And so the harvesting frenzy begins after weeks of tending to things,watching and waiting .Yesterday morning it was time to start.
The photo shows a snap shot of what we had gathered by 10 in the morning. We picked 5 pounds of Apples,about 1/4 of our Hops,1 gallon Blueberries,8 Onion heads for their seeds (don’t tell Monsanto) 3 Tomatoes & 3 Eggs.
At the beginning on the week we had been away on vacation.We camped,swam,took walks and looked for treasures.When we returned we came home feeling recharged and centered again.Chance’s work schedule had been crazy for many weeks which mildly snowballed into all phases of our lives.So the break was much-needed.
But now it is time to focus on the season,it is time to can until our pantry is full again. It is also time to carefully plan out the coming weeks.We need a two-part time line showing when things are ready to can and when we have open time to do all of the work that needs doing. With some tinkering I am sure we will pull it off.It may mean doing some late nights but I remember stories of my Grandmothers doing the same so we will just be following tradition.
This summer is proving to be a Fruit Year.We have noticed a pattern over the years of every other year we get plenty of fruit from our trees and bushes.Soon our Bartlett Pears will be ready to pick.This year we are trying a different way of ripening them.We will pick the Pears green,place them in our extra fridge for 3-4 days so they cool down.Then we will lay them out on a table in our spare room that stays cool so they can ripen,another 4-5 days.By cooling down the Pears we are kind of reversing how Pears naturally ripen.On the tree they ripen from the inside out.The coolness keeps that from happening.Once the Pears are laid out they will ripen from the outside in.This will mean the centers of the Pears will not turn to mush which is what would happen if ripened on the tree.
Chance and I have also been talking about how we can sanely have our meat Chickens here.In the past we have bought chicks, raised them to butchering weight and then butchered them all in one day. Having a dozen or so meat Chickens here is stressful on our whole environment here.The other hens get pissed and slow their laying, Having the extra birds uses up more of our time,energy and resources.So we are looking for a lower impact system. What we are thinking about is to buy 3-4 Hens who are of butchering weight or just about so.These birds will be on hand for us to butcher one at a time as needed. When we need to we will buy more birds to keep the cycle going.
This plan is closer to how farmers used to have Chickens for meat.There were usually a few older Hens who were no longer laying or were just around that farm families used for their tables.Our own layers will eventually make it into this new group of Chickens once they stop laying.
Yesterday I froze our Blueberries and realized I did not have any smaller freezer bags.I wanted the quart sized ones which are the best size for us for things like berries.What I did have were some canning jars. I had read a long while back that you can freeze in canning jars so I gave it a go.I put most of the Blueberries into jars and a few in one freezer bag. I like the idea of not using plastic and having containers that are reuseable but the jars take up a ton of room. I guess I will have to continue my search for a not- so -bulky- not -plastic freezer option.
Well I must be going, today I return to work after my 10 day vacation. I am thinking in the coming weeks there will be more to blog about.We are organising a Tomato Canning Party and have our Chicken Butchering Class this Friday,both of which will be blog worthy I am sure.