A journal of our day to day; homesteading and homeschooling in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Monday, September 20, 2010
We've been picking cranberries on our property this past week. We've got a couple gallons so far and I'm hoping to get several more. Last year I learned that if I dip the berries into a simmering honey syrup for a minute before dehydrating, the end result is a glossy dried cranberry that still has some body to it, whereas previously when I just dunked them in hot water, they were dull and papery when dried. I could never have too many dried cranberries on the shelf. I will also freeze a couple gallons for muffins and breads. I've been thinking of making a fresh cranberry, plant and root tincture to prevent and remedy infections, bladder infections come to mind. Also I juiced some cranberries and apples recently, added a little honey and had a tasty cranberry drink. I've noticed that they keep fresh in the fridge at least until Thanksgiving and almost till Christmas, so I'll be sure to keep some around for Thanksgiving recipes that call for fresh cranberries.
Birch trees in all their autumn glory. This photo and the one below were taken by Noah.
This past week has also found us making and canning applesauce, planting garlic, pulling, picking and harvesting all the tender crops; tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, beans and onions. Our hallway is piled high with boxes of green tomatoes - a hundred and thirty pounds of green tomatoes that will gradually ripen, providing us with fresh tomatoes through November. I'm also thinking fried green tomatoes, green tomato ginger preserves and green tomato chutney are all in our near future.
All that is left in the garden are carrots, beets, leeks, peas, a few scallions, radishes, kale, flowers and lots of cold hardy greens that we've been ignoring, endive, escarole, radiccio, purslane and arugula.
Last night we ate the tastiest pork ribs I've ever had. My brother and I were discussing how the season is almost done and how we are almost feeling prepared for winter. Pig and chickens in the freezer, picking the last of the berries, Dustin has finished hauling all the hay for the winter, just have the garden to put away.. and the ducks, and the turkey... so I guess there is still a lot to do, but we are getting closer each day.
We are a family of four (with one more on the way), living in the Arctic Boreal Forest above Fairbanks, in the Interior of Alaska. I write about our simple life and trying to keep our life simple in a day when the typical American life is anything but. When I first started writing this blog I had a toddler and a baby and we were a growing homestead. I wanted to share our day to day and all the lessons we learned along the way, from mixing our own chicken feed to goat kidding season and cheese making. As our children have grown, home schooling has really taken over and I have had to examine every aspect of our lives to keep our days simple yet fruitful. These days you will still find me posting and sharing pictures of our chickens and garden, berry picking and salmon processing. I also hope to be writing about home schooling decisions and lessons as well as other interests and hobbies the kids and I explore. Reader interest and feedback is what keeps me writing, so please leave lots of comments!
The here and now of our homestead is what I'm writing about. Compelled by a sense that we are participating in something significant, heading back to our roots... this is my attempt to share what we are learning along our journey. For those of you on similar paths, whether you are raising kids, a flock of chickens, a couple goats or run a farm, well I'm hoping to learn from you as well, so feel free to put in your two cents!