Processing Fruit! :)

Ahhhh.. what a happy time of year!

 

When you have to much fruit than you know what to do with than you know life is good. This time of year there are blackberries, plums, figs,  sooooo many peaches, and of coarse strawberries (because they never end). And coming on are apples and pears 🙂 🙂 :). Now as some of you know I’m leaving White Oak in about 2 weeks! Time flies be.. especially when you stuff your face with fruit all day. I swear I’ve consumed so much fruit that I’ve experienced fruit hangovers. But, as I’m leaving soon I’m absorbing life at White Oak as much as I can. So I’ve been drying lots of peaches and strawberries so that I can take some home! (For me and friends and family). Yesterday I spent the whole day processing fruit with Sarah. After AM animal chores I started picking blackberries and we picked about 4 gallons. Then we boiled that down and added a bunch of peaches (because peaches are amazing and why not?) Then we added ginger, cinnamon, and a little sugar (way less sugar than any canning recipe calls for!) We spent a lot of time on the jam and in the end we had 3 gallons worth of jam in half pint jars. I’m so happy that I will be able to take some of White Oak home with me! Yesterday I also put some peaches in the dryer for the farm to have for winter and froze about 5 gallon sized zip blocks with frozen peaches. At the end of the day some people who live here at the farm were hosting a potluck, so I made a peach custard for dessert :). The potluck was very needed because I realized that I hadn’t had any food other than fruit all day. I’ve talked with the farm crew and we think we need a person on crew who just does food cooking and preservation! Don’t we all wish.. but it is really fun and rewarding to harvest and preserve the food on the farm.

I had another RFC class today. The class was at a farm called Blue Fox farm. The farm names around here crack me up.. blue fox, dancing bear, whistling duck, barking moon.. see any kind of theme? Anyways, the class was on post-harvest food handling. The farm was a pretty large sized farm with over 30 acres in production. They have a lot of fascinating equipment, because obviously they can’t do it all by hand. We learned a lot about what it’s like to have  farm that size and how they make the veggies last longer to get to the consumer.. it has to do a lot with cooling down the fruits and vegetables as soon as possible. This often involves putting ice in the salad mix water bucket (which is huge) and ice around other equipment in the wash station. The guy was very knowledgeable and open minded. He was trying his hardest to have a holistic approach for the size they are.

We also had a class last Thursday at By-George dairy. This was an awesome class for me because I’m interested in dairy cattle and would love to work with them one day. They have 14 milking Jerseys. It was 104 degrees when we had the class so we had to sit in the creek for most of it and sample cheese. I got a lot from the class because a love visiting dairy farms and seeing what their do’s and don’t are or what they wished they had done differently. Everyone can from their own opinion, but it’s really about what works with the land, the farmers, and the animals. It’s up to you to decide what works, but it’s still fascinating to see what that is for different farmers.

Anyways, farming has been HOT! This means jumping in the pond, eating fruit, and drinking water as much as possible. Hope all you farmers are having a good season and staying cool!

Cheers,
Farmer Murph

P.S. Here are the Turkeys 🙂 They are so funny. They love when I throw them my peach pit. They are growing up so fast!!!

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