Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Been A Busy Autumn!

Officially Autumn started in the Northern Hemisphere (US and Canada) September 22 and will end December 21 the first day of winter.  I have been way too busy to enjoy my favorite time of the year! Even too busy to keep up with posting; I'm not happy about that.  Though I have been learning do to new things I've not done before - I'm good with that.  So I thought I'd share a few pictures of things I have been doing and share new favorite links I've found; just to let you know I'm still here :)

We've been so blessed with the garden our son started for us.  There wasn't one day that didn't go by without picking something yummy. At the beginning of the season we had zucchini and yellow squash and strawberries.  My favorite was the Japanese eggplant and peppers, lots and lots of peppers. We planted Pablano and Green Chili. Much of what was planted was a learning thing and I now know my seasons of planting for the best in season plants.  The easiest to grow was strawberries, had strawberries throughout the summer and of course my herbs.  But as time went by this fall the biggest thing was trying to save things from the first frost. The perennials made it; I'm hoping they make it through into the next year.

I planted Roma tomatoes at the end of the season just to try them out.  I did plant grape tomatoes and salad tomatoes middle/late spring but they didn't do to well.  Most of the local farmers I spoke with said this was the worst year for them next year will be better. Overall I did well this is the first "foodie" garden experience in the dessert for me.  Because of our extended seasons, planting the Roma tomatoes later was a good attempt to try since they are hardier.  I wished I planted them earlier - it would have been a bumper crop. The picture shows the tomatoes that were rescued from the first frost.
I did cover them "working frantically," I have to say I was a wild woman in that cold wind!  Sadly the plants still didn't make it with all my efforts.  However, I did can 5 pints and still have some left that need to ripen a bit more for later use.  :p

From the apples we picked at the beginning of the season I finally got to do something with some of them.  I made delicious apple butter using honey to sweeten the batch.  I didn't need that much the apples were sweet enough.  I made six pints plus and made some apple sauce to use in baking.

Since moving here we've been going to a wonderful little church with a big heart, many are farmers themselves and they share their bounty of goodies.  We've had corn, peaches and pecans but the all around favorite delight is fresh pomegranates.  We were blessed with many and I juiced what I brought home.  Living in a farming community (mostly cotton) you can get a lot of fresh foods, I wish people would take advantage of the wonderful produce (even grass fed meats) and help the local farmers out.  Living here you also have access to tons of canning supplies - not that I certainly didn't  in OH - we did have the Amish communities close by - but half gallon canning jars come on!  I couldn't believe how excited I was to see them! I juiced a half gallon with the first batch.
 

After juicing the seeds in my juicer I put it all in the half gallon jar and sealed it with my food saver attachment.  I don't have a picture but the juice cleared up loosing that clouded look.  You don't need a juicer you can use a blender from I understand (you can finding juicing videos on you-tube).  I often thought, when seeing pomegranates in the stores, of what else you could use them for and to my surprise more than just juice; you can also eat the whole seed as well.  I realize that might sound silly but I've always loved the juice and hadn't thought beyond.  I just know they're good for you!


I'm sure if I think hard enough I could go on and on.  It was an experience for sure in between all the everything else kind of stuff.  Below are some very cool sites I found searching for stuff - definitely will be sites I visit often.

Living Homegrown Fresh
Growing A Greener World
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar Free
Seasonal Chef - Finding and Using Locally Produced Food
GNOWFGLINS  "My favorite!"

More later to share~

No comments: