Thursday, November 29, 2012

Walnut Harvest

We are still in the midst of Walnut Season! The eight English walnut trees have produced abundantly. The photos also show what a beautiful fall we have had...still no hard freezes, so the leaves on the trees got to turn every colorful shade and we have enjoyed the streaming golden light everyday. Some of our grandkids have come to help pick up and play in the walnuts and on Halloween they had a brown sugar coated treat to keep the monsters away! At this time of year there are fewer crates drying inside by the woodstove, usually between two and four crates. At the height of the collecting season, there were 3 racks across by 4 racks high by 6 racks deep in our living room...that is a lot of walnuts drying with two fans blowing and the woodstove keeping a steady dry heat. Literally hundreds and hundreds of pounds have been picked, dried, cured, bagged, and shelled! Now we are selling them by the poundage either in the shell or out of the shell. Once they are shelled, it is best to freeze them right away for the optimum freshness. We like to use vacuum packers in pint and quart size bags, but also use freezer bags. We are enjoying the nuts in the kitchen eating them raw, in granola bars, walnut pralines, in soup, plum cake, cranberry-orange-walnut birthday cake, pumpkin or butternut squash casserole, in Thanksgiving stuffing, brown sugar and cinnamon coated, and more! We also love the leafless walnut branches silhouetted against a crisp, cool, clear evening sky~ How do you like your walnuts?

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Oh, the pears from the Rogue Valley are irresistably tasty treats! We have several varieties on the farm and each one is perfect for one form or eating or preserving as the other: Dehydrated pears, pear butter, canned pears, pear pie (YUM) and fresh to eat or juiced pears. One of the sweetest, juiciest parts of the autumn harvest.