A bit about us...

We are a modern family of three, living on less than two acres with a 3,000 square foot garden that meets our produce needs and allows us to share with friends and neighbors. Our laying flock of chickens seems to expand each year as we raise chicks each Spring to replace older hens. This blog is more of a journal, if you will, for us to chronicle and share our experiences in the yard, garden and kitchen. It is our hope that along the way a few folks might learn something, be entertained, or simply enjoy sharing in our stories and the lessons we learn on a daily basis. I named the blog after the times when I am the happiest, when I am elbow deep in earth.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tastes of summer - Peaches

I thought they were so pretty,
I "instagramed" the pic.
When my best farm friend showed up with a surprise peck of peaches, I wasn't bummed.  I popped them into the refrigerator for a couple days and pondered what to do with them.  They were ripe, so I couldn't afford to let them sit on the counter, or even in the refrigerator for long. I decided these sweet, smaller, first peaches of the season should go to something besides jam, so I made a list of possibilities and landed on Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce (recipe can be found here). Boy am I glad I did! It is simply delicious. It's a thinner barbecue sauce than one made with tomatoes, but will be great on grilled meats. It will be fun to experiment with cooking with it. One peck of sweet little peaches yielded 24 jars of this deliciousness. There were about 18 little sweet treats left out of the peck for fresh eating as well.

Not bad for a leisurely hour of picking
For round two of peachiness, two Saturdays ago, Lexi and I picked a beautiful bushel of peaches to start our weekend off right!

So juicy!
She begged to try one before we left, so we looked for the ripest one of the bunch and shared it. It was so juicy and delicious!  She sat on the cart with our bounty and enjoyed the "fruit of her labor" happily.

They were not immediately ripe, which bought me some time to do other chores. The downside to this was that they were ready during the week! So, how much does a bushel of peaches actually work up to in preserved goodness? Let me show you!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Waste Not, Want Not: Part 3

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I LOVE using every part of the produce, ingredients and other items I work with. I've written on it before with cherriesvanilla beans and re-purposing old objects. This time I just have to share with you how this can be done with corn. Yes, corn can be used beyond cutting or eating it off the cob!  How? You ask... Well, let me tell you!

Over the weekend, we picked up 5 dozen ears of corn from the farm stand, which amounts to 65 ears. My math is correct... they offer a farmer's dozen of 13 ears! Our first goal was to can the corn for winter use. This meant husking and cleaning the silk from all 65 ears, then cutting the corn off each and every ear. There was just one ear that wasn't fulling developed (partial pollination likely to blame), so it went straight to a chicken that's been ill and in isolation for a few days. Not bad for a big batch of corn, 1 in 65 right? The rest were beautiful and full of sweet and tasty kernels.