Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summers Off?

Most kids in America get the summer off from school. A lot of us see summer as a time to kick back, go on vacation. Summers off is actually a relic from times where nearly everyone had a family farm. Summer is such a busy time of harvest and food preservation that families couldn't afford to have their kids at school. They needed all hands on deck at this time of year.

This summer I've been going to school, manning my little dirt spot of a garden, visiting the local u-picks, and preserving food for the winter. This leads to a lot of late nights and stuffed weekends. It should all pay off in the end though.

So far this year I have stored up:

* 12 pints of clam chowder base (add the dairy when you eat it)
* 6 half-pints Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam
* 1 gallon frozen strawberries
* 2 1/4 gallons frozen cherries
* 10 1/2 half-pints blueberry-raspberry jam
* 3 gallons frozen blueberries
* 21 1/2 half-pints Blackberry jam
* Several baggies of dried herbs
* A basket of garlic
* 12 quarts canned peaches
* 2 gallons frozen peaches

My freezer is now packed to it's limits. No more freezing this year. A deep freeze is my dream for when I move into a house.

I still hope to can a bunch of tomatoes, some pickles, some beets, and try my hand at some plum jam.

The last chore of the harvest will be to get the walnuts and hazelnuts from Josey Farms. They come pre-cracked, but you need to separate the nuts from the shells. The nuts are ready in late october/early november.

With all of this I don't have a lot of free time during the summer, but I'm fitting in a few roadtrips anyway! We're off to the Redwoods during my 'fall break' from school.