May 30th, 2017: In today’s show I talk about being wise to Harvesting The Summer Bounty whether it is in your garden, in the wild around you or in local u-pick farms or farmers markets. Filling your pantry this time of year is one of the wisest things you can do.
For those of you that are unable to stream podcasts or would rather have the opportunity to read, below you will find the transcription of today’s podcast:
You’re listening to the Mountain Woman radio show which can be found on our website at trayerwilderness.com and also on iTunes. You’re listening to the Mountain Woman radio show which can be found on our website at trayerwilderness.com and also on iTunes.
Welcome to the Mountain Woman radio show where we are homesteading traditionally 100% off grid today and offering preparedness and survival tips for tomorrow here’s your host Tammy Trayer.
Tammy: Hey everyone, glad to be with you today again I am in my truck so you may hear the hum of the diesel in the background I hope it’s not too bad and upcoming I’ll be getting out on the lake and doing some of my podcasts there too. We are working in that area again this year and it has just been so therapeutic for me being able to utilize the track there, to ride my bike and I’m hoping to get out my roller blades and I’ve been jogging and walking and just taking in the tranquil environment which has been really healthy for me and I’m looking forward to that and I look forward to sharing that with you. But today, traveling again to a customer’s location and I figured I’d jump on here quick and share some information with you. This time of year is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of some of the wild things available to you such as raspberries, huckleberries, blueberry, cranberries. There’s all kinds of different things growing and available in the wild that you can forage which we try to take advantage of as much as possible and additionally some of you may be located in areas where there are farms and farm stands, flea markets–we came from an area that was polluted with such things and was such a blessing and when we relocated to Idaho, it was almost kind of disappointing that those things weren’t available to us especially as abundantly as they were back east. So that’s spoiled us greatly but there’s so much available in the wild and it sickens me sometimes when I am like out here driving around and even along the lake, the lake track used to be a railroad track. So back in the day when people were traveling they’d throw out their apples and their pears, so there are wild apple and pear, plum trees growing all over the place and nobody’s taking advantage of all that fruit and a lot of it goes to waste some of the animals eat but a good bit of it goes to waste. So when we were down there last year, we were harvesting some of the apples and pears that we’ve made jams and jellies with and this year I’m going to be making our family recipe of apple butter which is just amazing.
But the reason I want to talk to you guys about this today is to prepare you and get your mind set in the right place so that you don’t miss out this summer on all the great things that are available to you. We absolutely love canning and preserving our food and I will be honest I do not have a garden growing this year because of the amount of work on my plate. Right now I am too overloaded and I don’t want to put myself back in the position that I am sick again so I have chose not to do anything in my garden because I don’t know how frequently I will be able to take care of it, my responsibility is with our construction business and my writing have really taken off and I need to keep myself at a good pace and I have learned what that is. So I don’t have a garden growing this year but I do want to take advantage of every opportunity to get my hands on fruits and vegetables that I can. So I am harvesting and forging from the wild and I have a dear friend Gudrun who is in an area with a lot of U-pick farms. Now we are not in an area that offers that and we are not in an area that has really good organic produce available to us and also at a cost that is affordable to us. I’m not opposed to spending money to get good quality food for my family but sometimes it’s just so overly pricey that I just can’t justify it so I have to go elsewhere to find it and Gudrun is an amazing resource for organic produce, she has helped me do my chili sauce every year–physically help me as well as provided some of the produce for me and it’s a really fun time. It’s fun to do these things not just by yourself but in the company of friends, good memory making time and I thoroughly enjoyed doing that not only does she help, but Austin the Mountain Boy has been a huge help and we have had so much fun over the years listening to our favorite music, listening to podcasts, just having some really great in-depth conversation. So being able to spend quality time with your family while you’re learning how to do these things is another great thing to do and so much today everybody’s heading in different directions, kids are in front of all of their electronics and they’re missing out on learning and honestly I feel that both the parents and the children are missing out on that great quality time because that’s something that I just-I live for, I thrive for; it’s really fulfilling to me to be able to spend time with my son. So I encourage you to get out with your children, if you have U-picked farms available to you–I used to take my kids out and we pick blueberries and strawberries and we go to the pumpkin patch in the fall. Those are just good memory making moments, good traditions to start and I want to encourage you to get out and do those things with your family but not only the time spent together but the amount of bounty that you can put on your shelves and the beautiful part of it is you know where your food’s coming from, you know where it came out of the ground and you know how it was processed, you know what was put in it and that in and of itself is very huge for me also. So we do all of our jams and jellies in varying kinds whatever we can get our hands on each year; I love our apple butter and we had not done that for a couple years and we are out and we are thoroughly missing that good taste from home-that’s grandma’s recipe and it’s just amazing and it’s makes your house smell so incredible when you’re doing it. And we also do our chili sauce and we do pickles, we do carrots, I would love to do green beans and there’s nothing better than freshly canned green beans, pulling them off the shelf and cherries-bean cherries. So there’s a lot of available and they all start coming into season, right now being cherries, it will be available and we did some things with strawberries, it’s just really nice to have those things in the winter months. We eat a lot of venison and a lot of elk and it’s nice to be able to sweeten those dishes up and gives a variety, so I often add pear jelly to my–either my venison or my elk while it’s cooking up in the frying pan or I will cook it all day in a pear jelly like broth and it just smells and tastes so incredible.
So there’s so many things you can do that add variety to your diet, not only in the spring months but it carries through to the winter months for you and for us living the way we do that’s really important it gives us a sweet treat. Jellies can be used for all kinds of things; I’ll use my jellies and make a pastry and spread my homemade jellies all around the pastry and bake it up for something sweet you know, so there’s so many things you can do. You can also make up a pie filling and can it and then just pull it out put it in your pies shell and bake up your pie whenever, you know we did that a lot in the winter months too and you can top a cake with fruit jellies and jams so, so many wonderful good things you can do but it all requires you to take the time this time of year and get out there and gather the fruits and vegetables and take the time to can them.
I just wanted to spend the time today and share some of those ideas with you, last week I talked about yard selling and if you’re new to canning, I thoroughly encourage you to get out look for canning jars and you can oftentimes find canners as well and canners are a good thing to get at a yard sale but it requires you to double check them and make sure that they’re running optimally and oftentimes you can do that in your county, they will have an exchange office where you can go and many of them out here will check your pressure gauges and they will check over your canner and be sure that it’s working well and everything’s in order. The thing is to, is you want to double check maybe while you’re at yard sale when you found a canner. Use your smart phone and get online and just make sure you can still get parts for that particular canner or just in case, because if you can’t sometimes it’s not worth the investment but a lot of the canners you can get new seals and new pressure gauges for them. So it’s certainly worth the investment sometimes of a couple dollars or cents for a nice big canner that you just need to invest a couple more dollars until to get it up and running. But also on Amazon you can find some great canning equipment that is inexpensive and you can go to that directly by going to trayerwilderness.com/canning and you’ll find a lot of the different canners available there as well as the jars and the funnels and different things you need but if you can find those little things at a yard sale and start your collection off, that’s a great way to do it, great way to get started and the jars too because oftentimes older people will choose to retire their canning equipment because it’s just become too much for them to do or they’re by themselves and they don’t wish to preserve as much food, so it’s really sometimes a very nice find. So I encourage you to check that out.
And if you are looking for varying recipes for your canning needs, you can find those-some of those in our Trayer Wilderness Cookbooks, which you can find on Amazon also and you can go there simply by going to trayerwilderness.com/tammytrayer. I’ll take you to my author page on Amazon and you’ll see my other books there as well. But my cookbook has some of our favorite recipes in there; believe my Hot Mustard recipe is in there, our Chili Sauce recipe is in there, so that is a good place to start with simple instructions and I encourage you to check out my dear friend Melissa K Norris, she offers a great canning class and you can find her in two locations: you can find her by going to trayerwilderness.com/canningclass or you can also go to trayerwildernessacademy.com which will be the future home of our traditional classes and skills and they will be opening and available to you in August of this year, but Melissa has also shared her classes at our academy so you can go there now and add yourself to our waiting list so that you are some of the first to know when our doors are opening and by doing that now you are guaranteed a free month membership so that you can check it out. So I encourage you to go to trayerwildernessacademy.com and get yourself signed up there because we want to have all kinds of classes available to you. The Mountain Man has done a Blacksmithing 101, as well as a full-fledged trapping video. He is also going to be offering a Saw Maintenance and Tree Felling class for those of you that are new to either of those and that will include some of the sharpening skills you need to work with a chainsaw and possibly some of the older saws and I will be doing some from Scratch Cooking and some Gluten free and Dairy free cooking, sock knitting as well as a Getting Organized class and it will be constantly growing. We will be fermenting and canning and showing you how to do all the traditional skills that we do on our Homestead which would also include a class on learning how to hunt and all the steps you need to take from field to table, as far as butchering and field dressing and also even brain tanning your hides because we use everything from the animals when we are hunting. So there are many options and many things going to be available and the Academy will be constantly growing.
So I just wanted to share that with you today but think about all the things that are available to you in your surroundings to harvest and forage and if you are uncertain of berries or plants I highly encourage you to check with somebody locally that you can gain new knowledge and information from so that you are being certain you are picking the proper fruits and vegetables and plants. That can be a very scary thing, so there are many people locally that are always willing to share their knowledge especially if you are showing great interest. So and often times at the County Exchange office again there are classes available, sometimes at the local colleges too there are classes available oftentimes free that will enable you to learn such things. So if you’re not familiar with a Raspberry or a Huckleberry or an Elderberry that you are educating yourself properly before you are going out and consuming anything because berries are a scary thing, there are many poisonous berries out there. So I just want to put that out there as a disclaimer and a caution to you so that you are careful but it’s a wonderful thing to do and for those of you that are afraid of canning I encourage you to take a class because Canning is such a valuable, valuable skill and it’s not near as scariest so many people make it out to be, once you do it you will be so hooked and so addicted. So I encourage you to learn those skills and be fearless. That’s what I wanted to share today, I wish you a great week and I will see you again next Friday and I look forward to connecting with you next week, till then God bless.
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