I'm posting my Independence Days early this week as we leave in the morning for San Francisco.
BTW, here is an "after" shot of the pretty bread and jam from my previous post (after the family got their hands on warm bread and fresh jam):
1. Plant Something: nope
2. Harvest Something: copious amounts of pickling cucumbers, the first slicing cucumbers, the first tomato, the first green beans, pecks of peppers, and apricots.
3. Preserve Something: Mrs. Neighbor and I canned 11 jars of pickled peppers (the long yellow kind) and roasted chilies over a wood fire for later salsa - all cooked it went into a 1/2 gal bag in the freezer.
Put up 2 half gallon jars of lacto fermenting kosher style pickles.
Next day: two loaves of bread, and bought raspberries on sale at the grocery to make 14 1/2 pints of jam for Mr. Greenjeans.
Next day: 9 1/2 pints of Pepper Jelly. I put what I thought were 2 habeneros in the mountain of peppers but it doesn't seem to have any heat. (Turns out the peppers were poblano or pimento - now I'm afraid all the hot peppers died). I'll let the Santa Fe peppers develop more next time see if we can't get some heat into them.
Next day: Borrowed Mrs. Neighbor's food dehydrator and put in a load of apricots.
4. Prep Something: Have really weeded a lot in the garden (don't worry there's still of weeds plenty left - no manicured garden here). Here's some before and after photos from the green bean makeover. Thre are three rows of different varieties of green beans:
Interestingly, the beans with the holes in the rows are an heirloom yellow wax bean.
Mr. Greenjeans cleaned in the shop and I cleaned in the garage (lots of moving mess left over). Like the weeding, there is more to do there too.
Mr. Greenjeans developed a way to get the fruit out of the top of the apricot tree. He has a 16' extension pole that he taped an small plastic bucket to. When we climb a 12 step ladder and rattle a branch with ripe fruit on it, we catch most of the fruit in the bucket.
5. Manage Reserves: I have to say we had decided that the jam that I made with splenda a few years ago wasn't safe to eat. I don't know if that's true but I didn't want to be the family that made the news as a cautionary tale. I put the contents of two dozen jars of jam into the compost and the jars into the dishwasher. I could use the jars anyway.
Nee made labels for all the preserves for me and put them on. She started doing beautiful labels for me last year using layers in adobe photoshop. We put them on clear packing tape and stick them on the jars. They don't leave a gooey mess on the jar when the label comes off. We've talked about posting the labels on the blog so everyone who wants to use them can.
6. Cook Something New: Everything I preserved this week was new to me. I had actually not made apricot cobbler before.
7. Learn something new: The lactofermenting is completely new concept to me. I'm still trying to understand it and giving it a whirl.