Root Cellar, Fruit Cellar, Putting Away Summer

LIVING THE DREAM FARM, PUTTING FOOD BY, APPLESAUCE, HONEY, GOATS, MUSKRAT FARM, BEEKEEPING & BARE HONEY.

Andrew and Khaiti, Living the Dream Farm, have been busy putting food by.

…When I go to see my grandma I gain a lot of weight, With her dear hands she gives me plate after plate. She cans the pickles, sweet & dill.   She cans the songs of the whippoorwill, And the morning dew and the evening moon ‘N’ I really got to go see her pretty soon.  ’Cause these canned goods I buy at the store Ain’t got the summer in them anymore. You bet, grandma, as sure as you’re born I’ll take some more potatoes and a thunderstorm. Peaches on the shelf, Potatoes in the bin, Supper’s ready, everybody come on in…” - Greg Brown, Canned Goods

Heating up a big ole batch of organic apple sauce, Khaiti's apples with my honey

Goats milk and fresh feta compliments of Khaiti & Andrew's sweet goats

Canned Goods, a favorite listen when the ground is asleep.  It reminds me of those summer smells when all is alive.  As I walk by my beehives, the pungent aroma of tree & flower & sweet all rolled together ride the waves to my nostrils and permeate my old self.  I have to stop and breath the air right there, right now and wish I could somehow bottle this moment.  Twenty years from now open that little brown corked bottle and all this goodness magically comes back, that moment.   I think this is why people can their goods.  Not so much for the food goodness, but to remember.

Honeybee on Garlic Chive Flowers
Honeybee pollinating an Apple Blossom
A perfect golden frame of honey. Laurie in the honeyhouse at Muskrat Farm.
Swallow Tail Butterfly. Butterflies, Flies, Native Bees, Wasps, Hummingbirds, Bumble Bees are all pollinators.
Early Frost at Muskrat Farm
Spiderwebs in the morning dew
Queen Ann's Lace

My Friend, Dustin, started a honey business, Bare Honey,  using sustainable practices he calls “treatment-free”. Dustin helps build up the honeybee immune system so they can fight off disease and pests.  Believe it or not, most honey is tainted with chemicals, antiobiotics and treatments including insecticides that  beekeepers put right in the hive.  Be sure to buy your honey from a beekeeper that is treatment free.

Starting the Smoker

While photographing the cover for the next Minnesota Grown catalog, we visited  Pine Tree Apple Orchard, White Bear Lake. They use Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which means they use sustainable practices until something major threatens their crops that might destroy a field of trees, they then use insecticides after flowering when the pollinators are not on the trees.

Photo Tip:  Below is a photo assignment from Edible Twin Cities about canning.   Often magazine assignments are on location presenting difficult lighting situations.  The first thing I do upon entering is look for the light.  Photography is all about light.  We positioned Rosemary in front of the window in her otherwise well-curtained and dark home.  The soft natural light illuminates her face nicely.  I bounced my flash off the ceiling to augment the natural light in the rest of the room and background.  ISO 500, Aperture 5.0, Speed 50/second.

Rosemary making applesauce the old fashioned way. Forcing cooked apples through a sieve.
Mill City Farmers Market. How about a whole organic brussel sprout plant!
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