Independence Days

Hmmm. I haven't been very good at thinking about this. I think I need to write it up somewhere where I'll see it. Those graphic posters are very popular, maybe I should type it in a nice font and find a frame in a charity shop so I can put it up in the kitchen? Will work on that...
So how have I done?

Plant: Nothing. I really need to plant some lettuce in the greenhouse for the winter. I might get away with some speedy cut and come again seeds this late and it is very mild still.

Harvest: Lots! A few herbs (thyme, bay, rosemary, huacatay, sorrel, salad burnet), LOTS of tomatoes and apples, from my garden and other local houses. My friend told me last night she still has lots of apples on her trees so that should be the second juice pressing sorted (see below)

Preserve: We made cider from the apple pressing. It was supposed to be juice but we didn't get our shared pasteuriser in time, so we'll do a second pressing and get our act together. We don't buy a lot of fruit juice but it's nice to have some as  a soft drink option.
   I've also made green tomato chutney, bottled apple puree, dried apples, apple powder, apple pie fruit leather, apple and quince fruit leather, dried tomatoes (for shelf storage and freezing in oil), Asian chilli jam, quince glaze, quince brandy, quincemeat and I blanched and froze some green beans. Husband made some beer from a box. We'll work up to doing it from scratch but it works out way cheaper than buying it and tastes good as long as you buy a good kit and leave it for longer than they say when you've bottled it. I think this one was Woodforde Wherry.

Waste Not: I got given lots of grapes which will get dehydrated I think. I thought about grape jelly but we have plenty of jam. The children where I work leave a lot of fruit at snack time and I would like to bring those home to feed my chickens but as it's against DEFRA regulations in the UK obviously I don't do that. (We do have a compost bin and council food recycling at work.)
  The leftover pressed apple pulp went on the compost heap.
  Our local small animal rescue charity (both the charity and the animals it rescues are small, if you were wondering) has a tombola at the town Canal Day this weekend so I gave them the new and unwanted toiletries that eldest daughter had lurking in a cupboard and some unopened bottles of spirits and liqueurs that my dad had been given but never drunk that we took when we were helping my mum declutter.

Want Not: I said yes to some jam jars from a friend (I'm running out despite my impressive collection!) and she also gave me a really nice hoodie in a favourite shade of green.

Eat the Food: We're eating a lot of apples and the last of the summer squash from the garden plus fresh tomatoes while we still can...

Build Food Systems: We bought a joint of pork from a local farm (and ate it roasted with apple sauce and then had pork and apple sandwiches all week. Yum!) I bought 2 pumpkins from a friend who is selling them to raise money for the Nepalese Orphanage our village supports and there's been a lot of swapping of apples, cider and apple pressing labour.

Skill Up: Reminded myself how to can/bottle after a couple of years of not doing it and there's an Introduction to Permaculture day course in Oxford I'd quite like to do.

How have you done? Do share either in the comments or link to your blog.


  1. Ah, I remember the crazy preserving days of autumn! I am in the middle of spring planting, which is actually much more relaxing:)

    1. Yes, I have piles of fruits reproachfully sitting around the kitchen that I really need to do something with. At least the seeds don't rot as you look at them!


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