I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, for my own benefit. Because I wasn’t listening properly last time. Preserving waits for no man! Autumn is a great time to get projects done, because the weather actually does cool down a bit, quite beautifully. But then again, it’s not such a great time for great big, hulking projects, because there’s so much that needs to be harvested and preserved.

My box of peaches arrived, after probably a more-bumpy-than-desirable trip. I responded by making them wait for a few days, because I was busy with the Demo Project. The peaches responded in a huff by starting to turn brown faster than you could sing, “Moving to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches…” We ate some and then I finally dealt with the rest. I simply chopped them up and froze them in bags for use in our morning porridge. Next time, I will just buy some local ones. Or better yet, hope that my peach trees hurry up a give a decent harvest. The young white-fleshed peach tree in the orchard had three fruit on it and they totally disappeared. Not even a trace. One of the neighbours thinks they have an unwanted resident possum in their shed. Oh joy.

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The peaches. If I leave fruit sitting within reach, it takes approximately 2.5 seconds for a small hand to come into contact with the fruit.

I have also been chopping and freezing more tomatoes (when am I not?) and some capsicums, or peppers. The red ‘Alma Paprika’ capsicums were washed, sliced and dried in the dehydrator ready for grinding into paprika. A few figs have been quartered and dehydrated too.

We seem to be getting a great fig harvest at the moment, so I have some room to experiment with the figs, instead of just eating them all. I tried making a fig chutney for the first time. It was a small batch and the pot I chose was probably a bit big, meaning that the liquid evaporated a bit fast and I ended up with only one jar of chutney. However, it is quite tasty, so I’m still calling it a win. Next time I will at least double that recipe. Or I’ll try a different one.

The Little Fulla and I have just harvested a whole bunch more figs so there ought to be more chutney happening in the next day or so. While I climbed around the bouncy fig tree branches, dropping fruit down below, The Little Fulla collected them and put them all in the trug, without biting or poking holes in ANY. That is a great achievement. We celebrated by eating some figs.

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A precarious pile of washed figs.

One of our favourite harvesting activities is shelling the dried beans. We have three varieties this year: California Red Kidney Dwarf, Borlotto Firetongue Dwarf and Cannellino Dwarf. The Little Fulla is getting good at putting the right beans in the right jar. I have even remembered to save some of the best of each for planting next year if needed.

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Shelling the beans: Borlotto Firetongue Dwarf, California Red Kidney Dwarf and Cannellino Dwarf.

Feijoa season has also just begun. Right now, the small gatherings of feijoas are a tasty treat, but they will soon be coming in thick and fast and I will need to to turn my attention to feijoa preserving. If I start thinking about what to make now, that might help…

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