peaches (no this is not a pop song but my garden is starting to sing)

August has brought me mixed emotions about my garden. I'm not quite sure why or how to articulate it. My mistakes glare at me. Certain areas are a disorganized jungle that I love one day and shake my head at the next. Companion planting gone wild. Problems seem to crop up lately, caused by the heat perhaps. Aphids on calendula, mysterious spots and possible diseases on certain plants, and the green tomatoes that taunt and tease and never seem to ripen.

But then there are the joys of the garden and of the season. Fresh salad made with kale, nasturtiums, green onion, the last of the peas, braggs, olive oil, and some lemon juice. Yogurt dips using home-grown garlic and dill. Peppers are starting to come in, which means time to get harvesting and chopping those up for hot sauce. Soon, I'll have green beans (finally!) and summer squash.
Then there's the success of my first-ever solo batch of jam. We went out to Sauvie Island to pick peaches, which I jarred, dehydrated, and jammed. The jarring was also my first solo mission into home canning, so while they don't look perfect, they look yummy enough for winter smoothies. The dehydrated peaches are like fruit roll-ups for gourmands, and the peach jam? Oh hell yeah. I only made 5 8oz. jars, because we don't eat much jam. But I have a feeling we'll eat it more often now.

Here's my recipe (note that I used no pectin):
1 quart peaches
1/4 cup water
1 cup local honey
2 cups sugar
I dipped the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds and then iced water for 30 seconds to peal them easily. Then I sliced and mashed them with my potato masher. Then I added the water and sugar and got them boiling. I turned the heat to medium and stirred and stirred while they slowly boiled and thickened until reaching 220 degrees. I let it cool slightly, and poured the jam into clean jars. When the jam was completely cooled, I put the jars into the freezer.


  1. "disorganized jungle"--that sounds familiar. i'm with you on the ambivalence. have you tried ladybugs for the aphids? i had an aphid problem on my carrot patch early on but i moved in a few ladybug larvae (they eat more than the adult ladybugs, plus they can't fly so they stay put) and it cleared up pretty fast, i haven't had any problems since.

    did your housesitting friends get to nab your first ripe tomatoes? the jam looks tasty, congrats on your first solo jam session!

  2. i haven't bought any ladybugs. my bug problems have been fairly minimal (knock on wood), but i believe i may buy ladybugs next year anyway. thanks for the congrats on the jam; it was quite a sweet feeling to get it right (pun sorta not intended). my boyfriend actually came back to town a couple days before i did, and he got the first ripe tomatoes. we had a handful of early ripe ones, and then nothing since until now.