Independence Days Week…?

Plant something:  nope, but I have bush beans and my fall crops to get started later this week.

Harvest something:  tomatoes, eggplant, cantaloupe, chard, chiles.

Preserve:  brined dill pickles.  The brine was pretty cloudy, but the pickles weren’t slimy and they tasted OK so I canned them anyway.  I read up on that, got pretty freaked out by listeriosis but it was all related to refrigerator pickles and so I’m pretty positive the fact that they aren’t allowed to ferment through before getting put in the fridge (bad bacteria wins in that case) is the main culprit.  Plus, some of the organic places that have websites highlight the fact that their dills are cloudy, because they are fermented through before canning, so I figured it was probably a good thing.  I have just never in two years of brining my cukes seen it THAT  cloudy.

We tried to make raisins, which you can’t do very well on an electric dehydrator; they get cooked crispy.  So I’ll be getting my solar dehydrator out and trying that.  I put up 8 bags of pre-measured 2 cup bags of zucchini for the annual Christmas zucchini bread I make.  The raisins were to go into the bread too; I have organic ones I bought in bulk from the coop but I was hoping we could use our own this year.

My friend is taking care of her friend’s farm in addition to her own, and was getting over run with milk to the tune of about 8 gallons a day.  We worked out a deal and I made cheese from 16 gallons of raw cow’s milk and two and a half gallons of goat milk.  Yum!  I learned that when you are using raw milk you need more citric acid and slightly more rennet if you want the mozzarella to come out firm.  Most of it is in the freezer. I’m looking forward to winter evenings of pizza with our own cheese, veggies, sauce, and a hand made crust.  We already did one and it was pretty fantastic.

Eat the food:  pizza, cheese, cantaloupe, pickles, grapes, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bread, bulk storage.

Build community food systems:  nope.  I had my annual visit with the doctor after getting my annual blood work.  My thyroid dosage was raised.  No wonder I was so tired all the time!  Maybe I’ll get motivated to actually do something in this regard when the weather cools down a little.  We’re back up in the upper 90’s to 100’s every day, with the humidity of the monsoon season too.  Yuck.

Reduce waste:  nope.  Well, I made ricotta from all the whey, and used some on the plants, and gave a lot to the chickens.  Wow!  Their eggs got huge, and the shells are massively thick now!

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