Category Archives: wild harvesting

#624: Summer sweetness

 A long, long time ago, last June,
I spent hours pinching off peaches.
Each branch of our peach trees had 20 or so tiny peaches.
Each branch can fully grow only one, maybe 2.
So off came the extras. 
And the effort paid off.

Even in the high branches.
 A pinching off of excess ‘stuff’ and activities
in the rest of my life may well prove equally fruitful.

Summer sweetness.

More sweetness: from our hive.
The bees have filled the frames.

All that excess comb on top!
Sweetness guarded by stings, a bee suit helps.
One more harvest: wineberries.
These are an invasive raspberry relative from Asia.
We love them.
As does one cheeky catbird who swoops in even 
when we’re picking.

The beginning of winter stores.
Saving summer sweet to get through bitter winter.
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#391: Spruce tip ‘balsamic’ vinegar

Also known as poor man’s balsamic.
No, balsamic vinegar isn’t made from balsam,
it’s made from grapes, then aged 12 years.
I don’t have time for that but spruce tips
make a summery substitute:
 As soon as the brown sheath falls off, pick the new tip.
 I get about two cups, eat some while you pick,
they’re yummy.
Not too many from one spot or your tree will grow lop-sided.
A few here, a few there.
This was one of our Christmas trees, years ago.
It’s still blessing us.
 See? The tree is taller than our house.
Chop the tips roughly.
Lean in and smell.
Mmmmm.
 Add enough apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar to float the tips.
 Plus a half dozen peppercorns and a dollop of honey.
Rosemary is good if you plan to use it in a reduction.
Screw on a plastic lid and set next to the sink.
Shake daily for the next three weeks.
Do your happy dance while shaking.
God is so good!
Now strain and enjoy.
In salad dressing, sprinkled over veggies or
straight up as a pick me up.
Who needs yucky old coffee?