Preserving The Harvest
Many different methods of food preservation have been practiced for hundreds of years and while still practical they also produce delicacies and staples not always available commercially. We employ the following on the farm.
Nothing preserves or adds flavour to meat or fish like home smoking. Using a blend of maple, apple, cherry, oak, hickory or alder chips and slow smoking provides a taste you won't forget. On the farm we cure and home smoke bacon and hams, as well as ribs, turkey, salmon and mackerel.
The most ancient and highly reliable method for preserving food is drying. Since before recorded history, people have dried herbs, meats, fruits and vegetables to store them for use at a later date.
Dehydrating beef and venison produces a jerky which far surpasses that available commercially. In addition to meat, tomatoes are dehydrated for later use in stews, soups etc. and fruit for healthy snacks, etc. Recently, we have started drying herbs such as summer savory and peppermint.
Another favourite is Nova Scotia sauerkraut. Working with other family members, cabbage is grown from seed and then in early fall it is harvested and taken to the cabbage shredder. Layered between appropriate amounts of salt and sugar, it is pounded with a hardwood pounder until the juice is flowing from the shredded cabbage creating a brine in which the kraut will ferment for a number of weeks. Enjoyed over the winter months with corned beef, ham or salt pork, sauerkraut has been a long time staple of rural Nova Scotia.
When available, venison and moose are both excellent when canned. We also can goat's milk for use during the off season and for a special winter treat, it makes great hot chocolate. Peaches and pears are also canned on the farm.
On the farm we make various kinds of pickles, relishes and chows, all of which preserve condiments into the winter months.
The Root Cellar:
Next year's projects will include the construction of our root cellar or cold room.