Drying calendula

DryingCalendula_croppedLots and lots of calendula blooming… in fact, the more you cut, the faster is grows. We cut the blooms in the morning when the dew is gone, put them in a red plastic cup for a few days (to make it easier to pluck the petals), spread them on an old paper bag to finish drying, and then put them into a freezer bag and into the freezer. This winter we’ll make calendula soap to sell next spring. Super natural, and super good for you!

Prepping tomatoes for canning

PreppingTomatoes_croppedHere come the tomatoes. Instead of canning them a little at a time as they ripen, we’re boiling them for 45 seconds to loosen the skins, soaking them in cold water, and then peeling them (the skins just fall off), cutting them in half, and freezing them until we’re ready for a day of marathon canning. Our tomato plants are doing fabulously this year, so we’re planning on putting by a LOT of quart jars.


chowchow_croppedCanning season is starting. It’s a bit of work now, but it brings back memories of summer when you open a jar in the middle of winter. We did a jar of chowchow today… a mixture of pickles, onions, peppers, green tomatoes, spices, vinegar, and sugar, although there are as many recipes as people who make it.

Apple wine on the way

AppleWine_croppedSure, we’ve got the carboys and the fancy air locks for making wine, but when you’ve only got a small batch of apples to ferment into apple wine, all it takes is apple juice, sugar, yeast, water, a couple of sun tea jars, some plastic wrap, and rubber bands (elastics, for my New England friends).