Monday, September 7, 2009

Independence Days challenge, week 19

Time again for Sharon's Independence Day's Challenge. We just got back home late Friday night, so this is what we did on the long weekend. Yup, it was crazy!

1. Plant something: Nope.
2. Harvest something: Eggs. A few grape tomatoes. 11 lbs blueberries from Running Fox Farm, 3 pecks peaches and 3 pecks pears from Quonquont Farm, elderberries from neighbors and roadsides. Red clover.

3. Preserve something: Dried 1/2 pt. elderberries and ? blueberries (they're still in the dehydrator). Canned 19 qts. peaches. Made 3 pts. elderberry sryup. Froze 1 1/2 lbs blueberries. Canned 9 1/2 pts. "blubarb" jam (blueberry-rhubarb), following this recipe from Chez Beeper Bebe. Canned 5 1/2-pts. peach-blueberry jam. Got ? 1/2 pts. peach honey, 2 1/2-pts. elderberry-peach jam, and 5&1/2 pts. quince pectin from our friend who was canning with us (we share labor and our kitchen and supplies; this was our share of what he made).
4. Waste not: The peach honey was a good example of using all the scraps--it's made from the peels that would otherwise have gone to the chickens (they got them afterwards).
5. Preparation and storage: Working on getting our canning shelves re-organized.
6. Build community food systems: While chicken-sitting for us this past week, our friend decided he wants to get some chickens, too (yes, we recruit!). And we've been canning, as usual, with these friends, which makes it a community experience, and much more fun, too. One of them worked up the nerve to ask some (politically polar-opposite to us) neighbors for their elderberries, something we've been wanting to do for years. They said yes, in exchange for a jar of jam. The husband was very eager to try them, as previously "we just let the birds have them."
7. Eat the food: We ate a lot of take-out to accomplish all this in a weekend. But we did have a great dinner of roasted veggies and fruit cobbler.


marica said...

How fun! We did that too with the peach skins. I cooked them down and they became the most delicious jam. I was nice, because it is hard not to eat the just made jam that is supposed to be for later on. I figure it probably has tones of vitamins in it too.

Lise said...

Mmm...I'll have to try cooking them down further for jam; good idea. :-)