Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Harvest Season is Winding Down

We still have a plentiful supply of fresh fruit and veggies.  Today our lunch salad included heirloom tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, green beans, farmer's cheese, apples and pecans dressed a balsamic reduction and a generous amount of olive oil.  This was served over a thin slice of whole wheat spoon bread.

However, Fall has arrived and the first frost is right around the corner.  Since we are eating local, we'll soon have to switch from our fresh veggies to our canned ones.  We are canning like crazy here and another batch of tomato sauce came out of the canner this morning.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our First Homegrown Peaches

Last year I chronicled our planting of a tiny backyard orchard.  The peach trees bloomed their heads off this spring and were covered with tiny little peaches.   Sadly, one of the trees dropped every single one of its fruits.  However, the other tree managed to hold on to about six peaches. 

We allowed them to grow and I've been diligently checking on their status.  Today I went out to find that three of the six had disappeared (squirrels?) and that their remained three perfectly ripened peaches.

I quickly snatched them from their branches and commenced eating.  Now these were not your perfect, food store, pesticide protected, peach specimens.  We did not expect this.  They were covered with blemishes.  Despite their imperfections, once picked, washed, and skinned they were simply divine.  Halfway through my meal, I remembered to stop and snap a picture of this historic harvest.

Next year may bring more bugs and disappointment, but this year gave me high hopes for our future crops of homegrown, backyard, Maryland peaches. 

It feels as though we've one the lottery.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Homemade Blackberry Syrup and Herbal Teas

Our First Batch of Blackberry Syrup
The blackberries have been plentiful this season. Yesterday I used the last of them to make two quarts (plus a little extra) of sweet, delicious blackberry syrup.  This syrup - which is made with blackberries, dehydrated, organic cane sugar, and lemon juice - turned out wonderfully. 

Earlier this month, I harvested armloads of lemon balm and peppermint and then air-dried and crumbled the herbs to make delicious homemade tea.  Just a pinch each of organic green tea and home dried peppermint and lemon balm makes a delicious morning breakfast tea.  This morning I added just a touch of our homemade blackberry syrup.....heavenly!

I can't wait to taste our syrup on my son's yummy, whole wheat waffles.
An Infusion of Organic Green Tea, Homemade Lemon Balm and Peppermint Tea, and Homemade Blackberry Syrup

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's Salsa Time!

Yesterday I harvested the first tomatoes from our 2014 garden along with jalapenos, cilantro, and sweet orange, red and green bell peppers.  Since we also harvested our garlic just a few weeks ago, everything was ready to make a small batch of salsa. 

Four pints were canned and one was kept to use right away. The 14 jars we put up last year were not quite enough to last us through the year, so I'm going to try and put up 21 pints this year. 

The best part, of course, is enjoying this fresh, delicious, and chemical/pesticide free salsa.  However, I must confess that knowing no jars will have to be recycled after their use is also quite satisfying.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Let the Canning Begin!

These are our first canned green beans of the season along with our first, freshly-dug garden potatoes.  

The green beans s were picked yesterday afternoon; the potatoes were harvested just a few minutes ago.  No pesticides, no GMO's.  Just fresh, nutritious produce.  Satisfying work and mouthwatering results.