Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wine Brewing

I started making my first batch of wine tonight. Since starting to brew last fall I have made three batches of beer and a batch of hard cider. The only thing left is wine so I thought I would give it a go.

Here is the grape must all mixed with pitched yeast on top

Here is the wine in the fermentor with an airlock on top

The kit makes a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which is my favorite white wine. I am hoping it is really close to the Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that I prefer. If everything goes well there will be 30 bottles on Dec 8th which I will split with my Sister.

If you would like to see the brewing proccess check out my other blog: Daniel's Home Brew

Monday, October 25, 2010

Harvest Monday

It has been quite a while since I participated in Harvest Monday. On this rather grey but warm fall day I decided to harvest some crops. I headed out with a basket, clippers, camera and a pint of Muskoka Harvest Ale. The ale was a fine dry hopped pale ale by the way :-)

I ended up with quite a nice mix of veggies today. The fall has been great so far, no frost, lots of rain but a little lacking in sunlight. Frost must be coming soon so I brought in everything that will be affected by a freeze.

  • Three Waltham Butternut squash
  • A couple bell peppers grown from Granny's seed. The bell peppers had to much shade this year so they didn't produce well. I'll have to relocated them next season.
  • A good bunch of Big Chili II peppers, they seemed to do alright in the shady spot. I will roast them, remove the skin and freeze for later use.
  • My lone head of cabbage was brought in, it was grown some seed shared by Soggy Creek Seeds . The chipmunk ate the rest of the crop early in the spring.
  • One head of fall broccoli, more to come for them.
  • I also picked the only Petit Gris melon of the season. They were shaded by the tomatoes early on and didn't seem to like it.
Today I also harvested a bunch of Red Fennel seed. They were not so good at producing fennel bulbs but did produce very fragrant seed. I'll dry them and make porketta and maybe some Italian sausage later on.

Here is what I have harvested in the last couple weeks, Just some red celery. This celery is hallow inside and is only good once cooked. It has a reddish base and adds an excellent celery flavor to soups, stews & red sauces. The celery was used in a Leek & Potato Soup and Lasagna.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall Photo's

Today I have some photos to share of the new season. The air has cooled and all the leaves have changed in our area now. I really enjoy the fall, it's similar to spring but without all the work. The fall has been pretty good so far, fairly cool but no frost yet. Below are a few photos I have taken on the nicer days:

Field o' pumpkins. Spooky Hallow Rd, Norfolk County Ontario

Turkey Point, Ontario

Martyn Line & Jamestown Line, Elgin County Ontario
This was kind of a crazy road. You had to cross a river and
the bridge was really old and had wood paving. Wish I took
a photo of it now.

Levey Lake

Cow's on West River Rd in Glen Morris, Ontario
They appear to be grass feed, not a spec of corn in sight!

Trumpeter Swans. We have seen them nest two seasons
now on this pond. They had two babies this year.

This is another shot from the pond with the swans.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Harvest Monday

For today's Harvest Monday I have the last two tomatoes of the season. One Kellogg's Breakfast (seed from Granny) and one Japanese Black Trifele. The tomato season was good compared to last year but it was definitely not a home run either. They were late to produce and then got blight late in the season. I tried starting the tomatoes much later this season which resulted in a much later harvest. Next season I am going back to starting them 8 weeks before transplant.

Also in the basket is a bunch of Double Yield Cucumbers. They are still hanging in so they may make a few more appearances.

I also picked this butternut squash that was getting this weird pattern on the skin. Ever seen this before? It almost looked like it was excreting sap that was forming this pattern. I peeled the skin in this area and the flesh looks completely normal and was still very firm. Not sure if I have the nerve to eat it though!

On Sunday I cleared out all the tomatoes plants. Because of the blight they all went out with the garbage. Not running the risk of contaminating my compost! I also knocked off all the lower leaves on my brussels sprout plants . My thought is the plant will now send more energy to the sprouts. Hope it works!

The harvests will now be sifting to cooler season crops. The weather has really turned now, seems like the norm now is 15c (60f) in the day and 5c(40f) at night. The only warm season crops left now are peppers and they will be coming in shortly. I was hoping they would turn colour before harvest but I don't think that will happen now. Seasons are a changin....