Monday, August 29, 2011

Late August 2011 Update: Fermenting Pickles, Hops, and Baby Bunnies!

This photo is just a little corner of the BaltimoreDIY pantry. Mostly I wanted to show the hops picked from my friend's yard over the weekend.

Beer brewing is a project way beyond my means right now, but I do like the use the hops in tea! The tea is extremely bitter but calming. I like to mix it with dried lavender and other herbs to cut the bitterness. Perfect drink if you're trying to cut back on the beer but still miss drinking it!

The feathers were a gift from a neighbor- she found a hawk by the side of the road that had been hit and killed, and she dried and preserved the wings and tail. What a nice gift!

The tomato box holds feathers from our ducks. I didn't have the guts to post about this, but the ducks are now in the freezer... everything went well and wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I was glad that I was reading "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat" the same weekend that we did the ducks in.

The jars are mostly homemade maraschino cherries and canned peaches. I'm hoping to have these for sale at HampdenFest on September 11th! We'll have lots of other canned goods and homemade food made from local Boone Street produce available as well. I'll be sure to keep you all posted.

Another pantry addition over the weekend is: more pickles!

Some BaltimoreDIY readers may remember that I've already canned up a lot of the cucumbers from our Boone Street garden. Those pickles were the simple vinegar pickles.

I didn't quite have the energy to do any canning this weekend and was trying to think of something easier to do that would also preserve the bounty of produce that we haven't been able to sell as quickly as we would like!

Fermenting came to the rescue. I modified a recipe from the Ball canning book.. I'll post it here hopefully tomorrow.

These awesome flower vases are actually perfect for fermenting since the curve at the top of the jar holds the cucumbers under the brine. Usually you need to have a special crock or rig up some kind of thing where you weigh down a plate to hold the vegetables submerged under the brine, but this vase made fermenting nice and easy. It's hard to see how big the crock is in the photo, but it's bigger than it looks! You can kind of tell once you realize the crock goes about three-quarters of the way up the chair back.

These fermented pickles will be on sale at HampdenFest too!

It would be super awesome if I could make pretzel rolls and a white bean and pork flavored hummus-type spread to serve with the pickles, but we'll see if I have the time and energy to bust that out!

In other fun BaltimoreDIY news:

Baby bunnies!

They are about a week old right now and their eyes are just starting to open. They are baby Rex rabbits.

Here's the mama:

The babies are all doing well. Our American chinchilla also had two kits at the same time the Rex rabbit had kits, but her's didn't survive. She never built a nest for them. Yes, rabbits build nests! They pull out their belly fur to keep the newborns nice and cozy. That's what all the white hair is in the top photo.

In other weird rabbit news, (you probably don't want to read this if you're squeamish)... the mama Rex rabbit did eat one of the kits. That wasn't a fun thing to realize. I guess at a certain point when they're nursing maybe they just really need that kind of protein or something? So strange.

Just another layer added to my thoughts on meat eating and the life and death of our backyard barnyard.

So as you can see, there's a fair amount going on at BaltimoreDIY! We are harvesting quite a lot of Boone Street produce these days, and I will be posting a list soon of what we have available for purchase.

Depending on where you are located and how much you purchase, we may even deliver right to your house! Leave a comment if you're interested, or contact me at

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