July! finally an Update

This is  going to be a longer than usual post as I try to make up for my tardiness. We have been real busy around here with one thing or another so here is a bit of a rundown of what’s been going on.

Finally we got the wood chipper working correctly after getting a revised design of chute, vent panels  and revised feed tensioner hooks. its like a different machine. I had a lot of catching up on the wood chipping front. all the braches that where removed for the installation  of the perimeter fence. The limbs from the long over due pruning of some of the big old cherry trees and the clear up of the two trees that fell over in the winters storm and just general spring clean up.

I began chipping with gusto, sorting the wood in to the cedars and other types of wood to chip to use as mulch on the front gardens . with the fruit tree wood , apple, cherry and also the alder I chipped those up to use for smoking fish and other foods ….alder being my favorite for smoked tuna but  I thought it would be nice to try some of the fruit woods. After they are chipped I put them in paper grocery bags to dry out before use .I also sometimes sell a bag or two to people who what to use it in their BBQ.

Cherry wood chips  Cherry chips bagged to dry

 

The bees have been doing well and for a brief spell I was up to three hives here when the local nuc arrived. That was only short lived because I found that the back hive was queen less . so I combined it with the nuc and now have two very strong hives, both with two honey supers on. the front hive had the honey super on first and I just had to try some of the honey so I removed a frame of honey but without an extractor we had to mash the comb with a spoon to get the honey out and then filter it . The honey tasted great but it was a lot of work for just one frame , so I decided we better purchase an extractor before the rest of the honey is ready .

IMG_5138 honey extractor

 

On to the gardens . The wild flower mix I had planted in a shady planter had really turned in to a surprise. I had no idea what would come of it but it has turned out looking really great , adding some much needed colour to a shady dull part of the property.

Wild flower mix  IMG-20120625-00173

The Vegies are doing great , we have had some nice beets out , the colours on which were just so awesome I had to take a pic of them the third round of radishes are coming up, the rutabagas are doing great as are the peas and potatoes .

raddish seedlings  IMG_5175

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Pumpkin Harvest – Happy Halloween

More harvest fun!

we had been saving the last of the corn for a family visit and it turned out it was past its prime but still tasted good , just not as juicy as the previous ones .

We have had quite a lot of pumpkins from the 4 or 5 plants we planted early in the year , i had already made 4 pumpkin pies before i decided to harvest the rest of the pumpkins.  Processing so many pupkins at one time is quite hard work , i did 10 at once and decided to bake them rather than steam them just because it was easier to put them all in the oven to make the pumpkin goop. i scooped out all the seed and roasted them separately. i just froze most of the goop but i did make pumpkin soup with some of it which turned out to be delicious. the recipes will be below .

i also had the last of the chilli’s to do something with so i decided to air dry them and use my grinder attachment on my kitcheaid mixer to grind them in to powder , kind of cayene pepper. i just air dried them whole and then cut the stems off broke them in to pieces and fed them through the grinder , just the little particles in the air had my nose and eyes running .

This Pumpkin Pie is a combination and modification of two recipes i found on the web, one on http://www.pickyourown.org and the other on some cooking channel i forget . the soup is just a basic vegetable broth i use and added pumpkin.
Pumpkin Pie
==========ingredients
3cups of prepared pumpkin (1 pumpkin 8” or two smaller ones to make 3 cups)
5 ginger snap cookies
¼ cup of walnuts
4 large eggs
1 ½  cup of whiping cream(not whipped)
1 cup of sugar
1 ½ teaspoon cinamon
2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
pie crustsMaking the prepared pumpkin
========================
cut pumpkins into halves, remove the stalk and scoop out the seeds (save seeds for roasting recipie)
steam the pumpkin for 30 min
remove the pumpkin meat from the skin and then put the meat in to the mixer (use paddle) for about 5 min just to change it to a smooth texture.
Then measure out 3 cups

Everything else
============
Pre heat oven to 425F

put cookies and walnuts in to a food processor until they are crumb like use this to thinly  coat the bottom of the pie crust .

combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix together until combined.

pour the mixture in the prepared pie crusts

put the pies in the pre heated oven at 425F for 15 min and then reduce the heat to 350F and bake for a further 45 – 60 min , check at the 30 min mark.

Pumpkin Soup
===========
2 x onions
3 x carrots
2 sticks of cellerry
5 cups of  prepared pumpkin
1 tspsalt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayene pepper
1 tbspn minced garlic
1 qt of water aprox
2 tbspn gapeseed oil
Dice carrots , onions and celery
put oil in a large soup pot add diced carrots , onion , celery and garlic
heat over medium heat until they get soft (about 10 min)Add a cup of waterthen blend mixture in a blender until smooth (usually takes two blender loads)

pour the blended mixture back in to the pot  add pumpkin , salt , pepper and cayene pepper .

gradually add water until you get the desired thickness

simmer the mixture for about 20 min

serv . season to taste.

Veggies Galore

The raised beds have really worked out well. i had 100% germination of the turnips so we have had a lot of turnips , we only lost a few to pests .They would develop a hole and then turn to mush inside. i think this was slugs .

IMAG0396IMAG0397

the cabbages just shot up after i stopped pulling them out thinking they were weeds. there is a weed that grows here that looks a lot like a cabbage seedling.

i decided with my first two cabbages that i would make sauerkraut . i followed a recipe i found on line and it turned out a little salty  but i am eating it anyways . i put it in a big jar and in to the fridge .

i pulled the majority of the turnips this week because with this hot weather i believe it makes them woody so i peeled the turnips , cut them up , blanched them and froze them . i also did the same 2 min blanche  with some of the greens and also the beet greens . the beets i cooked and peeled and then froze them also .

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the corn is coming along well and has the little tassels showing on top but no signs off cobs yet.

the summer squash and pumpkin plants just look like the triffids , they are taking over every where.

i had so many cucumbers that i did not know what to do with them so i decided to make pickles whichIMG_20110702_135427 is very easy you just cook up the brine fill the jars with sliced cucumber and then top up with brine and process in the canner . its very simple . i added some dill and some garlic in to my jars too , you then have to leave them for at least six weeks for the flavors to set up. it been a little longer than that as we still have a large jar of costco pickles in the fridge so I am looking forward to trying them on a burger soon.

we have had a few green beans and there are more to come , as well as the peas are starting to be ready now . tomatoes are on their way and there are a few hot peppers ready that I intend to make chilli infused olive oil with , I just love that stuff on pizza. the cantaloupe are sprawling out and have lots of flowers but are yet to have any fruit .

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