A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Long Term Forecast

This is the forecast for the next 5 months or so.
Compelling indeed. We've said it before and we'll say it again, these dogs have a pretty rough life here at the homestead.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Fall Grape Harvest

When we bought our house a few years ago it had two large established grape plants on the outside of a South facing fence line. The grapes made a nice visual addition to the fence, softening the hard line of 50+ feet of wooden fence and gave us some fruit too. Our first Fall harvest was modest and we made enough grape juice to fill two gallon containers. 

This Spring saw much more rainfall and we deliberately irrigated over the Summer with our flood irrigation a few times per month. As a result the grapes got much more water on a more consistent basis. This translated into a whole lot more grapes that were much sweeter than prior years. These are 5 gallon Home Depot size buckets.

Alycia's parents also bought us a cool Christmas present last year - a Stainless Steel Steam Juicer (Amazon link). We had actually found this online a few years back and bought one for them and they enjoyed it so much they figured that we needed one as well.

The juicer makes the process much simpler and tidier. Fill with water and grapes and set on the stove on high. Then it took an hour or so of steaming and we had about a half gallon of juice and some steamed grape mush (which we happily composted). The grapes are dark, Concord-ish. They're sweet with lots of seeds and will probably be turned into some grape jelly forthwith.

The end result of a few hours of picking grapes and another several hours of tending the steamer was about 6 gallons of tasty grape juice. It's in our chest freezer for now and we'll make some jelly and unfreeze the rest periodically throughout the Winter for a fresh, tasty treat.