Another day another trip to town. I had to go in a bit later than normal since I was dropping off at the co-op after picking up more grain. I loaded the 4 barrels onto the trailer then dropped a couple barrels at the other brewery before driving to the valley to the co-op.
Potentially my last delivery for the season. 75 pounds of summer squash going to the Women's & Children's Free Restaurant Boxes. We are looking to be in between with the WSDA funding so there may be a couple weeks without it, but for me it is not a big deal since most of my garden is on the back side of its season.
Once back home the freeze dryer was finished. I had set it to go longer overnight so it didn't finish while I was asleep. I pulled all the trays out and everything was amazing. The bell peppers were perfect and hold their flavor nicely. The red and orange still have a sweetness to them and both got bagged separately from the green.
The Hungarian wax and jalapeno are really incredible. The process removed all the water which removed the HOT part of the pepper, now they are only spicy. So much so that both boys tried the jalapeno and liked it!
The ancho came out the same and is delicious. My buddy stopped by and I had him try all three and he loved them as well. Like he said they could easily be a snack as is.
44:34 for the peppers is not too bad of a run and is comparable to other runs.
While I had the freeze dryer defrosting and after my buddy took off I climbed the ladder to cut the hops down.
It was a much thinner year for the hops and I got maybe half what I got prior years. The heat may not have agreed with them this year since I have water on them daily. I have the bines with hops on them in the tub and the rest got tossed to the animals. I am going to pick through the hops later to get what I can.
While the boys were out and about I took the chance to get batch number 50 on the trays and in the freeze dryer. This batch is full of candy. If it can come out okay I am hoping to bag some for the exchange. The first 2 trays are all Skittles.
The 3rd tray for Good & Plenty, Whoppers malt balls, and Sugar Babies. I have checked on the trays already and I can say the Good and Plenty did nothing, the Whoppers did something but they melted the coating to puddles around them, and the Sugar Babies did the best and puffed up like marshmallows.
The next tray got Reese's Pieces and M&Ms. They both ended up with some melt as well from the chocolate which doesn't seem to do that well in the freeze dryer. I've read as much but needed to try it for myself to see the results.
The last tray was the most tedious. I had to unwrap a bag of Starburst one by one... That took the most time out of the whole process.
The cycle tried to end around 10 hours but I kicked it on again overnight and this morning I had to add some more time. At 20 hours I will pull it all.
With the freeze dryer running I went out to the sheep pen and filled all their water tubs while I worked on getting their bale of hay rolled in and caged. 230 gallons takes a while to fill between them all.
I split the last of the rounds. It took me less than a week to get it all split by hand and stacked. I still need to restack the back row to even all 3 out but that can wait. Most importantly the wood is split so I can get it covered.
After dinner while the boys played on the Wii I soaked in the tub until it was time to get them to bed.
Today the boys and I are going north to the scout camp at Diamond Lake for a camp out in the tree houses. We will be putting up tents in the nice and big tree houses that are built in the woods. The boys will get to play in the lake since today is likely the last warm day of the year at 82F. I should bring fishing gear as well.
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Fleming Family Farm
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Sustainable & Organic Methods | Heirloom Produce
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