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|#3933 Packet $37.00 Approximately 100 seeds||
Chinese Gooseberry (Tend Li Gen) Actinidia chinensis - Deciduous vine with fragrant white blooms that produce small edible fruits. The fruit is eaten raw or used in producing jams, jellies, or dried for later use. Both male and female plants are necessary for fruit production. Fruits, leaves and roots have been used to treat kidney stones, rhuematism and cancer of the esophagus. The plants prefer a well-drained sandy loam in full sun or partial shade. This species is the parent of modern kiwi cultivars. Growth is rapid and the plant will soon reach 20ft in length. Hardy to 10F (-17.7C); height: 30ft.
|#3934 Packet $16.00 Approximately 100 seeds||
Japanese kiwi (Variegated Kiwi) Actinidia kolomitka - Deciduous vine with pretty white blooms producing sweet fruits which are eaten raw or used to produce jellies and jams. Both male and female plants are needed to produce fruit. The heart-shaped green leaves are splashed with pink and white and are often cooked and added to soups. High in vitamin C (up to 5 times the amount contained in black currants). The plants prefer a well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade (fruit production is better in the sun). Fruits are produced on second year wood. A very attractive and useful plant. (Cats love this plant, so it may require some protection from them.) Hardy to -30F (-34.4C); height: 30ft. (vine)
|#3935 Packet $19.00 Approximately 100 seeds||
When boiling the sap you have collected from your trees, you should use as large and shallow a pan as will fit on your stove or burner. The disadvantage to using an indoor stove, is that there is a tremendous amount of steam produced. If you need heat and humidity in your house, it may be okay, but you should probably only make small batches at a time (especially your first batch so you'll know what you're up against.) It takes a lot of sap for a little syrup - about 40 parts maple sap to make 1 part maple syrup (10 gallons sap to make 1 quart syrup).
A commercial stainless steel pan, about 4-6 inches deep will allow quicker evaporation. These can be found at restaurant supply companies to use on buffet steam tables, though of course any large pot can be used. Wood cooking stoves are perfect, as you can remove the burner covers and control the fire pretty well, but you can use a household gas or electric stove as well (just be certain to watch the boiling sap or you'll have a very sticky mess down in your stove to clean up.) For cooking outside, build a fire pit with a grate to hold the pan, then build a fire underneath. It's harder to control the fire and keep it hot, but it can work. We actually begin the boiling process outdoors, then move to the kitchen to complete the syrup after it has boiled down to about one half the original level. This way, most of the steam is let off outside.
Once the sap has boiled down to the point at which it begins to get thick, continue boiling, but keep a close eye on it, as it will burn very quickly as is reaches syrup stage. There are several ways to test for completed syrup. One is dip a spoon into the boiling sap and if it sticks to the spoon and looks thick, you're finished. Another is to allow the temperature to reach 219F, then remove it from the heat.
Finished syrup will have a little sediment in it and this can be filtered by using a cheesecloth or fine screen filter. After cooling a bit, the syrup can then be bottled or canned, preferably in glass containers.
SEE: COLLECTING SAP
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