Saturday, August 28, 2010

August 28th, 2010

The heat of August took a toll on my garden. It actually survived much better than the neighbors gardens did. I still have lush green tomato plants, while many have almost withered away. The weather is starting to cool down, so through September and October I will likely continue to harvest tomatoes.

My thoughts have turned to preparing for next season and I am preparing to move hay and manure from the goat and chickens to the garden for next year. This is best done in the fall, so it has time to compost before the next spring planting.

Speaking of goats, I've been very busy keeping up with and learning about caring for my new doe, Holly and new wether, Harry. Holly is currently at a friends house being bred and Harry appears to be very lonely without her. We are adding on to the goat pen, keeping up with the chickens, and preparing the soil for next summers vegetable crops. Oh, and I should not forget keeping the baby fruit trees alive through the summer heat.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pears, pumpkin and tomatoes

This week I have been canning a lot of pear sauce. I make it exactly as I do applesauce, only I do it with pears from mom and dad's pear tree. Here is the recipe that I use: How to Can Applesauce I experimented with using different amounts of cinnamon this year. I also canned pear halves instead of the traditional pear sauce. This is the first year that I've done pear halves and I was amazed at how beautiful they turned out. Definitely a canned product I would give as gifts. Here is a picture of the canned pear halves.

Some of the canned pears I will later dry during the winter months. I love dried pears and to get the the sweet, candy-like flavor similar to those found in stores, you have to can them and let them soak up the canning syrup for a few months before drying them.

In the past I have also done Pear Butter, which is basically a very cooked down version of pear sauce. Similarly, you can make apple butter by cooking down applesauce.

The weather has been unbelievably hot and dry, but despite the heat and lack of rain, the tomato plants are producing wonderfully. My favorite way to use tomatoes is to simply wash, half and seed them. I then place them in freezer containers and freeze them. The skins just peel off after freezing and I can use them however I wish throughout the year.

I had a pumpkin vine pop up out of the compost bin this year, so I just let it grow. It bore a pumpkin before the heat killed it. Tonight we used the pumpkin. We baked it in the oven, then pureed it in the blender. We used the pumpkin puree to bake a pie. The smell of cinnamon and pumpkin has me looking forward to fall already. Off to enjoy pumpkin pie in August!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4th, 2010

Busy, busy harvesting peaches and pears from the tree. Freezing all of them and running out of room quickly! We will easily get enough peaches and pears to have them once a week all year long!

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