Spruce tips, Gardening, Atwater Market & Plant Adventure's*


Morning lovelies, 

It is finally sunny outside again; yaaaaay!
I have so much work to do, the garden needs to be all done & good to go, no later than June 24th.
These are my carrots that I cut the tops off of, placed in my organic, homemade, super nutrient rich fertilizer. That's why they are sprouting tops, they did it almost overnight-that fertilizer is potent stuff! I will be planting these this week, along with some baby red potatoes and some scarlet runner beans; I got them as a gift and can't wait to see them grow.
I found the above idea on Pinterest and have decided to give it a go! I also finally found the earth, (it's organic) I prefer for planting food and my herbs that I could not find near me. We ended up going to Atwater Market in town and had a lovely day. It was packed full of people and I got these:
Healthy rosemary, lavender, & sage. I still cannot find white sage but I will continue the hunt. If you have any ideas for white sage, please let me know in the comments-nobody has this where I looked and asked.
We stopped at this place called Aubut, that I have been going to for years; I need to do the dreaded costing for my products but required the pricing on bulk ingredient's. Aubut specializes in bulk for smaller businesses. 
It was fun but sad too. 
Things have become very expensive, vanilla and chocolate are the most painful, by far. 
Vanilla at Costco went from $7.98 up to $27.69, and at Aubut, it went from $23.00 up to $67.00-yikes! 
Vanilla beans? A pack of 40 used to be $19.99, now it is $78! 
Crying, gimme a minute...
Guess who is going to make their own vanilla extract again? I will post this and a recipe on the new blog when I launch. She's looking mighty pretty btw, there's just a lot of work to do; and I am sorting through which posts to keep from this blog and then transfer with some adjustments. Be warned, there will be some recipe re-posts on the new blog but they be deelish one's and there will be lots of new content. So fun! 
Okay back to crazy town prices.
Chocolate has not fared any better.
A 1.8kg bag of chips used to be $10.99 & has gone up to $18.99. The small bags which used to be over 375 grams at .99 cents-$1.99, have shrunk down to 300 grams and have gone up to $3.99-$4.99! The higher end cacao Barry products have gone way up as well, but it's too depressing to continue talking about.
This is the way of things, as we continue to strip resources, hurt our planet, deal with the domino effects of corruption, and just try to eek out a living as best we can on low wages, food costs rise.  
It is a big part of why I am attempting to source local ingredient's as much as possible in my products. Speaking of which, I got these right down the street!
And they be free!!!!!! Whoohoooooooo!
What are they you ask? Why Spruce tips of course! Spruce as in the tree? Yup!
You pick them off Spruce tree's in the spring, it's a very short time frame to grab them. As spring was late, these beauties came out just in time for my decision to use them, in a short-run (limited edition & small batch) jam flavour.
When you pick them, you must gently pull them off the tree. They have a papery husk, are sticky, quite fragrant, and delicate. You cannot pick them all, as the tree needs to use some of this new growth. Be kind to Mother Nature, she needs our love and respect so she can continue to provide for us. This means do not strip the trees bare. 
When I got them home, I immediately proceeded to process them in preparation for jam making. The papery husks need to be removed and you check for buggies, gently rinse, gently pay dry, and use immediately or freeze.
Good news was that I got 4 cups worth! This is a strong ingredient, it's been used medicinally by aboriginal people's for centuries; a little goes a long way. Cannot wait to try out my new recipe with this ingredient!
I managed to score some free herbs from a friends garden and busily planted those along with replanting my lovely berry shrubs.
Getting dirty is so much fun, I had to rescue some plants. The days of rain practically drowned a few. All is well now though.
Rocky was so happy, he stayed with us all afternoon and kept my mom company. She decided to come over to the gardening green force side, and help me cut up plants for my mulchy fertilizer "tea". 
We got to drink this delicious, virgin Caesar cocktail mix that we found at Aubut. It tasted so good, is gluten-free, and has no alcohol to aggravate my eczema. I added limed salted rims and all was right with the world!
 It was $2.49. Really good price, it's definitely a treat item for me though, it's got sugar in it.
She was seriously delicious, I drank it as I admired my new herbs...
So, now I am off with a seriously jam packed week, pardon the pun-no seriously, I am making and packing jam. Haha.
So, have a lovely and blessed start to the week! Stay positive, hold fast to your dreams and spread love. 

*Repost from my old blog The Kinky Coconut 6/13/2016
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