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Sep 4, 2017

September Is National Preparedness Month, Apple Harvest- Canning Time!

September Is National Preparedness Month-
After the recent disaster in Houston it's good to review what you may want to have on hand before an emergency hits. Here's some ideas from the Prepare for Emergencies , but there's lots more online. I think a good strategy (sometimes) is knowing when to leave the area if you can. And buddy up with your neighbors. Here's a sample of a few things I've been doing recently-

Bought some chicken quarters on sale (cheap BBQ prices) to repackage and freeze, ditto bacon in a bulk package, have been freezing fresh fruits, and bought bulk rolled oats to store in big jars-

Found some great wool socks for winter at Costco, since mine are so worn out, $10.00 for four pairs-

Lots of canning, see below post. Am stocking up on more 1 gallon water jugs, batteries, will buy a few more rechargeable ones for our outdoor solar lights, checking our ice melt and snow shovel from last year. More bad snow is in the long term forecast. I hope they are wrong as last year was Snowmageddon!

Poor Dave shoveling, again

But very pretty!

Apple Harvest- Canning Time!
I'm thrilled and tired, but we're having a great Pippin apple harvest this year! After a major pruning a few years back we didn't have many apples. Sunday the tree was full and then some. I took tTues./Wed. as vacation days giving me a time buffer. I just hoped the tree would cooperate :) I just wanted to do the bulk of it with Dave home to help. Pippins are a great variety, crisp and good for baking or just eating raw. We pulled out the perfect ones and they went in the fridge in the crisper. They keep well for a few months. Lots on the tree in our front yard-

Tree bent heavy with fruit

Dave picked the entire tree, brought them in the house/on the deck, we started washing, cleaning  and putting them in containers-

Usually I do the processing by myself, but with my back standing for long periods really gets to me. It also went much faster with the two of us. I sat at the dining table cleaning and cutting, while Dave worked at the sink-

Since we don't spray our trees, they're wormy, so we cut the bad spots out. We may try spraying with an organic spray next spring. With the canning food processor it removes the peel and seeds. You basically just 1/4 and cut off the bad spots, cook, and throw in the processor. Works great! The hens loved the leftover pulp, oh my!

After I got the 1st big pot full of apples cooking Dave went out to harvest the rest. I decided to make applesauce first since it's more labor intensive and messy. I use the largest screen blade on my Roma Strainer Deluxe Sauce Maker since I like mine chunky. The first batch of apples (5 gallon pot?) yielded a about 10 Qts., and I didn't need to add any sugar they were so sweet. I did 6 more after that including 4 spiced, like apple pie filling.

1st batch

2nd batch

Looking good!

More room to go!

Dave told me after weighing some that we were looking at several hundred pounds, maybe 300!

I did canned apple slices today. Apples slices, so much FASTER than sauce. Just slice, toss in Fruit Fresh, make a light syrup, then process. Some of them floated even though I thought I jammed them in. Oh well. I had to stop mid-afternoon and evaluate if we would need more sugar or lids.  We had a LOT of apples! It was hard to judge given the bug spot factor. Luckily a grocery store with a good supply of canning supplies is 5 minutes from our house. I sent Dave down to get more sugar and lids. I set aside a small box of apples to apple butter Tuesday. We had just enough 1 Qt. jars! We both agreed to give away about the last 30 Lbs. of the apples on Craigslist. We know there are people that could use them for themselves if needed, or as feed. We felt good giving them away, since someone picked them up within 30 minutes of posting. We both didn't want to work til midnight, and Dave starts his new job tomorrow. We have plenty for the 2 of us, share the wealth I say. Our total was 62 Qt.s of apples products this weekend-

Last batch cooling

Dave and our haul!



Kristina said...

Oh, I can't wait for apples on our trees. I want to can so much with them. Your bounty looks awesome. I've been thinking about winter prep too. We have the winter clothing in storage, but I think we should buy another shovel, and double check batteries, and like you, dry food supplies. Even pet food. I like to put a large tote of it in the garage.

Susan said...

WOW! That's a lot of apples! What a wonderful sight - all those filled canning jars.

Little Homestead In Boise said...

If apples are a great fruit to can and there's so much you can do with them! I always feel like winters not too far off when I hit September for some reason

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Yes and it was definitely much faster with two of us because I'm not sure how long it would have taken by myself maybe four days?

Rain said...

Hi Nancy :) You're not kidding that last year was Snowmageddon...that was the year Alex and I said "we don't need a snow service...we can shovel out ourselves" this year. We are investing in a snowblower if we can swing it! Too many sore muscles to go through that again. We are pretty much prepared for winter. We have everything we need and a plan when the power goes out, because it ALWAYS goes out in this area.

Wow that is a lot of apples, kudos to you both for doing all that work! It's rough work, I know from last year's 80 pound in one day tomato canning extravaganza...but I still have 5 jars! :) This year though, the prices of tomatoes are way too high to make it worthwhile. And my tomato plants are still green. Oh well, you take what you can get right? :)

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Yes, we're in a high desert area and that was a once in a century storm, but another forecast for this next year :( And yes it pays off in the end to can that much! We'll eat them and share with our kids :)

Grandma's House DIY said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us at the To Grandma's house we go link party - I'll be featuring it tomorrow morning when the new party starts!