Week 15: Dry

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This week in the pack we expect to have carrots; tomatoes; bok choi or beets or swiss chard; salad mix; beans; hot peppers; melons; peaches; peppers; and onions.

On the farm we would be most grateful for some rain.  It is dry.  We don’t want it to rain while you’re picking up your pack, of course, but it can rain at any other time.  The pond is so low and the well has run dry a few times.  Luckily it has refilled every time.  We’re very happy to have an irrigation system, but we have to be careful.pond15

The advantages of dry weather?  The farm roads are easier to drive on.  Weeding is more effective, and we don’t need rain gear.  The solar panels work brilliantly and we get lots of hot water.

Benjamin and I went to a workshop in Grand Pré on Thursday.  Sandor Katz was presenting on fermentation.  He’s been travelling the world finding out how people take care of food preservation, and learning about traditional fermentation in different cultures.  The potluck afterwards was very very yummy and my digestive system felt very happy.  Fermentation of vegetables has a very long history for a reason.  In the photo below, Sandor is demonstrating how to make a fresh ginger ‘bug’.  This is the starter for making ginger beer and other fermented root drinks.  I can’t wait to try fermenting some of the liquorice root and ginger root grown here.

Sandor Katz with ginger 'bug'

Sandor Katz with ginger ‘bug’.  Check out his fancy socks!

String bean ferment with white oak leaves

String bean ferment with white oak leaves to keep them crunchy.  Hope it works!

At this time of year my focus turns to putting away the harvest for the winter.  I’ve been making pesto to freeze; starting some ferments; making elderberry juice; and I’ll be canning peaches on Monday.  Next, we’ll be putting tomatoes in the freezer, and I might even get out the dehydrator.  This week coming is also the time for harvesting hazelnuts.  Buddy has been keeping the squirrels away so I think the harvest will be heavy.

Here are some more photos from this week:

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Good news! The pepper plants that lost all their leaves in Arthur are yielding lots of peppers now.

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Carrots

Carrots

Elderberries

Elderberries

The hens enjoy new pasture

The hens enjoy new pasture

Ginger growing at Abundant Acres

Ginger growing at Abundant Acres

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2 thoughts on “Week 15: Dry

  1. Great update Jen!
    Can you post the links to any good fermentation/preservation resources you come across? And you mentioned putting tomatoes in the freezer – I didn’t realize you could freeze fresh tomatoes! Any tricks we should know?

    • Hi Logan,

      For fermentation, Sandor Katz is the MAN. His website is http://www.wildfermentation.com. That’s a good start.
      With tomatoes, I throw small tomatoes in a plastic bag and put them all in the freezer. It is quick and easy. When you use them in the winter, they are great in stir-fries, soups, stews, or casseroles. For larger tomatoes, I cut them up before freezing. Some people like to roast the tomatoes before putting in the freezer. This is how the gals at Heartbeet Organics in PEI do it:

      We like it quick & easy: Olive oil, salt, 400 F for 40 mins. Let cool, slide into ziplock bag & freeze! Line the pan with parchment paper — easier to transfer the tomatoes and all their lovely juice into the ziploc bag.

      Happy freezing!

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