Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rose hips, cider and pumpkins

We've had a couple of really hard frosts this week that have finished off a number of plants in the back yard. The good news is that autumns brings with it new things to forage.

Jess and I went out after some rose hips this week. In the past, we've gathered high-bush cranberries and chokecherries, but she was keen to try rose-hip jelly and dried rose hips for tea this year.

Picking was easy as the valley is lousy with various rose plants. We haven't done much with the berries so far but I promised to jelly this afternoon. I also cut a few to give the tea a try.

In the basement, the cidering continues. On the left we have a batch that just finished the first ferment. The carboy is picking up some colour from the walls, but it is fairly pulpy after racking it off from the primary.

The carboy on the right has finished the second ferment, been racked off (leaving behind much of the pulp and yeast) and is bulk aging. You can (sort of) see the more jewel-like quality of its colour after six weeks of fermenting and clarifying.

I learned a lot this year about cidering, including the need for slightly more apples to get full carboys. The bunch on the left is also much nicer, being a blend of apples (better bouquet). A bit of mixing is likely in order once the fermenting finishes. We may try to make vinegar out of some after bottling the rest.

The frost melted the squash patch on Friday morning so we hauled the one big (20lbs) pumpkin we got in to harden up some for a jack-o-lantern. We bought a couple of smaller pumpkins and processed them for muffins during the winter. I've also gotten my bread pans out. If the rain stops today, I plan to harvest the rest of the beets and work on the last remaining big bed. I'm also going to call for a tree removal estimate this week out front so we can finish the landscaping out there before the snow flies.

No comments:

Post a Comment