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September 20, 2013

Well, despite appearances to the contrary (due to my inattention to this blog) life continues on at Deep Root Farm. The harvest was a mixed bag this year. Last season we were bemoaning the drought conditions, this summer it has been all about the rain and cooler temps when the hot weather crops were desperate for warmth.

As always cucumbers and beans were very successful crops. In fact, we still have a 5 gallon bucket of cucumbers in the shop. The chickens enjoy a couple for breakfast every morning. The peppers had a very slow start and at one point Mike was going to pull them up. Luckily that impulse passed, we have quite a mix of sweet and hot peppers. Although, the yellow wax aren’t hot at all. Tomatoes are coming in slowly as well. We have enough for meals but no surplus for canning. Luckily, Mike’s mom, Nana Bonnie, had extra, so I have a few jars of sauce in the pantry.

The winter squash were a disappointment, for the second year in a row; the two small delicata and one acorn on the counter are apparently it. So much for squash soup this winter. One five gallon bucket of smallish potatoes, will most definitely need to be supplemented with purchases from other local farmers. The carrots are beautiful and the beets are small but tasty. MacKenzie loves making raw beet salad for lunch.

Oh, and I can’t forget the bumper crop of shiitake mushrooms. They were possibly the only happy ‘beings’ this summer of wet and humidity.

Apples are the other crop that has been very successful, this year. We have an awesome deal with friends in Canton. They own a small orchard and have formed an informal cooperative of friends. Folks ‘adopt’ particular trees in the orchard and prune them in the spring. When the apples are ready, they have access to the apples on “their” trees. We “have” three trees. The Alexander had so many apples the branches were bent to the ground and most of them were, right off the tree, eatable quality. One Macintosh wasn’t nearly as prolific and the apples were not in great shape and the other barely produced at all. Most were quickly processed into the more than 30 quarts of apple sauce and slices in the pantry with plenty still in the bowl on the table for a mid-day snack.

Apple Press

Apple Press

We borrowed this press to make cider from apples we collected from trees along the road, wild trees on our land, and some of those undesirable macs. Mike picked it up last night on the way home from work.

windfall apples

windfall apples

We couldn’t wait until morning, so set it up by the back door and started processing the apples in the grinder attached to the front of the press, in the dark. The mush slid down the chute into the pillowcase lined slotted barrel. The luscious juice started flowing before we even started screwing down the press.

cider pressing in the dark

cider pressing in the dark

If you have never drunk freshly pressed apple cider it is like the nectar of the Gods compared to the pasteurized s— available for sale. In NYS, even the places who produce it fresh have to pasteurize it. For more on that rant, you can read this past blog post:

sweet deliciousness

sweet deliciousness

Harvest; just one more reason this is my favorite time of year! May your life be filled with apples, fresh veggies and delightful sunshine!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bonnie permalink
    September 20, 2013 12:12 pm

    Tomorrow morning we are going over to R-Falls and process ten gallons of fresh raw cider for our own use. It is SO GOOD.

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