Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another Feature on Etsy's Finds Newsletter/Blog

How lucky are we? 3 Etsy Finds features in 2 months. We do have some lovely jams, jellies and biscotti... and we're so thrilled to know Etsy thinks so too! So now is a great time to give us try. :D

The wonderful article (which we totally agree with how easy it is to be a little greener): For the Greener Good

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Black Bean Harvest

Thought the plants have died back mostly, there were still come green pods left hanging. I would have felt better if all the black beans had dried on the plant, but only about 1/3 of them did before I harvested. That is ok though, I set up a screen with good air flow to help dry the remainder of the pods so I can shell them all at the same time.

I did 2 harvests of black beans this year. I planted 4 seeds someone gave me and only 1 sprouted. I was a bit bummed, but I got 8 oz of dried beans out of that one plant. It grew, and dried so quickly I was SURE I could get a second harvest. So I planted beans from the first harvest (20) and 14 sprouted to give me this 1 gallon harvest. So I was able to get 2 harvests out of them! I will do this again next year and rotate my crops as well.

Soon I will report back with how many actual dried beans, by weight, I got and if they are enough for my small family. Though I do think I would have used another 20-25 plants to be honest.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Trying New Mixes!

I've been creating jam as if its going our of style! All this wonderful produce coming in and I just can't help myself by making some of my favorite flavors ever while I can. I've put together apple and pear and set it off with a bit of vanilla... I've got some dried cranberries and re-hydrated them in some fresh hot apple juice I made from some of those cortlands, I whipped up a new batch of Cantaloupe and ginger with the last 2 cantaloupes of the year, and today I am taste testing a new flavor 'Mojito' a combination of lime, mint and rum. The limes are imported organic, and the rum... well, its good rum, and the mint is from my garden of course.

So its been a busy busy couple of days around here! Just wanted to share what's been going on. Time to get back to canning.

Cran-Apple Jelly

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's Apple Day!

With harvest season in full swing, today I broke into my second bushel of apples. The first bushel I finished about 2 weeks ago, and those were some super yummy winesap. They were low on winesap and wouldn't be able to get me another bushel for another 2 weeks, so this week we have Cortland apples. Very crisp, reminds me of the apples I grew up in Connecticut with. Much larger then winesap, but hey have a squat donut type shape.

I must suggest this as a MUST try variety. I was told they are an old a variety developed in NY. But not sure about anything with their rootstock. If I knew, I would probably make room to plant a few of these out in our mini orchard. Knowing my area though, for most varieties, I don't get enough chill hours in the winter. These were NC mountain grown.

But for now, I will leave you with gorgeous photos of the apples and the works in progress. Including Apple Jelly, Apple Pectin and Apple Butter in the crock pot!

I am going to leave you with my Crockpot Apple Butter recipe:

(4 Quart size) Crock pot

Peel and core 12-16 apples, chop into 1" chunks
Put in crockpot on high, add Cinnamon (1 tsp), nutmeg (1/8 tsp) and ground ginger (1/4 tsp).
After for 2-2 1/2 hours use a stick blender to puree (or put in your food processor)
Add back to the crockpot on low, mix in 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup white sugar and let simmer for 12 hours.
If the mix is still watery remove lid and check every 30 minutes until the mixture is thick and jam like.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall Garden

Well I just planted head cabbage, chinese cabbage, broccoli and carrots in the last 2 weeks. I see next to no sprouts and I am thinking of replanting some things. However, I am OUT of carrots.

Next week I have onions and garlic coming and that bed for those are set to go. I just finished ripping out the corn and watermelon there.

I wanted to show how much of my garden has progressed, and what I am ready to finish with next.

Acorn squash has gotten bigger then baseballs finally, and I even found a couple of new ones on the vine. So I've found a total of 5 squash on one vine. Should I prune some off if I want these to ripen?

Then I was over joyed to see my black beans are done. The foliage is dying back, and that means the beans will start drying soon. These will be storage beans for some of my favorite spanish dishes over the winter.

I did find this funky looking bug on my beans though? What is it? Kinda looks like a lizard of some sort. But honestly, this thing is tiny. like 1/16" the size of my finger nail.

Check this out... my first butternut squash has appeared!!

Now this is my sprite melon... I'm supposed to wait until the flesh is white to pick... so I'm guessing I need to wait like I did with my watermelons. Wait until the tendril starts to brown and separates easily from the melon. It really is tiny cute!!! No bigger then my acorn squash is now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Etsy Finds Blog Feature On Friday September 3rd

Thank you Etsy for another fabulous feature in your Blog on Friday. I've had wonderful sales, and again have met some of the most wonderful people from Etsy possible. Also so nice to talk to people who appreciate homemade items, and crafts.... things made from love!

Here is a link to the wonderful blog topic: HUNTING AND GATHERING

Found out this morning we also had a featured item over on Larks Crafts Blog as well!
 A wonderful autumn theme, with some GREAT items from all over Etsy sharing a common cool weather theme. Now, if only it would cool down more here. :)
Thanks so much to all our followers, customers and people who've hearted our shop in the past year, its you who've made us such a success!