Google+ What I Made Today: September 2020

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Salty's Final Egg


Ol' Salty’s final egg.

Backyard farming has its highs and lows, its ease and challenges, its joys and sorrows.

And I am grateful for all of it.



Thursday, September 3, 2020

Oil Preserved Orange Bananas

It's - for sure - tomato season. Every day there's more to harvest, and I'm so grateful, as I am every year. This year I'm growing four heirloom varieties: Cosmonaut Volkov, Opalka, Romany (known, commercially, by another name), and Orange Banana. And it's Orange Banana that I'm working with today. 
I still have plenty of canned tomato puree from past years, so this year I'm focused on other preserves and preserving methods for my paste tomatoes. One technique I stumbled on that I've never tried before is roasting and packing the tomatoes in olive oil. There's varying information out there, not on the process, but rather how long they keep in cool storage. Some say weeks. Some say months. So I'll be making a few batches to see what my results are, in the frig, and in our basement. 

In any event, the technique is super-simple: Clean, dry, slice the tomatoes (if using a cherry variety I'd poke a hole through them with a skewer, or slice in half). Place the slices on a baking sheet, salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Roast in a 420F degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

Then pack the tomatoes in a jar, leaving no room for air pockets, and 1.5 inches of headroom... 

Top with at least an inch of extra virgin olive oil, ensuring no plant matter is exposed to the air. Cap and keep in cool storage (IE: refrigerator, or a cool cellar). 

I'm anxious to see how these last. I'm equally anxious to use them in cooking. This first batch I made plain and plan to use it as the last jar in the test. I'll be making two more batches flavored with garlic and herbs.

I have preserved eggplant and peppers in oil with positive results, and am hoping the same holds true with tomatoes. Techniques like this are valuable to me (and to all of us), as they reduce water use, which is vital as clean, potable water continues to be raped 'n' ruined by the captains of greed 'n' profit... the captains of end stage capitalism. But, anyway...

I'll be harvesting more tomatoes to eat, to dry, to can, to ferment, and experiment with. Clearly, tomatoes are a staple in our little hut. ::nods:: 

Peace.  🕊

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Welcome to September


And to a rumination of randomness...

As summer wanes this month, the pace of harvest 'n' preservation ratchets up, and when autumn arrives the pace will spring into overdrive. So it is that September dances with pace 'n' quickening.

All things considered, the rhythm of August felt balanced to me, and for that I am so grateful, as it was a month that beat with holistic challenge. For many of us. Now, with September's arrival, I know that cadence is preparing to surge, and I'm - yet again - grateful that I was able to make time 'n' space last month to reflect on July's transitions, transformations and actions, and I hope that I'll be able to manifest similar time 'n' space in the coming days 'n' weeks to reflect on August's integrations.

It's been a strange summer, for so many, if not all of us. I pray that we - collectively - are not waiting around for a return to any semblance of normalcy. As autumn approaches, this is our season to plant the seeds, bulbs, rhizomes, creative dreams of action to make manifest something fresh 'n' fair, good 'n' right, caring 'n' just. In big ways. In wee ways. In any way that fits.

As I move forward into September I will give attention my holistic plantings, as I consider behaviors and actions in the gardens, in my community, and in the greater world. I invite you to do the same.

To learn more about what's coming up this month and the special offerings click here.

Peace.  🕊