My Favorite Homemade Freezer Jam Recipe

This summer we'll be picking PLENTY of apricots, peaches, apples, plums, pears, etc. This is what I LOVE to do with some of the produce: make Delicious Homemade Freezer Jam!

It's much healthier and costs a lot less!
Enjoy making and eating FRESH, homemade jam! It’s easy to make your own healthy, delicious jam.

I love this recipe because it has a LOT less sugar than other recipes! I especially love making peach, apricot, pear, grape or plum jam.

5 cups mashed fruit
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup (stops crystallizing of sugar)
3 – 5 tbsp. Clear Jel (Instant)

Mix sugar and Clear Jel (Instant) together.
Mix mashed fruit and corn syrup together and mix well.
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
Put in freezer containers and freeze.

Money Saving Tip: Use Clear Jel (Instant) INSTEAD of pectin. It's much cheaper and allows you to use MUCH LESS sugar in your recipe. I've made Apricot Jam and Pear Jam with this recipe and they have both been delicious!!

WHERE TO BUY CLEAR JEL (Instant): Gygi Culinary Solutions - gygi.com
Cost: $10.95 for 5 lb bag - This bag makes a lot of jam and will last a LONG time or share it with a friend and share the cost if you like.

3500 So. 300 W. SLC, Utah
John and Jenny’s Bosch Kitchen Center
6261 So. Highland Drive
SLC, Utah 84121
Contact them and ask to be put on their Mailing List for Free Cooking Classes and product special sales.

Sheryl's Signature Recipe!

Freshly Ground Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a double batch. Eat some then freeze the rest.

2 cups butter
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 TBSP molasses
4 eggs
4 tablespoons hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla (I like the Mexican Vanilla)
1 teaspoon salt (I use Gourmet sea salt)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons Kitchen Specialties Dough Enhancer (Use only if you use whole wheat flour)
5 cups whole wheat flour (I like freshly ground but use whatever you like)
6 - 9 cups oats (fast cooking – use lots of oats – it’s good for you and tastes great.)

Optional Items: 1 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips, 12 oz. package of walnuts, dates, coconut, raisins, craisins, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, peanut butter and chocolate chips together, etc.
Create your own great Oatmeal Cookie by adding ANY of these extra ingredients

Combine and blend butter, sugar, molasses, eggs, hot water, and vanilla together in one bowl. In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients together: salt, soda, dough enhancer and flour. Combine the butter/sugar mixture with the dry ingredients. Add oats and any other optional ingredients like Chocolate Chips, etc. and blend again.

Spread the dough evenly onto two or three large cookie sheets. Preheat oven, bake at 350 degrees for approx. 15 - 20 minutes. Cut into bars when cooled.

Note: Store in Zip Lock Sandwich Bags. This recipe makes a large batch so freeze them and grab a bag when you don’t have much time to eat.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxFavorite Nurseries in Utah

Tri-City Nursery in Kaysville

Lamberts Nursery - 3910 So. Redwood Road

Cook's Greenhouse Nursery in Orem

If you like seeds, you really need to see Granite Seed Company's website. They're in Lehi

Wasatch Shadows in Sandy

Linden Nursery in Lindon

Alpine Gardens in Brigham (The town of Perry, actually)

Willard Bay Gardens is the best place in the state for perennials. It’s in Box Elder County

Millcreek Gardens (900 E at about 3500 south)

J & J Nursery in Layton

High Country Gardens. They have a good selection of plants that are water-wise.

There is a lady in Brigham (Edna Secrist) that has the very cheapest prices for a somewhat limited selection of perennials. She sells out of her yard. Price is $3 for well established gallon plants. Some are as high as $4. She propagates her own and they have all gone through one Utah winter. Drive east on 600 south in Brigham. Her home is on the south side of the street several blocks up. After mid-April when she gets the pots out of her greenhouse you can't miss it.

Empire Gardens (Wholesale & retail, easiest way to find it is to head north on 700 East and around 3600 South look for a tiny street marked "Empire" on your right.)
Bring a checkbook & look for Ruth. Knock on the door if you can't find anyone. Great for gallon pots of drought resistant perennials, shrubs, trees. Family relationship with Millcreek Gardens.

Cactus & Tropicals (corner of 2000 E & 2700 S)

Farmers Market (8am Saturday at Pioneer Park) Consider the lilies near Borski Farms & Caputo's on north side of market, heading east. Empire Gardens has a sampling of plants further west on that north side walkway.

Vineyard Nursery just west of Orem off Geneva Road. Not fancy but their prices are about 25% less than everywhere and it feels really homey


Master Garden Plan (As of May 20, 2009)

Print this info out and bring it with you when you come so you will know what is growing in each plot. The tastiest benefit for being in this group is enjoying LOTS of fresh produce straight from the gardens!

Sheryl’s Garden (currently planted)

Plot 1 Tomatoes
Plot 2 Tomatoes and Lettuce
Plot 3 Lettuce – Spring Mix, Pink Lettuce, Big Lettuce and Spinach
Plot 4 Carrots and Beets
Plot 5 Cabbage
Plot 6 Cabbage
Plot 7 Cabbage and Broccoli
Plot 8 Broccoli
Plot 9 Zucchini
Plot 10 WORK AREA for Shredding Mulch
Plot 11 Peas (600 Ft. Horizontal/Vertical Space)

Susan’s Garden Or CORN PATCH Garden (6 houses east of my home on Casto)
Plot 12 Mulch Holding Area
Plot 13 Cucumbers and Pumpkin
Plot 14 Cucumbers, Pumpkin and Crenshaw Melon
Plot 15 Cantelope, Watermellon, Crenshaw Melon
Plot 16 Pumpkin and Watermellon, Cantelope
Plot 17 Squash, Pumpkin, Melons
Plot 18 Squash, Pumpkin, Melons
Plot 19 Squash, Pumpkin, Melons
Plot 20 Broccoli
Plot 21 Bell and Jalapeno Peppers
Plot 22 Bell Peppers and Tomatoes
Plot 23 Tomatoes
Plot 24 Tomatoes
Plot 25 Tomatoes (only has 11 plants since there is a shallow cement block in the plot)
Plot 26 Peppers
Plot 27 Peppers
Plot 28 Peppers
Plot 29 Mulch Holding Area
Plot 30 Tomatoes
Plot 31 Tomatoes (Need to replace 2 tomatoes)
Plot 32 Tomatoes (Need to replace 3 tomatoes)
Plot 33 Tomatoes
Plot 34 Tomatoes
Plot 35 Peppers
Plot 36 Peppers
Plot 37 Under the tree – Plants requiring Part-sun will go here
Plot 38 to Plot 53 – Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting yet. We will plant one row each week so we continue to have fresh corn every week in the fall.
Plot 39 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 40 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 41 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 42 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 43 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 44 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 45 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 46 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 47 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 48 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 49 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 50 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 51 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 52 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 53 Reserved for Corn – Haven’t started planting corn yet
Plot 54 Big Rock Garden – Not planted yet

Vicki’s Garden, Kathy’s Garden, Deep Forest Garden and Waterfall Garden are the ones we’ll get planted this week. We have planted our biggest gardens. The rest are much smaller.

Vicki’s Garden
Plot 55
Plot 56
Plot 57
Plot 58
Plot 59
Plot 60
Plot 61
Plot 62 Vicki’s family plot
Plot 63
Plot 64
Plot 65

Kathy’s Garden (You hike up a small hill to get to this garden)
Plot 66
Plot 67
Plot 68
Plot 69
Plot 70
Plot 71

Deep Forest Garden (You hike down a short steep hill to get to this garden)
Plot 72
Plot 73
Plot 74
Plot 75
Plot 76
Plot 77
Plot 78
Plot 79
Plot 80

Waterfall Garden – Square Garden’s near a beautiful Waterfall!
Plot 81
Plot 82



As soon as you arrive to work, if you don't see me or you haven’t received a work assignment yet, these are things that ALWAYS need to be done in each of our gardens.

Basically, inspect EACH plot:

1) Borders – Tidy the border on each plot. Make sure it is neat, clean and secure. We get a lot of traffic and our borders remind everyone where they can and cannot walk. Make sure rocks are straight, dust off any grass or mulch. Whether the border is made of rock, tile, plastic pipe, wood, etc., notice if any part of it is missing and could be fixed and then fix it.

2) Walkways – They need a new layer of mulch often all summer long also. When they get thin, you'll see dirt or weeds coming thru. Lay more mulch down. Make sure it’s even and easy to walk on. Pick up larger weeds, pine cones or sticks and put them in our compost pile. Newspapers should not been showing. Cover them up.

3) Plots – Mulch should be evenly spread over the entire plot – leaving a small space for where the plant is growing. If mulch is getting thin and you can see dirt or weeds, lay more mulch down. Make sure it’s laid evenly. Get rid of any larger weeds or sticks. Make sure newspapers do NOT show thru. Cover them up.

4) Driplines – Make sure they are UNDERNEATH the mulch and close to the plant. We will continue to lay drip line throughout ALL of our gardens.

5) Laminated Plot Names – Make sure they are stuck in the ground INSIDE the plot.

6) Plants – Get acquainted with the Moisture Meter. Check the plants for moisture BEFORE watering any plants. For the most part, you won’t be watering the plants. That will be done by others who will monitor them closely.


Patio Accents! Watch this video!


My NEW Favorite Place to buy Plants - Lambert's Floral

Several people who I've talked to about gardening have referred me to one of the BEST and most reasonably priced places to buy veggie plants! Lambert's Floral in WVC. They are located at 3910 Redwood Road, SLC UT, on the west side of Redwood Road. I got there too late, after they closed so I haven't been able to go in yet but there prices beat Walmarts plant prices AND they have a much better selection. Check them out!!

Lettuce and Spinach - More on How to cut it from the plant

In my backyard garden, you'll find three kinds of lettuce and a whole bunch of spinach growing in 2 plots. Take your scissors and cut toward the bottom of the leaves. Don't pull the roots out since the plants will continue to grow for about another month. On the larger leafy lettuce plants, make sure you cut only the outside, underneath, larger leaves since the lettuce grows from the inside center. There are plenty of those to choose from. You will love this salad!!!


May 13!! First harvest is ON and ready to be picked!

Fresh spinach and three types of lettuce are ready to be picked! This makes for a very delicious tossed green salad! You should taste these leaves especially if you've never had fresh greens before right out of the garden! They are SO good!
I'm excited since this is our FIRST harvest of the season and it's only May 12!!

If you want to pick some of this harvest, email me ASAP and let me know when you can come.

Those who are eligible for this harvest are those who have put in any amount of hours in the garden so far this year OR are one of our garden property owners.

Bring a quart AND gallon size ziplock bag AND a pair of scissors. If we get a lot of response, I'll ask you to pick a quart size bag of greens, if we don't get as much response, you'll be able to pick a gallon size bag. I'll let you know when you come.

This crop MUST be picked during the next 2 days while at its peak (before it gets too big and starts to go to seed.) Thanks so much!!


MULCH is the key to a "water-wise" garden this summer

SAVE AND BRING any of the following items ALL SUMMER LONG! This is ORGANIC MULCH and we want and NEED LOTS of it!!

Grass Clippings
Pine Needles and Pine Cones


xxxxxxxxxxxCOMPOSTING - Great info on How To compost in your backyard

I was debating about whether to get my compost at the landfill or not. Then I heard about another source. It's more expensive than the landfill but it's REALLY good compost! The company is "Replenish", 4660 So. 200 W, Murray Utah, 801-262-5142. They sell a little more in bulk, which is what I need this year. We picked up a big 2 sq yards of RICH compost - which filled our truck. It took Gail and I over an hour to empty the truck full of the good stuff! We use it with all of our plants in each of our gardens.

I asked the USU Extension for their opinion about Compost. Here's their response:

The very best compost is what you make at home yourself. This is a very good USU publication on composting that you can refer people to. Click on Great Publication On Composting.

The compost at Trans Jordan Landfill is phasing out the use of sewage sludge in their compost process, that actually was a very good solution for both composting and for the sewage sludge – so that may be the “stink”” in compost from Trans Jordan Landfill. However, the compost itself that has been sifted and ready for sale shouldn’t be smelly. I believe this is the last year the will be using that sludge as part of their composting process – in the future they will use similar composting methods as they do at Salt Lake Valley Landfill which is similar to home composting, except they use high volume sprinkler heads and front loaders and back hoes to turn their compost piles.

General recommendations were for those compost with sewage sludge (if it stinks, it’s not fully composted), it’s fine for ornamental beds but generally not recommended for vegetable gardens. That won’t be an issue the next year.

Salt Lake Valley Landfill compost is great, for any use. Biggest issue is buying it before they run out.

Link to website is http://www.slvlandfill.slco.org/ and rates are $30 for pick up load.


Salt Lake Valley Landfill
(801) 974-6920
6030 West 1300 South

Trans Jordan Landfill
(801) 569-8994
10832 South 7200 West

Receive FREE Utah Native Plants Sat. May 9th by joining us on Purge the Spurge!

Before my hike at 8:30 am, Sat. May 9th, I am looking for people to meet me at 7:45 am, Meet at 6200 So. Wasatch Blvd, UTA Park n Ride, far SOUTH end of the parking lot. We'll drive less than a minute away and pull the pretty but noxious weed out of the ground. In return we receive Native Utah Plants for FREE! RSVP!

A “noxious weed” is a legal term used at the federal, state, and
county level to identify and list plants that pose a significant
threat to agriculture, the environment, recreation, and public
health. One weed affecting the Wasatch Front foothills of
concern is myrtle spurge, Euphorbia myrsinites. This weed is
also known as donkey tail spurge.

The Salt Lake County Weed Program, Salt Lake Conservation
District, REI, Utah Native Plant Society and the
Bonneville CWMA (Cooperative Weed Management Area)
are sponsoring a program to manage this noxious weed in
sponsoring “Purge Your Spurge” on Saturday May 9, 2009,
10am to 3:00pm.

You can help by collecting this weed and
exchanging it for Utah native plants at REI at 3285 East 3300
South. Wear protective clothing and gloves and dig up and
bag all your myrtle spurge and remove at least 4” of the rooting

Myrtle spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) is a low growing
perennial with trailing fleshy stems. The leaves are fleshy,
blue-green and alternate. Flowers are inconspicuous with
yellow-green, petal-like bracts that appear from March to
May. Myrtle spurge spreads by seed and plants are capable of
projecting seeds up to 15 feet. The plant grows from a taproot,
with new stems emerging in early spring and dying back in
the winter. Plants can grow up to 8-12 inches high and 12-18
inches in width.

Myrtle spurge is an escaped ornamental that quickly crowds out native
plants. The key to effective control of this noxious weed is to
remove plants prior to seed set and to detect and remove new populations in
natural areas early on.

Warning!! All parts of myrtle spurge contain a caustic latex sap that can result in
skin irritation, redness, swelling, and blisters. This plant is poisonous if ingested causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

For information about Salt Lake County Noxious Weeds
go to http://www.weeds.slco.org
By Maggie


What is ORGANIC Matter?

One of the best soil amendments is organic
matter. Organic matter simply defined is
anything that at one time had carbon atoms
and was once alive.
Manures from herbivores (cow, turkey,
horse), animals that eat alfafa, hay or grass
are considered organic; however problems
may occur if you put manure directly onto
your vegetable and flower beds. Manures
are high in salts and often have weed
The best method of adding organic matter
is using compost. Compost is organic
matter that has been decomposed through
microbes, that is fungi and bacteria, which
have broken down the materials over
time, at the same time raising temperatures
of compost piles up to 140 degrees,
hot enough to kill many weed seeds and
pathogenic microbes.
The best solution would be to compost
your own kitchen scraps (no meat, bones,
or fatty foods), and garden wastes for your
garden. However, if you are limited with
space or need additional compost, it is
available for purchase. Compost can be
purchased at nurseries and garden centers
by the bag or one could go to one of
two landfills in Salt Lake County.
Compost is available in bulk at two
municipal facilities in Salt Lake County.
Best to call ahead for availability. Go


for more information for
compost rates at 6030 West California
Ave (1400 South) call (801) 974-6922.
The other location 10873 S. 7200 W. in
South Jordan and phone number (801)

A small half ton pickup truck holds
approximately one cubic yard equivalent
to about five wheelbarrows. Also it
may be helpful to know that at nurseries
and garden centers, compost is usually
sold in bags that are one cubic feet, and
it takes 27 bags to equal one cubic yard.
A common question is how much to
add? Here

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Tips for Growing a GREEN Lawn

Tips for maintaining a green lawn
May 3rd, 2009 @ 10:47pm
By Paul Nelson

RIVERTON -- The rain has kept our lawns looking nice and green for now, but what can you do to keep it green and full after the weather dries up?

If you noticed you lawn had some patches where it wasn't growing and you think you need to reseed, do it now.

IFA Home and Garden assistant manager Geoff Jensen told KSL, "You're going to have a lot better germination. That grass is going to grow back better. You're going to have better results doing it this time of year."

Jensen says iron helps, but you shouldn't use it if you don't like mowing.

"If you put iron on, it really greens it up. It makes your lawn look great, but you are going to be mowing every three to four days," he said.

Many people make organic compost with egg shells and corn for their gardens and flower beds, but Jensen says that stuff doesn't work for lawns.

Another tip for this time of year: fertilize your lawn with a weed and feed. If you don't have a problem with weeds, use a 30-10-0 spring blend of fertilizer. Don't use a 17-5-10 fertilizer because that will put it to bed for the fall. Using a 46-0-0 during the summer can burn your lawn.

If you see brown spots in your lawn, pull up some of the brown grass. If it comes right up, you likely have grubs. If you sense some tension in the grass, you likely have a fungus.

With all the advances we've made in gardening, they still haven't created a lawn that takes care of itself.

Engh Gardens in Sandy, Utah, Get to know them!




Gardening in May - The "To Do" List


Best Gardening Books available at your Local Library