FYI

Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Making use of the harvests!

Well, time does seem to be flying this year, although the weather has been fantastic hereabouts for the past few days, there's still a definite feel of the onset of autumn, the trees are taking on a gorgeous hue, there's a distinct nip in the air as soon as the sun dips and the nights are definitely getting colder!

We're still harvesting good amounts from the plots, but also having to take time to process it for storage and later use! Lee spent today processing about half of the sweetcorn, cutting the kernels from the cobs to produce our own sweetcrn kernels for the freezer, half the cobs produced about 10lb of sweetcorn kernels, quite a bit to use through the winter! Methinks next year we'll look into how to use dried kernels in order to maximise our storage!
The 15lb of grapes I harvested last week have been crushed and about a gallon of juice extracted, which is now fermenting nicely, proper homemade wine from grapes! This will make the 7th batch of wine that we've made this year, the first batch of Elderflower (the one from a kit) is now bottled and should be ready to drink by Samhain! The 2nd batch of Elderflower is still bubbling away nicely, as are the Elderberry and 2 batches of summer fruits, but the broad bean wine seems to be nearing the end of its fermentation, so hopefully we'll be racking this off in the next few weeks to clear a bit more, then bottling it for future consumption! One of the things Im finding almost as interesting as making the wine is also making labels for the bottles, a bit of pottering around in OpenOffice with a few free graphics has yielded both the Elderflower labels and the Mead labels below, which I think look great! Let me know what you think about them (yes I know, I dont need fancy labels, its only homebrew wine for our concumption, but as we've 42 bottles of wine and 30 bottles of mead on the go, I thought it best to properly label them, and once the design is done, its seconds of work to print a batch off and stick them to the bottles with a glue stick, much better than writing our the same label 6 or 30 times! Lol!!
 The honey we've saved from the wax cappings (a byproduct of the extraction process) has now been processed into 5 gallons of mead, which is bubbling away nicely in a fermenting bucket, and the wax has been melted down and the first 2 candles produced!

All in all its been a good year on the plots, we've still plenty of things left to harvest, plenty of crops still to process, and a lot of clearing and mucking of beds to prepare for next year, but it does feel as though its definitely all been worthwhile!

Hope your growing season has been enjoyable, your crops bountiful and your harvests are still safetly coming in! More to follow soon, thanks for reading!

4 comments:

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Love the labels! And a labour of love such as you have described certainly deserves more than wobbly handwriting and a cramped hand...

Mrs Dobby said...

Thanks Janet, making the wine is time consuming, but a good way to use the gluts, and of course a useful product to boot! Its satisfying to see the results of your work bubbling away, knowing that you'll have something not only home produced to share with friends, but also something that will definitely be a talking point, or at least will lubricate the vocal chords! lol!

Thanks for the comments on the labels, Im happiest with the mead ones, I found the bee image as part of a l;arger picture, so had to crop and sort it out before I could add the writing, took a bit of time, but Im very happy with the results, and the mead itself is basically a byproduct, using the honey that was 'lost' during the extraction process, all the honey that dripped and was in the cappings, so finding a way to use it adds more value to the whole beekeeping experience!

The Idiot Gardener said...

What I seriously would not recommend is fermenting some of your honey, and then running the wash through a device from Stillspirits, because it would make a very strong drink, and would be illegal. So don't, whatever you do, go the Stillspirits website at www.stillspirits.com and buy one of those totally wrong and evil Turbo Airstills to use up any honey glut.

Don't.

mangocheeks said...

Your labels are fantastic. I've recently starting experimenting, but am not happy with what I have. Will continue until I like a format.