Summer Harvest!

So California is having a drought, and we’ve stopped watering our lawn. We’re still watering our fruit trees and our garden. But the drought really makes me want an entirely enclosed greenhouse system that conserves water. Hm. More planning.

I’ve ordered more components for the aquaponics control system.

And a couple of weeks ago I lucked out and got a GREAT deal on a set of steel double doors – special ordered at Home Depot by a customer who never picked them up. I got them at a quarter of the price, $140 instead of almost $600! I picked up a window too. Now I just need to get in the materials to build the wall of my woodshop, and wait for some cooler weather, and I can start building. The woodshop is critical to getting the rest of my plans completed.

I’m really looking forward to the woodshop.

I put up a trellis on the South side of the house for my grape vine – which is already almost half-way across the trellis. I pruned off the grapes this year, I want the vine to put all of it’s energy into growing. Next year though, I should have a LOT of grapes!

Canned veggies!Right now I have a LOT of peppers. Anaheim chilies, Serrano chilies, bell pepper, and Tomatoes. We’ve been canning the peppers, along with carrots and onions in a white vinegar / apple vinegar solution that tastes absolutely wonnnnderful! I’ve been enjoying this fresh produce on my salads, in my meals, and of course canned and on the shelf, ready for use all year around. We’re using a “cold pack” method that should give us good tasting veggies all the way up to next year’s harvest.

So far, we’ve used about 5 cases of jars for canning, both in the 16 oz size, and in the quart sizes.

I’m now looking at purchasing a logging thermometer in order to see the temperature of our storage cellar. I want to be able to store at least one year of food down there, without it going to spoil in any way. Temperature is important for that. I can store lots of things that won’t be affected (much) by temperature too.

It’s so nice to see things coming together.

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