With Thanksgiving weekend under our belts, this is the best time to take advantage of the local farmers market. Everything that grows in Ontario is now pretty much available.
On our side we have a lot to be thankful for. The ample rain during the growing season generated a bounty of berries. The most successful this year were our Black Currants and Blackberries.
On the vegetable front, our tomatoes continued to be a bountiful staple and our Zucchinis (or Summer Squash) were a real surprise. With ample rain and some neglect, the latter grew to some abnormal sizes. We were at first concerned if these might not prove to have tough skins or coarse seeds, but we were actually pleasantly surprised. They were in fact excellent.
We're now just waiting on our last harvest: Kiwi Berries. Once again, we may get a lot more than we can use. It will be time to come up with some novel recipes.
In the meantime, we've been working hard stocking our shelves, transforming our berries into syrups and jams.
With the large amount of berries on hand, we are no longer limited to just making syrups and jams. One set of experiments over the past 4 months has dealt with the production of liqueurs. However, with the newly renovated production area of the barn, we can also finally carry out experiments in wine production...and Fall is just the right time to do this.
Our first batch is now on its way: 75 litres of Black Currant wine. This is our first attempt and we're dying to see the results.
Finally, we have to talk about flowers. When we first arrived at the farm an amazing variety of flowering plants existed in front of the old Victorian house. Regrettably, once we had completed our renovations, we lost many of them.
Our favourite, with its gorgeous and immense blooms, was the Hardy Hisbiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos). We can finally say, they're back! After planting a few this year, we've already had loads of gorgeous flowers from this late flowering variety. In fact, we love this plant so much we're now considering hybridizing and propagating it.