Apple blossoms update

bee on apple blossom3_blog

After last week’s super cold spring weather of 20°F at night and then the snow (hey it least it was warmer) I’m happy to say that not all the apple blossoms died. This morning I noticed a lot more blossoms have opened and the bees are all over them which means I might get a reduced crop but won’t be wiped out completely unless we get another bitter cold night. Looks like we are back to warm days again as well. Yea!

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Fall harvest season is full blast right now!

Harvest season is full blast right now. Started out with our Home Grown New Mexico ‘Jam On’ class where we made a Strawberry-balsamic jam and a terrific Blueberry jam.

Himrod grapes-yum!

Then the grapes ripened-ate lots and dried some into raisins for later.

bread n butter pickles

The cucumbers ripened so fast I was making lots of pickles. First I made bread and butter pickles, then cornichon pickles and then dill pickles-crock, refrigerator and canned. Must have about 30 jars+ and now the 5 gallon crock is full where I am fermenting some with salt brine. After I was bored with pickles,  I made some sweet pickle relish which I haven’t tasted yet. Will probably make more of that with the giant cucumbers I miss when looking for little ones. So far I’ve made pickles with Jody, Nick and Elodie.

peach jam and raisins

Then I bought 20 lbs of peaches from the Farmer’s Market and Mernie and I made 3 different peach jams.

9tomato sauce-finished in bags

Now the tomatoes are coming in and I’m starting to make the raw tomato sauce that I freeze in gallon plastic freezer bags. Later in November after I recover from harvesting, I will take them out of the freezer and make different pasta sauces like puttenesca, marinara, penne alla vodka and good ole spaghetti sauce.

 

Potatoes dug out just in the nick of time!

Potatoes dug out just in the nick of time!

Soon I will harvest potatoes too.

2013-part of the fall honey harvest

and we will harvest honey from the bee hive.

Of course then there is all I take to the Farmer’s Market that I harvest every week-tomatoes, eggplants, shishito peppers, beans, tomatillos and sometimes rhubarb, kale and chard when I have the room on the tables. Phew! Busy time of year!

The best part of it all is I haven’t bought any vegetables in the store since early July and I’ll have a full pantry for winter when harvest season is done.

Making applesauce with a food mill

This year we have a bumber crop of apples. I mean the apple trees are so heavy with apples that some branches have broken.  So I decided to make some applesauce. This is what was left in 35 gallon container after I gave most of them away and I have lots more. If you have a food mill it’s easy but you must cook the apples first.

Cut the apples into quarters. No need to peel them or seed them. Put them in a pot of water and bring it to a boil and cook them about 10-15 minutes till tender when poked with a fork. Drain hot water off and cool them with some cold water. Then using a slotted spoon, put some in the food mill.

Here is the food mill. Notice the bowl on the left where the applesauce will come out. The bowl behind it will collect the apple seeds and skins. Just push the soft apples through with the plunger while you turn the handle. The mill separates the apple sauce from the seeds and skins.

Then I added sugar and cinnamon to taste. Voila! Done!

Here are the skins and apple seeds that came out in the other bowl. These are going to the worm composting area. Nothing wasted and super easy!