Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A bountiful harvest

Fall is a bountiful season here. From the blackberries, to the plums, rosehips,mussels, and now the apples. We have been very busy.

We went down to our cove on a beautiful afternoon last week and noticed in a sandy area around the dock was a large bed of mussels. So Thomas and I picked a bagful and Jim cooked us up a shellfish feast. Though Thomas would not eat any!

Here are the plums I picked at my friend''s house. I made plum jam and canned some for future use in pies and cobblers.
These are rosehips or the seed pod of the rose. Most of the rose varieties in the US are hybrid but these are from the old fashioned rugosa roses and they produce lots of seed pods. A friend showed me how to make mosqueta which is rosehip marmalade. First we take off the ends and stew them until soft.

stewed with some water until soft

pushed through a strainer to remove seeds

Then it is strained a second time through stockings to remove the hairs
then boiled with sugar until thickened

a jar of mosqueta!
This week we picked apples in an old orchard in our neighborhood. Free for the taking, several varieties. We just had to battle the yellow jackets off and dodge the cowpies. We brought a couple sacks over to a restaurant in Puerto Octay that has a cider press. Here is Andrew and friend putting them through a grinder.

Here is the mash going in the press

Pressing down ....

and squeezing tight!

6 bottles for $6

Bet you wish you had some!


  1. Looks fantastic.
    And, yes, I do wish I had some. :D

  2. We could have picked enough for 20 gallons Chris but Lori and the boys got appeled out and we only had so many empty plastic bottles. It is absolutely delicious warm or cold. just excellent. I think after I get the welder here I am going to build one for myself. there are so many abandoned orchards here full of fruit and typically they will let you have as much as you like for the asking.


  3. Why are the orchards abandoned?

  4. This area was settled by the germans in the 1860s, and most had large farm houses 5,000 sqft or more, with orchards, barns and worker houses all surrounding what was like a little compound. Many of these houses are now gone mostly due to fire, as the houses in this area are wood construction. So this orchard which is over 100 years old is not tended and is now part of another adjoining farm. They put their calves and sheep around this orchard hence the cow pies. Our neighbor who owns this orchard has another at their house. Also there are not the large families that there used to be before modern pharmacology allowed people to have smaller families, and what children there are to be had have left the country side for the big city life of Santiago. It really is a shame, and as a result they do not care so much for the bounties of the land that are available because they are no longer needed like they used to in the 1860s where every apple was gently lowered to the ground by hungry hands.


  5. So the normal ebb and flow of rural/urban life. Interesting.

    Lots of food for thought there.

  6. yes it is not unlike the Usa or any other country for that matter. People live lives here almost the same as everywhere else. Just at a slower pace.


  7. Hi Jim and Lori!

    I hope this notifies you as it's a comment on an older post. I'm curious about the canning jar situation there; my husband (Chileno) and I are looking to move a little farther south than you, and I'm an avid gardener & home canner. Food preservation is not a habit I'd like to leave behind!

    Are mason jars/some equivalent available? I can only really find one-piece lids on the Lider site. Planning to bring down and or ship jars and lids as needed if they're hard to find.

    Thank you for your time!!

  8. Hi Tiffany
    Thanks for your question! I also do a lot of canning but I didn't bring many jars with me, unfortunately. Ball canning jars are not available here. They have the one piece lids which work fine for the most part though I did have my first accident when using my pressure canner and one of the jar lids came off during canning and blocked the steam vent. Thanks for the pressure release valve! I would also bring my canner and tools like the jar lifter and wide mouth funnel plus lots of extra lids! Best wishes!