halifaxearthtech: photo by Marlene Thyssen (Water)
This is apparently an old practice. Peoples of Northern Pakistan will seed new glaciers with charcoal, sawdust, and the ice chipped from another glacier and carried to a new mountain pass. They do this to create better conditions for agriculture and purportedly to sometimes block mountain passes from invasions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_glacier

Does anyone know any more about this?
halifaxearthtech: (Default)
This autumn I've come into abou two gallons of grapes, half of that from my garden and half from a donation to the EAC. Clearly it's been a good year for grapes!

I've not got my solar dehydrator together yet (another post on that later!), and the electric one had a plastic tray touch the heating coil and melt all over it. Not something I want near my food! So some of the grapes are drying in the oven.

Another thing I'd like to make is a cider press. In the meantime I've been plucking and washing the grapes, boiling them in a saucepan with a little water, then mashed with a potato masher. Then the grapes are put through a rice strainer and wrapped in cheesecloth and squeezed between two pieces of lumber (hardwood is recommended, my juice has a distinct cedar flavour now) and squeezed with a c-clamp. This is getting most of the juice out, which is diluted to 50% and sweetened, or frozen. The seeds and skins will be going in the pile of Things-to-cook-with-horse-manure. No, I do not want little tiny grape plants coming up in my raised beds!

I recommend boiling the fruit to pasteurize it before processing, if you're not a raw food affectionado. It just makes things a little more foolproof in storage. For example many fruit flies will lay their eggs on fruits themselves, especially organic ones. Then again if you are a raw foodist you probably already own a juicer.

The virtue of a cider press is that it would not take nearly as long and could process a larger batch. I have a fond memory of some folks on Willow street buying a load of B-grade Annapolis Valley apples and pressing them out on the street, sharing the cider among the group purchase and their friends (and me, when I happened to be walking down the street!).

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