Canning Day and Other Stuff

I woke up this morning at 5:30 to go milk the goats… Of course, the baby was hungry, so it wasn’t actually until 6:00 that I made it out to sweet Honey and Luna.

I had decided last night that after I milked the goats this morning, I was going to begin preparing everything I needed to do some water bath canning. So, that’s what I did!

My darling husband peeled 7 pounds of apples for some homemade apple butter. It is fantastic, let me tell you. We came into a windfall of cooking apples that were given to us by our lead pastor and his wife. I’ve never made apple butter before, so this was largely experimental, and I’m happy to say that it was a success.

I also got several pints of pickles made. We tend to get our cucumbers in waves, so I gave some to the neighbors and made use of the rest today.

Pints of pickles and apple butter

The tomatoes we’ve had coming in I’ve been picking just everso slightly earlier than I think I should and allowing them to finish ripening in the house. Then, I’ve been popping them in the freezer to be used for sauces and salsa once I have a sizeable batch. I’ve actually done the same with our elderberries this year and it’s taken a lot of the stress out of all the canning that has to be done by being able to postpone it until I have time, or until a reasonable quantity of produce is ripe.

Tomatoes in the freezer

I discovered what I thought was celeriac is actually parsnips!! I’m incredibly excited about that. Not that I won’t enjoy the celariac from the potager, but just that I LOVE parsnips as a winter veggie in soups, stews, casseroles, as a side dish… Yum. I’m super duper excited for those.

Other than that, we’ve been doing a bit of tidying around the gardens

Cleaned up an area for next year’s flax crop

And we’re preparing for a hefty nut harvest this year. Our poor hickory trees are loaded with nuts to the point of bending over.

Hickory nuts
One of seemingly tens of hickory trees

And on another very exciting note, we’ve got our first Dunstan chestnuts on the trees this year! And the hazelnuts are producing catkins.

Hazel catkins

Every time we see a tree we planted reach maturity, it’s kind of like celebrating a birthday with a child- yay! We’ve kept you alive and nurtured you to your next milestone achievement! Parents, you can relate.

It’s that wonderfully satisfying time of year where you begin to see the fruits of your labor.

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