They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, we were in desperate need to find a better way to harvest our seven olive trees in time for Trattore Farms' Community Milling Day last Sunday. For the past years of olive harvest, we've shaken the limbs or stripped the olives by hand, and then chased the ones that rolled or bounced off the tarp we'd laid down to collect them. There had to be a better way.
This year, we’ve decided to only plant what we know we will eat.
A common quandary in the Russian River Valley this time of year is what to do with all the persimmons? A full-grown tree can produce a lot of fruit, and all of it is ripe at the exact same time. The fruit is too precious to let it spoil -- I see small, little guys going for $2 at the local grocery store -- so here are some ideas for how you can use all that lovely fruit so it doesn't go to waste:
My canning buddy, Mary Radu, suggested we use her dehydrator to dry some for use during the non-persimmon season. I went to her house, loaded with persimmons and expecting another full day of work and education. To my surprise, it was easy.
I’ve never been a gardener. I’d never even really wanted to be a gardener. Now I’m faced with almost seven acres of property. Most of it is covered with vineyard, but more than two non-vineyard acres surround our lovely little farmhouse and are calling to be more than a gopher-and-mole nature preserve. I long to have interesting beds overflowing with vegetables and flowers with lovely paths winding among them.