Wednesday, November 7, 2012


A little update on my summer and fall.

I got lots of elderberries this summer.  I picked about a third of them which amounted to about 2 pounds.

 I made elderberry syrup out of them.  I boiled them, added sugar and then strained them with my coffee press since i didn't have a jelly bag or muslin.

This picture is of the squashed i picked. Four Delicata and nine Butternut.  I processed all of them into dehydrated powder for easier storage.  More on that later.

The Red Russian kale did awesome again this year.  I should always grow it.  Even the dog likes it,  and our toddler does too.

My tomatoes blighted out early this year,  it was pretty sad.  I hardly got to use any of them because they rotted so quickly.  Worse thing was that it was really a bumper crop coming on.


I managed to find three Monarch caterpillars at the end of summer.  They were quite large at the time and only about four days from pupating,  so we didn't have to wait long for butterflies.

My 3 year old helping me release one back into the "wild".
 Another shot.

The release spot.  It wasn't quite ready to fly,  but i didn't want to leave it in the jar too long so it would rip its wings.

A small harvest of Jerusalem Artichokes.  This all came from a spot about three feet square.  I have 10 feet of them....
 Here's a particularly large one:

Processing squash into powder:

These are the ones i used, plus one more Butternut and a pie pumpkin.

Topped and tailed for safer handling.

 Baked, then scooped out and mashed a bit.

My largest stainless steel bowl....   mostly full of almost all the squash and pumpkin.

I ran the mush through my Foley food mill to get a uniform consistency.

I spread the puree thinly on the dehydrator trays lined with plastic clingfilm.

Started up the dehydrator and went outside to look around.

I found more ripe Goji berries.

This is their first year and between the two plants i must have gotten almost 50 berries.  I'm liking that!

Playing outside for a bit.  Its getting very cold.  We've had a number of frosts by now and its been as cold as 22 degrees.

A day and a half later...   once the top was dry enough,  i peeled off the plastic and flipped the sheets of puree to continue drying.

I broke the sheets into chips which i ran through the blender until ground into powder.

End product:

Quart jar mostly full of squash/pumpkin powder.  Convenient for rehydrating to be eaten with a little butter and sugar or to be made into pies.  Such a reduction in volume is worth the time and effort!

Much easier to store this way,  especially with an oxygen absorber packet inside.

That's all for now!


Dewberry said...

I love elderberry fruits! You can do so many things with them. In Poland, majority of middle-aged people claim that elderberries are highly poisonous and it's unwise to eat them, but old people claim that only unripe fruits are poisonous; black and fleshy elderberries are healthy and can be the ingredient of jams, syrups and juices. I've tried them many times and I'm totally alive :)

Leigh said...

Well, I got here and thought, gee it's been awhile since Icebear posted. Then I started scrolling through the post and thought, gee it's been awhile since I visited! Great post, great photos. Your garden is producing wonderfully.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on your blog and love seeing what you grew! I grew up back east and skied in Maine each winter
So beautiful! But I love where I live now ( Seattle area) I garden a half acre have poultry
I want to ask How did you prepared and eat your Jeraselum chokes? I love them he eaten them raw roasted and boiled mashed with butter, very tasty.BUT the gastric aftermath was NOT WORTH IT!

Any tips?

icebear said...

The only thing i have heard of preventing or reducing the gas is to just eat them fairly regularly. I guess the body gets used to it over time.

I like them mashed and roasted along with a baked chicken. I have seen some recipes for JA soups that look delicious, but i haven't tried them yet.