Well it’s that time of year again. The apple trees are heavy laden with fruit and the beets are ready to be boiled, roasted, pickled and anything else you can think of. It’s all hands on deck, especially with the apple juicing…apples have to be washed, crushed and pressed until the liquid pours out, ready to be pasteurised and put in sterile jars. It’s a lot of work but the results are worth it, a years supply of 100% organic apple juice…
This is just the beginning…
UK health and safety would have a fit with this equipment! Only safe to be touched using a wooden stick, prodded intermitently and willed to work using a few encouraging words!
Press until the juices start to flow….
Pasteurise and then enjoy…pure liquid nectar!
Only three more trees to go!
I hold some seeds and dry bulbs in my hand, they are small, hard, ugly and self contained and yet at their heart is the mystery of life. Every April when the snow is still lying on the ground I look at my garden and think to myself, “it’s probably all dead”…the winter was too long, too harsh, nothing can have survived the wintry blast…but then as always, the miracle happens! The snow recedes and tiny shoots start to appear out of the hard dull earth and life springs forth, fresh again as though there had never been any difficulty. How could you ever tire of this? It’s amazing!
I have never longed for spring so much as I have done in Estonia. Those first couple of sunny days with birds singing and grass beginning to show are just a delight.
Being so far north we have a very very short growing season, so in March to get ahead of the game we start filling our window sills with all sorts of seed trays. My hubby has become a dab hand at growing his own chillies and coriander (cilantro). We had become so used to our Friday night curry in the UK, that when we moved to Estonia, in the absence of any spicy food, he decided to start cooking his own and growing his own ingredients….bonus!!!
I am no expert, so I just stick with the traditional favourites that I know people grow in these climates. I’m really pleased with my mini greenhouse consisting of a plastic tub and lid that can be carried in and out each day until the weather gets warmer…and before you ask, yes, those are toilet rolls that are being used for my cabbages, leeks and lettuces! When they need planting out into deeper soil the loo roll goes in too and just adds to the compost! Neat!
I have found a few neat tricks from the Estonians who are forever growing things. So now whenever I find an onion at the bottom of my veggie basket that is a bit past it’s best, I don’t throw it out. Just stick the end in a little water and within an week or two you can enjoy you own home grown, spring onion like greens in the middle of winter…how cool is that!
So next time you don’t know what to do with the kids…just get a packet of seeds or bulbs, an old onion and maybe a loo roll or two and let them discover the magic.