Thursday, September 01, 2005

A bountiful harvest!

When we came to Bag End we knew that the property would need some work to bring it back to full health. This spring we spent a good many hours pruning our fruit trees and training the grape vines. We also sprayed the trees to prevent various diseases and insects. Yesterday I stepped outside for a breath of fresh air and I cought three deer bounding away across the back of the property.

"Honey, it's time to pick our apples"

"Is it time?" She asked.

"The deer seem to think so. Last year they waited until the fruit was perfect before eating all of it."

Indeed the deer were right. It was time. The grape vines were overflowing and we must have picked at least a bushel, or maybe half a bushel...What the hell is a bushel anyway? Well, we picked a lot of green grapes and some red.

We also picked a mess of apples which, while looking better than last years crop, were spotted and grungy looking. Well it turns out that all they needed was a bath. We scrubbed them un til their faces shone brightly and then mercilessly hacked them up and made a pie. We're not sure what to do about the grapes. I think we're going to have to cook them down to juice to make jam, a fairly time consuming process according to the internets. If we cock it up we still have a lot more red grapes that aren't quite ready yet.

The great thing is that this is our fruit, our bounty. Although we lived in the midst of a farm for five years, it wasn't our product (plus they were growing pumpkins, which aren't really a snacking food. But there grapes and apples are ours. Was it worth the effort, time and expense? I think so.


Anonymous said...

On "Good Eats" the other day it was recommended that if you want to preserve berries, then you freeze them with dry ice instead of simply putting them in the freezer. Perhaps this could be done for the grapes?

Here's the recipe for the strawberries:

"1 quart strawberries, de-stemmed
1 (3 pound) block dry ice

Wash strawberries and place in a paper towel-lined colander. Cover with another paper towel and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Break your dry ice into small pieces, and toss with berries in a large bowl. Place into a container and cover with a towel. Place this in a cooler for 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove berries and put into sealable bags and store in the freezer."

Ed Dale said...

I have to say, the pie was very very good.

Anonymous said...

Second-ing what Ed said. Dat was one yummy pie!!!

Anonymous said...

Dee and I thought it was some damn good pie. Thanks for sharing!