Real Food Mama

Musings about cooking, eating and everything in between.

The work of Fall – Putting Food By September 23, 2009

Filed under: Garden Fresh,Home Economics,Real Food Wednesday — realfoodmama @ 2:04 pm
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It was the equinox yesterday (the 22nd) and is now officially fall. The work involved in food preparation is suddenly in full swing. Harvest time. I understand now why farm families tend to have so many children! You need all those hands to help out.

This week we have been working on putting food by. We have made some fruit preserves, apricot as well as a combination grape/plum which I am hopeful will turn into jelly now that it is in the fridge. Additionally I am trying to find some interesting recipes for all the tomatoes we have that are still green. The red ones are being turned into tomato sauce – we are, at heart, a family of Italians – but the green ones, especially the heirlooms that are still on the plants, will have to be picked sooner than later as the weather is starting to work against us.

We planted everything late this year and as a result some of the fruits of our labor are late to ripen and mature. Santa Fe has a relatively short growing season as a result of it’s altitude and it has recently been in the 30’s here at night. Desperate measures will have to be taken! I have found a few recipes, such as this one for tomato jam, which I may try – although I’d be using green tomatoes for it. I may also try to pickle some of the green ones.

Our potatoes can stay in the ground, as can the carrots and parsnips, so we won’t have to do anything with them. The apples are already blown, and produced a wonderful pie which I wrote about. The brussel sprouts can handle a frost or two, but the onions will need to be picked and the beans will have to be set aside as seeds for next years plants.

In addition to all the harvesting we’ve been doing, we also finally got our goats and have been struggling to learn how to milk, feed, and generally care for the two girls. It is quite a learning curve and as of yet we haven’t actually gotten any milk – we have milked the one successfully but she keeps stepping in the pail or, worse yet, knocking it over resulting in the loss of any creamy goodness.

Suffice it to say, we are heading into the winter with some challenges as well as some successes. I am hopeful that the food we are putting away will last through until spring, although I can tell you right now we don’t have nearly enough carrots. In either case we will certainly know what things need to be done next year.

This post is my contribution to this weeks Real Food Wednesday hosted by Cheeseslave.