Saturday, September 16, 2006

9.19.06 - Tomato Wine and The Harvest

It has been a crazy summer/fall. We have harvested a couple hundred pounds of tomatoes from our garden, canning them into quart after quart of tomato sauce, mucha salsa (along with our fresh onions and peppers), and 5 gallons of tomato juice. The rest of the tomatoes have gone to friends and the livestock (so much that the white-faced goats are stained red like they have some sort of blood lust).

The tomato juice is currently sitting in the closet fermenting into 11.5% alcohol content tomato wine. I got the idea for the tomato wine when I was at the Valley Vintner and Brewer shop. Some older gal came in looking for yeast for her tomato wine project; she said it tastes like a dry white (grape) wine. And given that I hold three truths to be self-evident--I'll try anything fermented, everything tastes good deep fried (except chicken liver), and the Royals will never see a game in mid-October with Glass running the show--I thought tomato wine was a good plan.

Currently the tomato juice is sitting next to the five gallons of apple cider that I'm fermenting into hard cider. I used about 50 lbs. of apples from our two apple trees (two different varieties) after we ran out of steam canning apple sauce and apple butter. The hard cider should end up about 5% alcohol content, and then I might turn a portion of it into apple jack (old school freeze style).

I had intended to juice the 60 lbs. of pears we have (one variety from two trees) for hard pear cider but was vetoed on that in favor of pear butter (which turned out amazing). I might make a small batch of the pear cider (a gallon or two).

In the next week we need to pick/freeze the corn and finish collecting the wildflower seeds from the garden. Then I need to till and plant the cover crop of crimson clover to be ready for winter. Then, it's off to secure a buck for breeding the goats.