Saturday, September 6, 2014

dry bean harvest part II

Some days, I love being able to run my little farm all by myself. I love the freedom, the quiet, and the tiny successes and failures that I don't have to share with anyone else, unless I want to.

Other days, I know I cannot farm alone. Today was one of those days. With an impending weeklong vacation and over 2,000 row feet of dry beans that were ready to pop, I had to get the harvest in before I could leave. Thanks to my superstar husband Jake and friend Jennie, we got it all done, and even had time for a summer picnic.

Jennie and Jake show off some of our haul
victory kiss
another use for a greenhouse: beans and squash (not my squash) curing
more of the harvest, safely in the barn

Thursday, September 4, 2014

seed saving part II

Recently I wrote a post about saving tomato seeds. At the end, I left you with a cliff hanger: I was about to work on saving my tomatillo seeds! I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath ever since to see how it turned out. So here's a photo essay of the magical process of harvesting DeMilpa tomatillo seed.

the equipment
husking the tomatillos; I rejected the pile on the left because they didn't look ripe
into the food processor, along with a bit of water
[insert loud whirring noise]
tomatillo puree!
dump in a bowl, add a bunch more water, then stir briskly
Now the magic! When you pour off the tomatillo slurry, you find a bunch of seeds sitting, heavy, in the bottom of the bowl! This shot is after just one pour and refill. You can see there are still some tomatillo bits in there. It took several more rounds to get rid of all of them.
Ten rinsing rounds later, I had some clean seed. I scraped it onto a plate to dry out.
I stirred them whenever I thought of it to keep the seeds from clumping too much. The next day, they were dry.
Full Cellar Farm tomatillo seed, ready for next year!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

canning day today

No farming today. It's time to put up some of the hot peppers and tomatillos that are weighing down my plants. On the agenda: hot pepper jelly, Asian garlic-chile sauce, and tomatillo salsa!

Katherine, one of my shareholders, sent me these pictures yesterday--before and after shots of her tomato package. She reports having made "11 pints sauce, 4 pints pickled, 3.75 pints ketchup, and 3 pints crushed" over Labor Day weekend. Way to go, Katherine!

Now I better get back to work!