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Monday, August 18, 2014

Peppers, Sunflowers & Elderberries

This week's post is all about plants. Peter Piper could have picked his peck of peppers this week in my garden. I planted 8 pepper plants, 4 Jalapeno and 4 mystery peppers (they were supposed to be bell peppers).  You can tell from the pictures these are not bell peppers. I think they are banana peppers. Whatever they are they are really productive.
I picked 34 off of one plant. I still have plenty of pickled Jalapeno's from last year so I researched how to dry them on strings and this is the result.

I thought they look really pretty. They should dry within just a few weeks and then can be ground into powder.

We had a 3 volunteer sunflowers come up in the garden this year from some we planted last year. They were all 3 different. One had a lot flowers on it, one is just 1 smaller flower, and the other one was huge.
That is my 6 foot 2 inch son holding it and as you can tell it covers quite a bit of him. It has to be at least 1 1/2 feet across. I haven't measured it yet but I am going to. I think it must weight a couple of pounds. I am drying it now so that we can toast the seeds. The seeds are really large.

We have also been picking elderberries. I am making a tincture from them for the cold & flu season. This is the first time I have done this so I am not comfortable telling anyone how to do it and how it works. If you Google Elderberry tincture there are a lot of people who are willing to tell you how and how it works. I will have to test it out to see, but for now mine is brewing and I am shaking it everyday. The basics are to soak some elderberries in Vodka. Some people say only use 100 proof some say 80 proof will do. I am trying 80 proof.

I have also used the juicer attachment on my Kitchen Aid to juice enough to make elderberry jelly. And still have a whole bag to do something else with. I am thinking about elderberry syrup. I just have to buy some ginger to get this done. It sounds like it may taste better than the tincture.

Have you ever made anything with elderberries? I would love to hear how you liked it and if it worked as well as you thought it would.

Have a great day!
Linking with the Homestead Barn Hop



  1. Hi Mae! That's a huge sunflower! There will be lots of yummy seeds to harvest from it. That is such a coincidence with the peppers; I am about to search how to dry peppers! Two like-minded homesteaders! I also want to search how to make chipotle with my jalapenos. I spend so much time on my computer at times, but it is so worth it when it helps how we do things on the homestead. You are very fortunate to have elderberries! I haven't seen any around here. I guess there's no source of water for them to be close to. Maybe one day I'll plant some. Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

    1. I have been picking the elderberries from the roadside. The ones on my farm lose their berries while they are still green. Trying to figure out the reason for that. I am trying to put all the things that I learn from that I learn from the computer into action. My thinking is if I do it a few times, maybe I'll remember how to do it if for some reason I don't have the computer to go to. But there is an awful lot of things in this head of mine. Not sure I could sort them all out with out the computer. Guess I should start printing more. :)

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