendar, we have to dress by the weather report here. And if we have trouble knowing what to do with the weather, I can only imagine how my plants feel. Fortunately, most survived the frost and are enjoying the first soaking rain we’ve had in two months. This week’s garden photos!

2014 County Fair Canning Competition Results

Here it is, everybody. The moment you’ve been waiting for. Well, I’m sure you weren’t sitting on pins and needles, gnawing your fingernails, waiting to hear the judges’ results of the canning competition. (That was actually me. 😉 ) However, I do know many of you have been wondering how I did in my county fair’s canning competition. Canning competition results!

2014 Coastal Carolina Fair Canning Competition Submissions

I’m so excited! The 2014 Coastal Carolina Fair starts tomorrow, and I entered some of my canned produce in the competition. This is my second year competing, and I headed to the fairgrounds last Saturday to submit my goodies. 2014 Canning competition submissions!

Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 9/8/14

I can happily report that it finally rained this past weekend! First rain in over three weeks. We got 1.5 inches, and even that has made a difference in the garden. You’ll see in today’s pictures how heat and drought stressed my plants have been. At least now, the soil is not so dry. We’re supposed to get more rain today, and I hope the weatherman is right. Meanwhile, my garden is holding on in the continuing heat of summer temperatures, and I’m still unable to plant my fall garden. I’ve been putting off planting indoors under grow lights, hoping for cooler weather; but I don’t think I can put it off any longer if I want a fall crop before frost. At least, I still have plants striving to live and give me what they can. This week’s garden pictures!

Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 7/28/14

It seems the slight reprieve from the oppressive heat is over. We’re back into the 90s with high humidity. My stints in the garden are staggered between long water breaks in the air conditioning. I have quite a bit to do in the garden, but I’m having trouble getting it all done on schedule due to the heat. Welcome to gardening in South Carolina. Happily, however, we did get over an inch and a half of rain this week. I think the dry spell is over, and my garden is happy about that. This week’s garden photos!

The Fair is Coming!

It’s October, and here in the Charleston, SC area that means it’s fair time. Every year, on the last Thursday of October, the Coastal Carolina Fair kicks off eleven days of fun. I’ve missed only a couple of years since I moved here eighteen years ago. It’s one of my favorite things to do in the fall. This year, however, I’m looking at the fair a little differently. More!

Hot Pepper Jam

Hot pepper jam 1st placeI think it’s safe to say that my peppers – both sweet and hot – are the most productive crop I have. That said, what can you do with pounds and pounds of peppers? I’ve stuffed them (with ground beef and chicken), frozen them, dehydrated them, pickled them, and made hot pepper relish. So, why not make hot pepper jam? This recipe isn’t as firm as the hot pepper jelly you buy in the store, but I like the jam consistency (thicker than a preserve but not stiff like a jelly). Also, I don’t add food coloring to what I eat, so what you see is the natural color. Hot Pepper Jam!