Amidst the technical woes there were some fun things:
First, I found out more about my mis-named squash which is a Cushaw, or kershaw. It is sometimes used to make canned pumpkin! So my dreams of pumpkin pie will be realized - yay! I'm really excited that I found several of these monsters growing all over the property - including hanging over the top of a fence. I'm not sure I was able to show just how big they are from the picture shown here.. so here is another with my work gloves for scale:
This one is huge!
And I just can't stop clickin' happy snaps of the geese.... we have a real flock! That's OD in the lead:
I love you, OD!
It turned out that Mrs. Beezley only hatched one chick... so we named him Neo because he is "The One."
Little Neo with Mrs. Beezley
And then there are all these peaches..
What could be more summer-like than baskets of peaches and black berries?
Well, I guess this big tomato:
I think this is a Tula Black.. just stunning. And tasty too!
I'm going to start a Canning Report.. kinda like Farm Notes but, listing what we "put by." This will help me figure out how much we put up, what worked best, and will help me plan for next year. Sorry if its boring but this is easy record keeping for me:
* 4 pints of blackberry preserves
* 3 pints of tomato sauce
The blackberries are made with low-sugar Pamona's Perfect Pectin. This used the 2 quarts of berries we got from our orchard friends. I used only 3/4 cup of sugar for the entire recipe. They set up very nicely.
The tomato sauce was processed in a water bath for 35 minutes from tomatoes that I gathered to make our pizza sauce. I let them process while I finished cutting up peaches for a crisp. I think doing small batches may be a good strategy so I don't have to spend huge chunks of time doing just canning.
Tomorrow I'll do more of the peaches (as preserves) and see what else I can work on.