Saturday, November 26, 2016

Pre-Christmas fun

Were still waiting for the first major snow of the winter but pre-Christmas stuff is underway! Jess has been baking-and-freezing for a few weeks so we're ready to go.

Last weekend we took in a street festival on 124th street and I bottle the rhubarb wine It has been aging about four months in bulk and is quite nice. I don't really care for white wine (I was mostly keen to experiment with wine making from scratch) but this turned out nicely. A bit sweet (I might have been a day or two early killing the ferment) and lower in alcohol than the reds I've made. But very drinkable.

I also hauled the blackberries I'd hoarded all summer out of the freezer and made jam. This was our first year with enough blackberries from the bush to bother with. The jam turned out very nice with a much richer and sweeter flavour than raspberry jam (my first thought was  "jollyrancher!"). Hopefully the bush is mature enough to give us crops in subsequent years--it certainly started suckering a bit this year.

We spent today decorating the house for the holidays.

As I'm making a pre-Christmas run to Calgary this week, I also put together some Christmas packages. This meant pulling the fruitcake out of the cupboard and packaging it. It had quite a lot of rum in it (I may need a nap...).

The lengthy fall means we've basically finished all of the outdoor tasks for the season and even put everything away before the snow! I am hopeful we'll be able to ski and skate soon!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Autumn wrap up

Wow, the fall has gone fast! We've been busy with lots of non-gardening things but we have managed to get to the end of the harvest season as well.

The weather has been uneven this fall. We pulled the carrots after a snow storm (which was unpleasant) and decided to abandon the rest of the bad beet crop.

The tomato harvest has been killing us. I called our reinforcements in mid=October and much tomato sauce was made and frozen.

We pulled down the bean trellis in the front and moved some raspberry suckers to the raspberry hedge on the side. Jess and I then dug the Jerusalem artichokes out.

We bought maybe five of these three or four years ago. They are quite prolific and a touch invasive.

This was the haul this year. The three in the front of the picture below are just smaller than a baseball (left) to just under a ping-pong ball (right). We planted about half the crop in a new, sunnier spot this coming year (in the hopes that they would bloom).

The rest we guerilla gardened in the hope that they will stabilize a slope.

We then did one last tomato grinding. I decided to just freeze the pulp (6 litres) as I'm too busy to sauce it. I turned the excess skin and seeds into soup stock for the Hallowe'en pumpkin that I roasted this morning.

We have some wine in the basement to bottle. I've been going to the local gardening club meetings (there is talk of a community garden) and I agreed to do a talk in December about turning stuff you grow in your garden into hooch. So the rhubarb wine needs to be bottled and I am apple jacking out back. With a late season heat wave, I'm hoping to kayak the next few days.