Saturday, October 26, 2013

The cider press and crusher ended up in the kitchen because the bees became to much of a nuisance.This year I learned to make cider . I actually knew beforehand but never had enough apples of my own to do this.This year was a bumper crop of apples and I took full advantage of it. Tonight I pressed out the last bushel I picked last week.I am bartering with my neighbor for more apples from their tree so that I can freeze up apple pie filling and one more batch of applesauce. I shall give her meat chicken roasters for her freezer.   
     My neighbor, across the street,buried one of my sheep last spring with his back hoe. I did not forget his kindness to me (digging a hole that deep was TOOOOOO much for me to think about!) So.. I told him today that turkey butchering is next Tuesday and he has one turkey coming to him for a sheep funeral (:>
   This week I learned a few more cool things......How to make distilled water. WOW!!!   You can make it yourself with little effort.    Then I learned how to make soda.... carbonated beverages. I LOVE seltzer. This is my next project. I shall buy a CO2 cylinder and make my own.    I'll let you know how it works out (:>

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


My apple crusher arrived this week.With 4 apple trees to pick from this year , I needed one. 

Crush up your apples,let them drop in the nylon pressing bag  situated in a 5 gallon bait bucket ~
 transfer it to the cider press and squoosh away. I got this baby (cider press)  for $50.00 a year or two ago. I grabbed a jar of vaseline and greased those rusty rungs and ZOOOOOM ~~~~~ !!!! Whallah !! That press was movin'  !! All manually cranked and fortunately my husband came come just in time to help me crank. The yellow jackets monopolized the green house during the day  and made it difficult to get anything done until dark. One last giant bee of a different species just WOULD NOT GO TO BED !! (:<     But finally I was on my own in there and with the help of a camping propane lantern I was able to see what the heck I was trying to accomplish.

The cider press may look dirty but it's not. I scrubbed it good with soap, water & chlorine bleach. 
 A chunk of plastic molding is missing from the cider press so that  leakage occurs off  to the side .No matter, that's what roast pans are made for.
 I placed the cider in half gallon canning jars overnight and decided to deal with the rest of the process of canning it up in the morning. I ended up with 7 half gallon jars and a quart. It is sooooo delicious ! I love hot cider instead of tea or coffee all fall and winter.I was left with two huge pots of apple mash that I could have composted or given to the chickens and turkeys but why should I do that since they get so much of everything else I can? Their meat is sweet enough by now so I will save it for my horses (: >

I bagged up the left over mash in empty bread plastic bags, ice bags and just plain zip lock bags and tossed them into the freezer. During the brutal winter weather days I will heat up apple mash and mix it in their grain to warm their bellies. Good stuff!!! 

It's amazing how much produce you can raise in your yard. My garden is smaller than an acre....185 x 185 feet.

The string beans and wax beans ( lacking birth control instructions) overproduced  in a multitudinous psycho drama. I could barely keep up. Actualy....I did not keep up and the rows are now over run by weeds taller than me and the beans have met my quota for next years seed production....and yours....and yours....and yours....

I miss seeing my pretty rows of veggies sans weeds

But, once I lost my helper, Brandon my grandson, to school responsibilities, the garden has taken a hit. 

Well....we will not think of that now!  no~ we shall think of the  pretty corn  for the coming year

Sweet, sweet corn and ~~~
The yummy corn leaves for the horses to munch on

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 2013

This past month has been exceptionally beautiful. Warm by day and cool at night. Apple trees have seen bumper crops and hay farmers are stacking high. I'm drowning in tomatoes and produce and have no rest. There is no end to it all, especially the weeds! God has rebuked the devourer for sure , but like Joseph in Genesis, I'm no fool.Gather the produce in while you have it and let nothing go to waste. Who knows what next year will be like? I remember a few years ago when tomato blight hit from central USA throughout the entire east coast. In only a few days all tomato plants were dead.  Another year I had all green tomatoes and very few turned red. It was a cool rainy summer and many many overcast days.Another year I trashed my knee and could do very little gardening.  Why buy produce when you can gather it for free from your own land ? It lasts for years if it's canned.
I began pulling out the spent produce. Cauliflower was beautiful and most is gathered in.The enormous leaves are pulled out of the ground and given to the horses, sheep and goats. Great calcium,etc.,food source.Of coarse, Gus immediately leapt in front when he saw the camera and posed for a picture.....again. What a wierd dog. 

 Today I canned up sausage and peppers and onions in tomato sauce. Sounds like a cozy winter.
 Grapes are gathered in, de-stemmed , rinsed and ready for grape jelly making and juice.
 Rolling pin works just as well as the $200.00  grape crusher. Takes only minutes. I bought a plastic storage container for $4.87 and I was done in minutes.
I have 2 gangs of turkeys....YESSS, GANGS ! They fight with each other over territory and behave the same way that street gangs  taunt each other. There is the 'Chicken Yard Gang' and then there are THESE guys....the "I Can Go Any Place I Feel Like It' ~ Gang.  Today they first visited my kitchen from the garage roof. "Hi!!  What's going on in there??  Anything I can eat??"

I tossed out a couple tomatoes. They rolled down the roof and are probably stuck in the gutter.Suddenly, I heard a brawl~~~  turkeys challenging each other!!  These guys were in the Chicken Yard turkey territory and a fight was underway!! The meat turkeys dwell in the chicken yard and are twice as heavy in weight as these Heritage turkey guys.They were getting pounded. I had to quickly separate them or broken necks would ensue.  Once separated, they shot back rebukes and smart snotty remarks at one another.The same as any street gang would do.....once safe out of harms way on the other side of the fence.