This time of year is very busy on our homestead. Like folks on homesteads everywhere we are getting ready for winter.
In our case this means, freezing and dehydrating food grown or bought. Because we do not have a basement we simply don’t have a lot of room for canned goods. I can put a few jars in our kitchen pantry cupboard but cannot make canning the focus of my food saving system. Although we have an ample sized 2,000 sq. ft. home, our heated storage area is a bit tight.
A few of the fruits of my labor this summer; kale, green peppers and peaches.
Initially I dabbled with air dehydrating of herbs and oven dehydrating of apple slices both of which work but take more drying time and space.
Then late this summer (after many years of saving for and dreaming about a highly efficient dehydrator) I purchased a 9 rack Excalibur dehydrator and am in the process of learning about it. My first project was to dry sliced green peppers and much to my surprise I found that I could get 15 large green peppers in one quart jar after they were dehydrated. Now that’s a great space saver! Peaches were next up and then some giant curly kale leaves. Soon I will try dehydrating sliced apples and pears.
With the exception of strawberries, black raspberries, and a scraggly old apple tree, we don’t grow our own fruit yet so I am dependent on either buying or gleaning them, the method that I prefer. Luckily we are blessed to live in what is called the fruit belt and wonderful fresh fruit is prevalent here. I am so grateful to live in this lake moderated area with many orchards to choose from. We can easily find and purchase apples, peaches, apricots pears, plums and more.
I am currently researching heritage trees for our own orchard and hope to get this orchard going as soon as possible. We want to have our own apples, peaches, pears, paw paws and fig trees.
Drying basil on cookie sheets takes approximately two weeks and no fossil fuels.
One of my favorite books on fruit trees is The Beautiful Edible Garden, by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner with Studio Choo. ISBN: 978-1-60774-233-3.
I plan on visiting a great heritage fruit tree nursery is Southmeadow Fruit Gardens, Baroda, MI. e-mail: smfruit@a
|Southmeadow Fruit Gardens Choice and Unusual Fruit Tree Varieties for the Connoisseur and Home Gardener.
|Southmeadow Fruit Gardens was established to make available choice and superior varieties of fruit trees and plants for the connoisseur and home gardener. After searching for sourcewood and testing for authenticity, these varieties are propagated at our nursery in Southwestern Michigan. They are available to the public through this online catalog.
Thanks you for reading and/or following.
Small House Homestead Donna