Monday, July 6, 2015

Ollalieberries and apple pie

Every once in awhile we catch a huge break here at the Hot Flash Homestead, and in summer that means that for just a few days it's not so hot after all. I hate heat.  This is because, in general I do walk through life creating my own "personal summer," just by virtue of being a middle aged female. That notwithstanding, this morning we experienced the marine layer coming back in and cooling our outside weather, creeping in like summer fog does and cooling everything off nicely. And so the work began on the ollalieberries.  

The berry crop itself was a bust this year due to a number of factors -- heat being the biggest -- but thanks to some perfectly timed fertilization, next year's canes are growing like gangbusters.  Yet extremely long, wraparound canes is not what you want, because while some of the fruit develops on them, most grows on the side branches that emerge from the canes, with proper pruning.  And the side branches only sprout if you prune the canes before they become too stringy.  So that's what this foggy, cool morning was about. We've got a long ways to go, we'll continue fertilizing through the summer and get everything to where it's on the first wire -- the top trellis wire -- so that next spring there won't be much bending over to gather in the berries.

And speaking of fruits of the season, this last weekend I made an apple pie from my picked apples, which I preserved last November.  There were a few city types at the July 4th party I went to, and they were amazed that I preserved my own apples and made my own pie crust. It reminded me that although the homesteading lifestyle has become more popular in recent years, its by no means common.

Here's to being uncommon.  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend.

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