Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

Independence Days Challenge – Aug 3rd to Aug 9th

Posted by supermom on August 10, 2009

We had an interesting week last week as it was the first week of school and the first time for our son driving himself to school.  I’ll tell you, watching him drive out of the driveway by himself was heartwrenching.  He didn’t start his internship until today, but last week had appointments to get that set up and so needed the car to get to them.

It’s strange not having access to a vehicle during the day.  I haven’t had to do this for several years, so we’ll see how I adjust.

Anyway… on with the update.

For Sharon Astyk’s latest post… Independence Days Update: Summer Visiting.  Make sure to check the comments section for even more updates.

1.  Plant something: Nothing this week

2.  Harvest something: Picked up the fruit and veggies from our CSA.

Bought crowder peas and butternut squash from the farmers’ market.

A gentleman posted on Freecycle that he had 5 pear trees and hated for the pears to go to waste.  So I replied and we arranged a time for us to come pick some.  The trees really were loaded with fruit and ready to be picked as there were several pears that had already dropped.  It only took Dave and I and our son about 45 minutes to pick four 5 gallon pails full (three of one variety and one of another.)  The man even loaned us the use of a tall step ladder to pick the ones that were too high to reach.

We brought them home and washed them and they are now in boxes lined and covered with newspaper waiting to ripen fully before we can them.

The man didn’t know what kind of pears they were because they were there when he bought the place three years ago.  And the only way we know they are two different varieties is because the leaves of the two trees are shaped differently.    We’d love to know what variety these pears are, so if anyone can help identify them, we’d really appreciate it.

This is the first variety:  Pears from tree 1

And this is the second variety:Pears from tree 2

3.  Preserve something: Froze green beans (from CSA)

Sunday we ended up canning the pears with the red tinges on them.  Many, we only got half the pear as the other half was overripe or rotten.  Then there were some that weren’t quite ripe, but we decided to can the lot rather than lose them all.  I’ll test a jar in a week or so and see how they turned out.

4.  Reduce waste: Dave made our regular trip to drop off the recycling.

Conserved water by using canning water and water saved while waiting for hot water to come to water plants.

All veggie matter got composted.  We also spread out the grass clippings on a tarp to dry and then dumped the contents of the compost bin on top, mixed it by spreading everything out, then lifting the tarp edges to put everything in the middle, then spreading it around again.  After several times doing this, it was well mixed and went back into the compost bin.

One good thing about the downturn in the economy is that in order to save money our landlord has quit spraying the lawns in our area.   It’s been several months with no spray and I feel safe adding the grassing clippings to our compost.

5.  Preparation and Storage: Purchased new axe and pick axe.   Bought four more 1 gallon water bottles for emergency drinking water.

6.  Build Community Food Systems: Got to talking with the lady we buy eggs from and told her about the pears we’d picked and she asked if there were more, so I passed on the name and number of the man for her to contact.

7.  Eat the Food: I cook most of our meals from scratch, so the food definitely gets eaten.  This is just one thing I made over the last week:

Eggplant pizzas:  Slice eggplants in 1/2″ rounds and spread on baking sheet.  Brush with olive oil mixed with garlic powder.  Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and add a slice of tomato to each eggplant.  Sprinkle with dried basil, salt and pepper.  Return to oven for 10 minutes.  Again remove from oven and top with a thin slice of cheese.  We used Dubliner but use whatever you have.  Put back into the oven for another 10 minutes.  Then turn the oven off and leave for 30 minutes.  This will allow the eggplant to soften further without burning.

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5 Responses to “Independence Days Challenge – Aug 3rd to Aug 9th”

  1. saracrewe said

    not sure of variety names – but the pears look ripe to me– i know that one on the bottom does not get “soft” it does however get sweet – and the pectin is unreal – one slice will stiffen up a whole gallon of blackberrys for jam!

    wish i was there — i really miss my old pear trees!

    • supermom said

      Thanks Saracrewe,

      We did end up canning the pears in the top photo because they were ripe and overripe in some cases.

      We’ll be testing the pears in the bottom picture this weekend to see how they are progressing. We did have a taste of one and yes, it’s going to be sweet.

  2. Gina said

    I think the both pears are a “Bartlett”, but different varieties (one standard and the other one “Red”). Great canning pears! What a great freecycle find!! :)

  3. Gina said

    The first one, on second look, may be “bosc”, but the bottom one with the spots I think is “bartlett”…:)

    • supermom said

      Thanks Gina,

      We were kind of thinking along the same lines, that they might be bartlett.

      If they don’t soften as Saracrewe suggested, then we’ll have eliminated that guess.

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