The rains have come - soup is simmering on the stove. I've been busy preserving and canning. The bees are prepped for winter. Our latest batches of preserves - Tomato Chutney - which is oh so good on curries, but also rice and beans, ham sandwiches and cheese plates. Marionberry jam - Oregon's own berry, everyone's favorite! Did you know that berries have a family tree? Marionberry Great and Great Great Grandparents are the Pacific Wild trailing black berry and Himalayan blackberries? And Loganberries?
Our Venus grapes are a seedless variety from U of Arkansas - similar to the Foxy Concord w/o seeds. I've created a batch of spiced grape jam, with the total goodness of the whole grape. This we enjoy on a PBnJ or over yogurt, and on toast. My Grandma Savka, would have loved this over her cottage cheese. That's what folks used to eat before yogurts were widely available.
Honey harvest was good this year - our honey is a light yellow- full of pollen, really raw and floral. The nectar sources are wild blackberries and lavender. I've been on a mission to learn as much as I can to be the best beekeeper I can be. I really enjoy listening to podcasts - as my off farm work means I drive long hours. My favorite ones are "The Hive Jive" and "Beekeeping, Short and Sweet". We use a lot of honey in making our granola, which I churn out in huge batches to keep my menfolk moving. Plus extra Virgin Olive oils, lots of sunflower seeds and cashews. My oldest son has food allergies, so this granola I've named after him "Branko's Blend".
Hops went crazy - we had a massive harvest of Cascade Hops - developed at OSU for the craft Brew industry, and first used by Anchor Brewing in Cali in the mid to late 70's - the first craft brewery. We love fresh hop beer, so vacuum packed a whole freezer full of fresh hops. Hubby hopes to get to brewing soon.
More to come - stay tuned for farm updates.