Unbelievable! It is October 29 and I still have a bushel and a half of pears to finish preserving! The very end of the end of the tomatoes were turned into 3 quarts and 1 pint of spaghetti sauce this week. I have to admit, I love making spaghetti sauce. I love letting the newly strained tomatoes cook down over 24 hours until I have sauce thicker than than the Prego brand! Even in the dead of winter, when you crack open a jar, the scents and flavors of summer are right back in the kitchen.
But I am truly amazed at how well the pears produced this year. I have already put up dozens of sliced pears and pear-cherry chutney. Tomorrow I think I will make spiced pears and more chutney, as Mike eats the chutney by the jar if I don't hide them first And of course, we give quite a lot for gifts. My apples nevey really provide anything more for us than a few treats for the horse...I'm certain this is because we don't spray enough. Honestly, I wouldn't spray at all if I could get any fruit otherwise. I am determined to expand my no-spray policy from the garden to the fruit trees, if I could only get my husband on board.
"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver I am convinced the more we spray, the more pests we end up with. Don't buy that theory? Read the book! She can explain it far better than I, a novice can. We've made some very good changes at home using sustainable methods of composting, recycling, raised bed gardening, rain water collection, etcetera, but I really need to research and actively try to control my fruit pests in a more natural and balanced way. I think my biggest fear is that it is going to entail a lot more hands-on work for me. I already am overwhelmed in the spring, summer, and fall with planting, hand picking pests, weeding, harvesting, preserving all the produce as well as the animals we keep. Stay tuned we'll see what happens in the spring.
Oh, and hopefully after tomorrow I'll be posting about some artwork I'm working on! :)