Monday, July 28, 2008

Independence Days #11

The harvest is just beginning here and I suspect it will be can your buns off through September now.

1. Plant Something: Nope

2. Harvest Something: The neighbors were letting their raspberries die on the bush so I couldn't stand it any longer and picked one and half cups which I made into 1/2 pt. of Mr. Greenjeans favorite jam.

Harvested several pounds pickling cucumbers (and dill and peppers) and made 14 1/2 pts of spicy dill pickles. Took two jars to land owners. This recipe called for sugar which I reluctantly put in thinking it must be required for the preserving but I don't like the flavor (yes, I have that extra jar that didn't go in the water bath that I'm tasting out of). There is another batch of cukes on now so I'll try a different recipe.

Today Mrs. Neighbor is coming over and we are going to pickled peppers. We don't know exactly what we have - not for lack of labeling - but because her two year old went along and "collected" all the tags we'd put in the ground. We'll pickle the long skinny yellow ones, then lay a fire in the Weber and roast and freeze the ones that look hotter. The tomatoes are all green so this will preserve the peppers (with wonderful flavor) until the tomatoes are ready.

Mrs. Neighbor got our first Zucchini - she'd been hungry for that Zucchini. The slicing cucumbers are just about upon us with a vengeance.

The tops of our apricot tree (too tall to reach) are getting ripe and falling to the ground and so am harvesting ground apricots for the chickens (trying to keep ahead of the Spaniel whom I don't want to get them). Harvested grasshoppers from the garden for chicken feed.

3. Preserve Something: Um, see above narrative.

4. Prep/Manage: Went to yard sales and found two matching infant car seats and an umbrella stroller for Mrs. Neighbor (who is 8 mos. pregnant) and gave them to her - I knew that's something she needed. She was thrilled - I guess the car seats were the expensive kind, and they were as clean as new.

Searched and searched for fabric covering for the seats in the trailer but ended up buying the cheapest heavy fabric Walmart offered (canvas). Wow, I noticed price increases there. Yes, I hate going to Walmart but we are in the middle of no where with a walmart and a Lowes.

Accepted an old wall cabinet a neighbor was throwing away. He kind of didn't get it that I wanted to lay it on it's back and plant strawberries in it.

Examined apple trees, peach and plum trees and found a pear tree in the Garden's yard.

Did the chore of taking homemade Beef Stew, Chicken soup, Chicken broth, Frozen party yum yums... out of the garage freezer, thawed them (to get them out of the ball jars) and thew them away. It was a very hard experience but I know that that freezer thawed for an unknown time (repeatedly) and that none of that food could be trusted. Next week I'll clean it.

5. Cook something new: Nope just getting by in the heat.

6. Work on local food systems: The first farmer's market was on with only one small vendor. The produce just isn't ready here, and they were having trouble getting vendors who produced in sellable amounts. The dog park group was there, and people were taking orders for peaches and some folks were playing music... hopefully it will do better through the year.

7. Learn Something new: I really learn a great deal from the food storage group. I have everything to learn about lacto fermentation, but I'm going to try some of those cucumbers lactofermented.

From Sharon's site, I began to think of my garage as cold storage. I had been thinking cellaring, but really, we went a winter without a 'fridge a couple of years ago and just kept our food in the garage.

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