The past 2 weeks have been a flurry of harvesting and processing the abundant bounty we've been blessed to receive, and there is plenty more still on the vines/tree!
We started the week with 12 pints of mushroom Spaghetti Sauce using our organically grown heirloom "Roma" tomatoes we grew from seed, as well as herbs grown ourselves. This was my first attempt at making completely "homemade" sauce, and canning it. I found it to be quite simple, although I was surprised at how long it took to cook it down to desired consistency (Almost 3 hours!)
I was lucky in that the "Vulgare" Oregano I started from seed did splendidly, and was able to not only use it in my sauce, but dehydrate enough to refill my 2/3 empty spice jar, too! I may even perhaps get one more dehydrator tray from it before end of season.
As far as freezing, I harvested and froze a gallon of "Greasy Beans" which I'd planted from seed given to me from my dad who'd saved his seed from last year. I had forgotten how tiresome stringing and breaking up beans really was, since I hadn't done it since I was a child. Therefore, we've decided to let the rest dry on the vine for soup beans and for next year's seed.
Speaking of seed, I'm giving tomato seed saving a try for the first time this year as well. I have also already begun harvesting seed from the "Boquet" Dill and Cilantro. I had already dehydrated the dill weed and frozen the cilantro leaves over the past month. The cilantro will be going into salsa this coming weekend with the rest of our tomato crop!
I am sure I'd mentioned previously there was an established apple tree on our property. This week, they are ripe and ready to pick. This evening, we processed a total of 13 jars of apple pie filling, however, one didn't seal properly for whatever reason and will be tomorrow's dessert over vanilla ice cream! This weekend, we will be canning apple sauce and making Cinnamon Apple Chips in the dehydrator.
On top of all this, I've got 5 trays of herbs on the dehydrator as we speak- 3 sage, 1 marjoram, and 1 thyme (I grew the thyme from seed this year as well). I am so thankful my brother bought it for us this past Christmas. It's really been a huge time saver. I'd definitely recommend one to every gardener!
Before I sign off,I suppose I should also mention the steadfast efforts of our laying hens. We faithfully receive 4 eggs per day, and our four youngest should begin laying any day now. We are not sure which of the 2 Jersey Giants haven't been laying, but no matter, since they've been free-ranging, there is a decline in the tick population and we have plenty of fertilizer for next spring!
That's all I have for now. Hope everyone else is having a bountiful harvest as well!