WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Jan 10th, 2017

Why I Made Maple Sugar

Jan 10
maple sugar

Bacon Makin’ Sweetness

We got a homemade bacon kit for Xmas. It included 2 oz of maple sugar with the approximately 1/4 cup of salt, a zip lock bag and a pop-up thermometer set at 150 F.

The resulting bacon isn’t the same as the industrial supermarket stuff and the difference was a bit off-putting at first taste. A second taste and I’ll never go back to factory bacon. I imagine the difference to be somewhat like caviar compared to salty fish flavored tapioca. I can’t be certain though since I’ve never had either.

Back to maple curing kits for pork belly bacon
They’re expensive
$20 and up for a couple oz of salt and sugar is more than I’m willing to pay. So what to do? Make my own maple sugar. I now have enough maple sugar to cure 8 half bellies (5 pound each).

Special offer:
Getting you hooked on homemade maple cured bacon
Message me privately on G+ and I’ll send you enough maple sugar to cure a batch of bacon.

Posted by WiseAcre on Oct 14th, 2016


Oct 14

I’ve pretty much given up on the blog but I continue to post photos on G+.

Focus your attention to the eyes.
Stare deeply into them.
Click the link below.

My Google Plus Stream

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Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 3rd, 2012

Northern Bush Honeysuckle

Jul 3

I photographed this native plant south of the high peaks in the Adirondacks near Newcomb, NY. I found these growing in dry, rocky soil. Light conditions varied from nearly full sun to plenty of shade. Although the common name includes ‘northern’ the plant can be found as far south as Alabama and Georgia.

Northern Bush-honeysuckle – Diervilla lonicera

northern bush honeysuckle

The plant’s species name lonicera (Latin for ‘honeysuckle’) refers to its similarity in appearance to the genus Lonicera – the true honeysuckles.

The toothed leaves are a good clue to the identity, this is the only ‘honeysuckle’ with teeth. The plant ranges from 1 to 4 foot tall and grows in a shrub like form. The flowers are small, less than an inch long and usually yellow and occasionally reddish.

Diervilla lonicera - northern bush honeysuckle flowers

I know photographing northern bush honeysuckle isn’t much to write home about but it’s been a long time since I have identified a new wildflower (for me) and adding a new species to my ‘collection’ makes it good enough for my blog.

…and now for a completely different wildflower

I’m positive I’ve already overdone posting pics of orange hawkweed but here’s another one.

Orange Hawkweed – Hieracium aurantiacum

My lawn is full of these and other alien hawkweeds that are typically yellow. Hawkweed flowers look a lot like dandelions from a distance and the yellow ones don’t really turn me on. But the orange is pretty to my eyes and I often stop to take a closer look at the colors on the Devil’s Paintbrush.

devil's paintbrush

Generally, the leaves are a good way to tell the difference between native and alien hawkweed species. Natives generally have leaves that ascend the stems whereas aliens generally form a basal rosette.

While I might not fully appreciate the beauty of yellow hawkweed flowers I do like some of their names. King Devil (a yellow version of the Devil’s Paintbrush), Rattlesnake-weed and Mouse Ear Hawkweed all sound cool to me.

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