The harvest is continuing round our place. One friend dropped a bag of figs and grapes on the front doorstep. I took a bag of plums over to hers on a run!
Then I went to visit another friend who is house-bound after surgery, taking a care pack of salads and mains. She asked me to deal with her nectarine tree. It was so heavily laden! I collected a huge bucket of fallen spoiled fruit (things such as this are known at our house as ‘chicken happiness’). Then I picked fruit for my friend and another visitor, and then two more buckets. Then I cleared fruit out of her neighbour’s gutter! The tree was still covered in unripe fruit.
I shared nectarines with two other households and then put our share in jars, since we have a young nectarine tree which is bearing enough to keep us in fresh fruit. Oh, and there were more plums. Just one jar this time.
There was also a handover of a HUGE bag of frozen hibiscus flowers from a dedicated friend, bless her heart! They had to wait a couple of days, and then I decided it was time to use the only dependable looking big jar I had for them. I wasn’t sure they would all fit, but in the end, with defrosting and squeezing … they did.
In went fermented citrus peel water and aluminium foil water (thank you to India Flint for yet another ingenious use of kitchen discards that are neither worm happiness nor chicken happiness)… fabric, threads, and so on… (last week’s batch are here for size comparison).
I filled another, smaller jar with kino from an E Sideroxylon I had been saving, and another (slightly less) large jar, albeit with a rusty lid which might not seal, with my mother’s dried coreopsis flowers. That was all the dye pot would take for processing.
Three more for the pantry shelf. It is so interesting to see such a deep green already developing in the hibiscus flower jar…
4 responses to “More summer preserving”
‘Chicken happiness’ has just been added to the Chez Fork vocabulary. Just don’t confuse the eating with the dyeing. Mine share the same shelf as well.
This is a term that leads to a lot of merriment…. glad you like it too!
Nectarine envy!! I tried a dwarf peach tree here, but between the diseases, insects and thieving critters (I’m thinking of you, you masked bandit racoons!) I finally gave up and took it out again. One year I had over 40…I saw some part-eaten on the ground…wrapped each remaining one up in row cover fabric. Two days later they were all gone. The year before when the tree was smaller I’d build a netting cage around the whole thing, weighted with stones at the bottom. One day there was not a fruit left…no sign of an entry point. No…not humans…the tree was well-hidden in the back yard!
I never seem to have the energy during the beastly humid heat of summer to steam up the kitchen with canning/bottling….
We have been lucky with the weather so there have been days when it is fine to be bottling as well as days of heat. I must admit we have lost a lot of fruit to possums, birds and rats. I try to take the view that we need to share with them and the native animals are having their habitat decimated by humans. But, we have an apricot tree and have never seen an apricot. The possums eat the leaves down to a shred! Fingers crossed you can achieve a better share of your fruit in the next season!