As many of you know I am a private Chef for a family. I live on a 300+ acre farm that has a garden, a vineyard and an orchard. As you can imagine this keeps me pretty busy in the summer and fall. On Labor Day weekend I go to the 4-H auction at the local county fair and bid on a hog and a lamb. This year I got myself one as well. The money raised goes to further the 4-H projects through the year. I send the carcasses to slaughter and a friend hauls them back here to the island. I have a meat band saw and I butcher them. Right now I have head cheese finishing in the fridge and a lamb stock going on the stove. So far this season I have made: Cherry jam Cherry mint jelly Cherry pie filling Mixed berry preserves Slice peaches in syrup Rhubarb Blackberry Jam Plum preserves Dilly Beans Pickles Beets Still to come these coming weeks: Tomato sauce Just tomatoes Tomato Basil Soup Tomatoes with onions and garlic Salsa from Tomatilloes Grape jam I enjoy the ability to go out into the garden early morning and pick vegetables fresh to prepare for meals. There is a joy to being able to pick a fresh tomato right off the vine, wipe it on your pants and enjoy that first bite of "yummy." I picked hundreds of pea pods and shucked them. I have several quart "Ziplock" bags of frozen peas. Beets were disappointing this year. I got only 14 plants out of the 50 planted, and they were pathetically small. We tried Bok Choy for the first time but they went to flower too soon. Eggplants never even flowered this year. Everything else was just great. I'll be busy through the month of September and October finishing up.