It has been a little over 3 weeks and the fermentation has basically stopped. I ended up getting into the crock twice to check the progress when the bubbling stopped. Some of the larger cucumbers were still white the first time but full green the next. I put them in quart jars with fresh brine and dill. They taste great. Sour and salty, the garlic and dill set it off.
There is a small brush pile in my chicken run that filled in with weeds and one of said weeds was mustard! The bees love it! I sampled a few leaves and seeds for the fun of it. The leaves are too strong but not surprising in the heat. In a couple months they will be more palatable. The seed on the other hand were remarkably French's yellow mustard like so I thought why not try to make mustard.
I harvested the plants and put them in the garage on a sheet. After a couple weeks they were dry enough to thresh. Mustard is much easier that other grains to separate. The pods chatter easily. After winnowing the seed and chaff in the wind for a while I got a bowl of seeds.
After searching around online the simplest recipe was from Kitchen 101 How to make mustard at home on YouTube. It's equal parts seeds, cider vinegar, and water. Soak seeds over night. I used 2/3 cup of each.
Drain, reserving the liquid, blend until the desired consistency. Add salt to taste. I ended up putting all the reserved liquid back in about a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of turmeric. I used Kelly's Magic Bullet blender.
Final product! It taste great but holy cow is it spicy!!! A little goes a long way.
Today I got around to cleaning the garlic harvest. Overall the harvest was a little light. My guess is because of the mildish winter allowing the bulbs to sprout early. Who knows for sure? Regardless I got about 20 pounds total cleaned between the German red and Northern white varieties, not counting the heads I will save for seed. My soft neck, silver white variety, did not do well with only a few surviving. I will save all I have harvested for seed this fall.
The tips and bottom leaves have begun to yellow so I have started harvesting the garlic. My Silver White softeneck did not do well but that was more likely the result of a weird winter rather than wet summer, in my opinion. The Silver White and German Red hardneck varieties tried to grow all winter because of the mild temperatures. The Northern White variety did well in spite of the mild winter days and wet summer. They'll cure for a couple weeks in the garage then ready to use or store. I will ferment a batch again this year. This is my favorite way to store garlic. More on that later...
The onions have sprouted. With a forecast of 5+ inches of snow today I wonder when I'll be able to put them in the ground.
It's a great day to start onions! The thermometer reads 45 but in the sun and out of the slight breeze it's comfortable with just a T-shirt. I made 80 2" soil blocks and seeded them following Elliott Coleman's recommendation of 4 seeds per block planted a foot apart and I did a few with 12 seeds to grow as scallions. I generally have good luck with onions although last summer was a bit dry and they was on the small side. Elliott Coleman has some great books published, I have The New Organic Grower, Four Season Harvest, and The Winter Harvest Handbook.