Spring has been tough on our fruit treesIt was unusually dry and when
the trees put out their leaves, there wasn't water to sustain all of
themA lot of the leaves and fruit dropped off and even some branches
died backAfter that, the month of June was at near record coolness
The early bearing cherries and plums were minimal Only the apple trees
seem to be doing well
As the rains have increased along with the temperature, I see that some of the fruit trees are recovering their leavesWe'll wait for next year for the fruit
The lesson learned is water the fruit trees when it's dry, even if they're 15' tall.
We have been doing a greater variety of dehydrating projectsPart of is due to the fact we are using more dehydrated foods and part of it is that we have more foods to process
We have been making prunes from plums and raisins from grapesThey are not exactly like the ones you get in the grocery store as they tend to get a little dryer and chewier They have a stronger flavor and not quite as sweet and so they are tasty in baking or even for snacking
Another big project has been preserving herbsSarah picks the leaves off the stems and places them in the dehydratorThe dried leaves then take a few seconds in the blender to finely minceWe have pints and quarts of our favorite spices enough to last through till next year
We put peaches in the dehydrator and our apples will be going in soonWatermelon and cantaloupe are great too!
We have two Air Preserve II dehydrators with extra trays and one smaller modelWe put them in the greenhouse to keep the warm moist air out of the houseThis works out very well for us as we can process a bushel of apples or tomatoes in two-three daysThe trays are easy to clean as they can just go in the dishwasher, a couple at a time.