I’ve been working hard this past week on some new pieces, both custom and for my ready to wear line. I’ll have some pictures of the custom piece for you next week, it’s coming along great, and it’ll really show you more about the process of how I make silver leaves. But this week I’ve been working on finishing up my new style of Apple Tree rings. They’re cast in fine silver, and come in both a high polish silver and in a black oxidized finish. I love the way these bands came out, there really comfy, and on the thinner side of the twig rings that I cast, only 3-5 mm wide. The textures are really well defined in the apple bark, much more so then the maple tree rings.
The other piece that I finished this week is a luxurious Art Deco style leaf pendant, that’s set with a 5mm faceted White Topaz. The pendant’s hanging from a really incredible matching Art Deco style chain. Like my other leaves, I cast this Sage leaf after growing it in the garden. I hand carved the setting for the stone and set in the hand-made bail. This is a really special looking piece, the veining of the sage leaf sparkles and so does the stone, the entire piece is just so amazingly reflective.
This weekend I finally got to harvesting the garlic in our raised beds. I’ve been impatiently waiting for this for months. I planted the little baby bulbs all the way back in the very early fall and watched them grow all through the year; their green tips getting taller and taller over the hay that kept them warm under our light snow this winter.
This was definitely a long wait for me, and most of the gardening web sites left me feeling confused as to how to know when to harvest. Most advising to dig up the bulbs and check, to see how they are growing to know when they are ready. But still didn’t really tell you how you would know, when you dug them up. But then I stumbled on a tip somewhere in the interweb world, that said that the leaves start to streak yellow when the bulbs are getting ready to be harvested. Yes, this! And my plants had started doing this just the week before. The leaves streaking came at the perfect time, since I have to get my summer plants in and I just ran out of time.
I decided to dig up everything, but the two Elephant Garlic bulbs I planted, since they still have no yellow streaks on the leaves, I’ll update you when they come in. Because our garden is so small just right outside our townhouse I planted the garlic patch really tight and compact. Just two squares, each 1×1 ft. In the tray pictured you can see the garlic bulbs from just one of the squares. I thought it was pretty impressive for such a small space!
I managed to braid three long garlic braids and one baby braid, not to shabby for my first time braiding garlic. Which I learned thanks to one of my favorite blogs Thy Hand Hath Provided, you can learn how right here. Now I’m drying the garlic until the outer layers are papery and its hanging from the drying rack in my dining room, along with catnip, some oregano, sage, and spearmint it smells delightful. All we have to wait for is the Elephant Garlic. Check back soon I’ll be cooking the Elephant Garlic Scapes.
I’ve been testing out a few different varieties of pea plants this year for taste, ability to resist heat, and to see which plants produce the most in the smallest space, since that’s always the biggest key with our small patio garden. So far this year the Karina Bush Pea has done the best of the three varieties I’ve tried out in our potted patio garden. The other two are a Snow Peas and Dark Seeded Peas.
The Karina Peas have super long pods that can grow up to 5 and even 7 inches long and are filled with super plump sweet tasting peas. Just one gallon sized pot filled with three plants is putting off a few handfuls of pea pods a week; perfect for using in stir-fry’s, salads, and the peas are delicious accompanied with the fresh mint grown in our herb garden. These particular peas make for an excellent shelling variety and the pods actually sometimes pop open when I am picking them, so be careful that you don’t lose your peas while picking. You still have time to sow these great plants outdoors, they can go into the ground as late as June!