Friday, September 20, 2013

Go Nuts: Part 1- Almonds and Walnuts

"Got some Amins I see!"- Mary
"Mom, why do you call them Amins? They're Almonds!"- Chelsea
"Because, when you shake the tree and they all fall to the ground, you knock the 'L' out of them!"-Mary


Rick and I got out with Abalone for a hike down a local dry creek bed.


Passed the dens that we thought belonged to local coyotes...


But which turned out to belong to an expert wood carver...the beaver!




We took a rest and enjoyed some sweet ripe figs...


passed by prolific rabbit sign...


and then made our way to the base of a few small trees.

The surrounding almond groves were scheduled to be picked the next week, but here in the dry creek bottom, on public land, the feral almond trees were ready to be harvested already!

CAUTION! Bitter Almonds are poisonous, so be sure you know what you're doing!


We set to "work" picking a few of these trees...


and though it was hot...



we made off like bandits with a very nice haul!

The next week I observed that the English walnuts were ready. So was I.




Again I was able to forage a nice harvest. The fruits of both forays were shucked and set out to dry under the sun.




And as I cracked the hulls, I set two thirds aside for trail mix and ate one third on the spot.





 

I peeled, sliced, and cored a few apples from the orchard as well. These I set aside to dry for my paleo-riffic hunter-forager trail mix as well.




California is blessed. There is always some seasonal abundance to be found...just have a resourceful look around!

Keep the old ways alive!

Apple Harvest


A couple of weeks ago marked the annual apple harvest. For a number of reasons we kept this year's event just family. However, this harvest was fun filled and productive as heck!


 
We started out harvesting the organic heirloom golden delicious apples. Then it was on to Jonathan and Rome.
 
 
 
We also took the necessary time to launch rotten fruit into the outer reaches of the galaxy with our apple slingshot and apple atlatl.
 

 
 

 
Then it was all about pressing the juice...
 





 
 
...and fermenting hard cider. Some of which  (early season heirloom-organic Gravenstein) we already had on tap!

 
 
It was hard work and some of us got tuckered out early.
 
 
The forager food spread was one-of-a-kind. The menu included my dad's wild caught and apple wood smoked king salmon, fresh caught fried abalone steaks, and apple cake as well as Sarah and Chelsea's candy apples for dessert.
 


 


 
 
Tough times huh? Well, maybe not!
 
Keep the old ways alive!
 
 


Hops Harvest


It was that time of year once again. My dad and I set out with our baskets in the evening sun and gathered our home grown cascade hops to our hearts content.



This year the crop was very healthy and abundant.




We gathered three full gallon-sized freezer bags in an hour.






To celebrate the harvest we raised a couple of glasses of our most recent home brewed light ale with a few fresh hop cones tossed in to infuse this year's harvest flavor.

I will keep you posted on the results from our first home brew with these wonderful hops!

Keep the old ways alive!