Our latest equipment upgrade was a used “Zambelli” basket press with a capacity significantly larger than anything we had ever used before.
We actually found this on Craigslist – in Maryland (and pulled it on a trailer across the Bay Bridge).
Not only does this press have larger capacity, it also comes with a hydraulic mechanism, making it a manual hydraulic press. And it has a pressure gauge!
The basket itself is so large that it can be taken apart into two sections, which is handy for cleaning, but even handier for removing the pomace after pressing is done.
We have to move the press with the tractor though, it is much too heavy for any of us.
|Crushed and destemmed grapes are
dumped into the basket
|Grapes are pressed and juice runs out
When the pressing is done, the basket pieces can be removed and the pomace is exposed, which can then easily be removed with a pitch fork and carted to the compost pile.
One great way to celebrate Independence Day is with a feast of blueberry desserts. Since we have an abundance of fresh berries right now, we came up with the following selection for the day’s picnic.
Fresh blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream:
Blueberry-sour cream custard tart:
|Adding the layer of berries to the custard
The always favorite fruit pizza, one version with a berry variety in every bite and another version of artistic flowers (both are courtesy of Sam’s skills):
I was gone for nearly a week and the weeds had taken over my herb-garden. After a very thorough weeding and hoeing, the reward was to spread a thick layer of mulch. What an improvement:
We had another lucky “Craigslist” find this weekend. Around 10:00 in the evening, Jeff was browsing through the “Farm and Garden” category and someone had just posted an ad for a Greenhouse. Not just any greenhouse, but an 8 by 12 ft GLASS greenhouse. Jeff emailed immediately, and a few minutes later the phone rang. It was the couple selling the greenhouse – we were the first persons to contact them, and we got it! We drove to Hershey the next day to see it, and pay for it, and then went back with a trailer and a lot of tools (and helpers!), to dis-assemble the greenhouse and take it home.
The greenhouse is in really good shape, and we were able to order replacements hardware from a greenhouse manufacturer in the UK. Seems that the majority of greenhouses in the US are made with high tech plastics, not glass, but in England the preference seems to be toward glass greenhouses. Shipping will take about 2 weeks they said.
In the meantime, we re-assembled the structure, and carefully stored the glass in the barn. We figured that if we did not put the greenhouse back together while we still remembered how it came apart, it would turn into a major fiasco later on.
So the structure is sitting in the back yard, while we are making a spot for it in the herb-garden – between the house and the garage. This is a very sunny spot, and putting the greenhouse between two existing buildings should shield it from the high speed winds. We will have to do some leveling first, then concrete in some posts, and get a bunch of pressure treated lumber for the foundation. And we need to get a load of gravel for the floor. Updates will come later…