Sunday, July 29, 2012

Canning tomatoes two ways

This summer Trevor, Jen K, and farm manager Julia learned how to can tomatoes using a pressure canner. The lesson was held at Uconn and hosted by Diane Wright Hirsch. 

We started the lesson off with an information session on canning and got right to the kitchen! 

The first step to canning the tomatoes was to boil them enough to break their skin. Breaking their skin makes it easier to peel the skins off for canning.

After boiling them the proper amount we peeled off their skin and got to cutting them apart. There are many different ways to prepare the tomatoes for canning but in this session we cut them into quarters.

After cutting and putting them into the jars we sealed them up and got them ready to be sealed shut by the pressure canner. To the left are some of our delicious tomatoes all canned up right before putting them into the pressure canner.
Tomatoes in the Pressure Canner

We then put the jars in the pressure canner and waited 40 minutes for the pressure and heat to seal the jars vacuum shut.

The tomatoes turned out to be delicious and we even got a little inspiration from two examples or other canned items she brought. Who knows, maybe next time we will make pickles, three bean salad, tomato sauce...the list is endless!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blueberry Picking at Uconn!

Nothing is better than going blueberry picking in the summer, especially when it is easily accessible. It is even better when it is right on your college campus. Recently, UConn has started to incorporate edible plants to the campus landscape as part of an edible campus campaign.

Of course everyone at the farm was very excited so we grabbed our buckets and headed over to get picking!

To the right is a picture of a beautiful and ripe blueberry bunch right in front of Homer Babbidge Library.

We had all the Ecohouse farmers come out and after picking we had about 8 containers full of blueberries.

We got so many blueberries we even used some of the blueberries to make Blueberry Limeade, here is a picture of our delicious drink. We juiced fresh limes, added some crushed blueberries, water and a little bit of mint tea and mixed it all together.