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SWEET! Keeping Up With Farmstead Fruit

All of the fruit ripening at the Farmstead Project has made life a SWEET ride the last month or so. Every visit brings new discoveries in deliciousness and new challenges on how to preserve the bounty. (Thank goodness I am certified as a Master Food Preserver, or we would be in BIG trouble!)

Organic Apples

The Apples:

The apple trees in the orchard are going nuts and so are we (trying to keep up)! Next year, we plan to make cider. This year, we are still trying to identify each variety and determine if it is an eating apple, baking apple or something in between.

So that means a lot of picking…

Preserving the Apple Harvest

And taste testing…Mmmm. Not a bad gig, if you can get it.

We have made a lot of apple pie, apple sauce and canned apple pie filling. (Follow the link to see how to do that. Its easy!)

The Pears:

Many of the trees we thought were apple turned out to be pear trees!

Organic Pears

We seem to have several different varieties, but we were most excited to discover that we had a few Asian Pear trees hidden to the side of the orchard. Yeah! (That is the Asian Pear on the right.)

That mystery fruit?

Organically Grown Farmstead Plumbs

Turned out to be plumbs. (They haven’t fully ripened yet, but they are definitely plumbs!) So far, they seem a little scrawny, but this poor tree hasn’t had much pampering in the last few years. Next year should be a better year.

The Mystery Holes?

Thanks to all of you who commented, tweeted and left me Facebook messages about the trees with these holes. You all agreed that it was from a sapsucker (woodpecker) and the damage is very old.

A sapsucker does not actually suck sap. He just makes a hole in the bark and then comes back later to eat the insects that are attracted to the sap.

The damage could have happened any time, but I am now on the lookout for new damage as we move forward.

We also have a ton of peaches and I have been canning like mad. Watch for a post coming up with a recipe for my low-sugar peach jam. The low sugar really lets the peach flavor shine!

 

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.