Day 237 – applesauce, tomatoes and honey

It’s been a food-themed few days around here.  Tomatoes keep coming on, so I’ve been coring them and filling baggies to keep them in the freezer until I have several hours to can.  I think I’m at 4 or 5 bags full right now. I was out harvesting tomatoes this evening, while the apples were […]

It’s been a food-themed few days around here.  Tomatoes keep coming on, so I’ve been coring them and filling baggies to keep them in the freezer until I have several hours to can.  I think I’m at 4 or 5 bags full right now.

I was out harvesting tomatoes this evening, while the apples were cooking, and saw that there are even more green beans ready to pick.  I’m very happy about this, since we had to dispose of jars that did not seal properly this year.  As the House Stark motto goes – winter is coming.  I’d rather see too much food preserved, than not enough.

Also cooked down and canned up the mess of apples from our tree, along with some various and sundry apples that were laying around our refrigerators.  6 pints of applesauce later, that’s done.

Had the great opportunity to watch a honey harvest Saturday afternoon at Angry Hippy Farms.  Robert has had bees for several years, and they open their home at honey harvest time to show the process and sell the honey right then and there.  Doesn’t get much fresher and pure than that.

We’ve been considering getting bees for the farm, and since it would be up to me to tend the hives (Denny + bees = bad), I wanted to get an idea of what I would be getting into.  Robert already had taken the supers (the boxes with the honey frames) from the entire hive, so I didn’t get to see the excitement that happens when working around angry bees, but I remember from having hives as a youngster that lots of smoke is advised, to keep the bees sluggish and less likely to sting.  Robert said he wasn’t able to pull all the frames because of time, and the bees were particularly angry that morning.  Good thing for bee suits.

2013-08-24 15.32.29

This picture is Robert using an electric “knife” to cut the wax caps from the comb.  Once both sides are un-capped, the frame goes into a separator, which spins the honey out of the frame.  From there, the honey is collected and strained several times to remove any wax, bee bits, and other debris.  Finally, the strained honey goes into the jar, and out the door.

Final answer – it’s not easy (but what is on a farm?), but doable.  Another beekeeper friend gave me his last year catalog, from which I can buy starter kits – comes with everything needed to start beekeeping.  Looks like my Christmas list will be very short – beekeeping kit, please!

Tomorrow is the first day of one of my 2 college courses to teach, so that will throw another “thing to do” into the mix.  I’m ok with that though, because time management has never been one of my strong points.  I actually do better (well, up to a point!) with a busy schedule, because I know that thing A needs to be done, and class A starts at this time, so I better keep on track or else thing A doesn’t get finished.

 

Day 237 – applesauce, tomatoes and honey

It’s been a food-themed few days around here.  Tomatoes keep coming on, so I’ve been coring them and filling baggies to keep them in the freezer until I have several hours to can.  I think I’m at 4 or 5 bags full right now.

I was out harvesting tomatoes this evening, while the apples were cooking, and saw that there are even more green beans ready to pick.  I’m very happy about this, since we had to dispose of jars that did not seal properly this year.  As the House Stark motto goes – winter is coming.  I’d rather see too much food preserved, than not enough.

Also cooked down and canned up the mess of apples from our tree, along with some various and sundry apples that were laying around our refrigerators.  6 pints of applesauce later, that’s done.

Had the great opportunity to watch a honey harvest Saturday afternoon at Angry Hippy Farms.  Robert has had bees for several years, and they open their home at honey harvest time to show the process and sell the honey right then and there.  Doesn’t get much fresher and pure than that.

We’ve been considering getting bees for the farm, and since it would be up to me to tend the hives (Denny + bees = bad), I wanted to get an idea of what I would be getting into.  Robert already had taken the supers (the boxes with the honey frames) from the entire hive, so I didn’t get to see the excitement that happens when working around angry bees, but I remember from having hives as a youngster that lots of smoke is advised, to keep the bees sluggish and less likely to sting.  Robert said he wasn’t able to pull all the frames because of time, and the bees were particularly angry that morning.  Good thing for bee suits.

2013-08-24 15.32.29

This picture is Robert using an electric “knife” to cut the wax caps from the comb.  Once both sides are un-capped, the frame goes into a separator, which spins the honey out of the frame.  From there, the honey is collected and strained several times to remove any wax, bee bits, and other debris.  Finally, the strained honey goes into the jar, and out the door.

Final answer – it’s not easy (but what is on a farm?), but doable.  Another beekeeper friend gave me his last year catalog, from which I can buy starter kits – comes with everything needed to start beekeeping.  Looks like my Christmas list will be very short – beekeeping kit, please!

Tomorrow is the first day of one of my 2 college courses to teach, so that will throw another “thing to do” into the mix.  I’m ok with that though, because time management has never been one of my strong points.  I actually do better (well, up to a point!) with a busy schedule, because I know that thing A needs to be done, and class A starts at this time, so I better keep on track or else thing A doesn’t get finished.

 

Day 232 – apple picking

They ain’t too pretty, and I didn’t get out there early enough to get more of them, but we have apples from our own tree! The last few years weren’t very good to our fruit trees – no fruit for at least 2 years, maybe 3.  We have a lot of crabapple trees, and several […]

2013-08-20 20.32.19They ain’t too pretty, and I didn’t get out there early enough to get more of them, but we have apples from our own tree!

The last few years weren’t very good to our fruit trees – no fruit for at least 2 years, maybe 3.  We have a lot of crabapple trees, and several apple and pear trees.  They are all producing very well this year (except the one apple tree that we pruned a few years back -sigh).

The trees are old and have been left to their own devices, so we’re trying to be cautious about pruning, so as to not over-prune and kill the trees.  And as the fruit comes in, I’ve been planting apples in pots to see if we can start some new ones.  We don’t know what type of apples or pears we have, but they are tasty.

I’m now looking around the internet to find a nice fruit picker – I was out there balancing on a ladder, on uneven ground.  Yikes!

 

Day 232 – apple picking

2013-08-20 20.32.19They ain’t too pretty, and I didn’t get out there early enough to get more of them, but we have apples from our own tree!

The last few years weren’t very good to our fruit trees – no fruit for at least 2 years, maybe 3.  We have a lot of crabapple trees, and several apple and pear trees.  They are all producing very well this year (except the one apple tree that we pruned a few years back -sigh).

The trees are old and have been left to their own devices, so we’re trying to be cautious about pruning, so as to not over-prune and kill the trees.  And as the fruit comes in, I’ve been planting apples in pots to see if we can start some new ones.  We don’t know what type of apples or pears we have, but they are tasty.

I’m now looking around the internet to find a nice fruit picker – I was out there balancing on a ladder, on uneven ground.  Yikes!

 

Day 231 – I am the champion

Finally!  I beat Denny at putt-putt at the Darke County Fair – although he tried to cheat my score. This has never happened before, so I’m going to make a fuss about it. He thinks he’s funny by calling me “Evil”.  har har har  

2013-08-19 20.45.24Finally!  I beat Denny at putt-putt at the Darke County Fair – although he tried to cheat my score. This has never happened before, so I’m going to make a fuss about it.

He thinks he’s funny by calling me “Evil”.  har har har

 

Day 229 – leather britches, dried

Well, according to the interwebz, what you see above is what leather britches (aka dried green beans) should look like.  It appears that my experiment has worked – we’ll see what happens when I try to rehydrate them for eating. Kind of looks like french fries on a string!

2013-08-16 11.59.28

Well, according to the interwebz, what you see above is what leather britches (aka dried green beans) should look like.  It appears that my experiment has worked – we’ll see what happens when I try to rehydrate them for eating.

Kind of looks like french fries on a string!