Today’s prepisode about our apricot harvest is actually from The Daily Prep archives–footage that was shot a while back but never posted.

So here’s what happened guys:

Since we moved into our new house early last spring, we have been working on things, fixing things up, buying stuff, and being parents. While all this is going on however, we haven’t been able to manage our yard the way we should be.

Our sprinklers were broken and the yard wasn’t getting watered. The apricot tree never got pruned the way it should’ve, and when the apricots started coming on, we had no plan for what to do with them all.

We hit a hot spell in the end of June and early July, and due to the lack of pruning and watering, we had TONS of small, dry apricots that started falling.

To compound matters, this happened to be right when my wife and I left town for the 4th of July, so when we arrived home, we were greeted with a yard FULL of fallen apricots rotting in the sun.

Some of them were still salvageable, but many were past that point–oozing in the sun with bugs crawling in and out of them.

Although this was a big bummer for me (especially since I’m supposed to be a “self-sufficient-micro-farming-daily-prepping” dude), my wife and I tried to make the most of it.

The other sucky thing was that my dog Snax had eaten so many of the fallen apricots that he was getting sick and irritable.

So here’s what we did:

  1. Went out to the backyard with large trash bags and containers. We sorted out the “gone” apricots, with those that could still be salvaged.
  2. I called up my buddy Ben, and gave him all the apricots that were spoiled, for his birds. His birds were stoked and gobbled up the rotting fruit like it was good cookin!
  3. For the remaining buckets of apricots that we had, my wife and I got to work on washing, cutting, cooking and then canning them into apricot jam.

The boil bath canning was a fun but tedious experience, which came with it’s own share of victories and learning moments.

One time when the apricot mixture was starting to thicken, my wife stepped away for a minute, and almost instantly the mixture had boiled up and completely over the large cook pot. So we then had a stove, burners, and floor covered in sticky apricot concoction.

During another batch, the mixture didn’t get stirred quite enough and burned a little bit on the bottom of the pot. We didn’t realize this until we were all the way done–then we realized we had 7 or so quarts of apricot jam that tasted burned.

All in all, our apricot harvest this year was not as great as it could’ve or should’ve been, but I am proud that we at least tried to make the best “halftime adjustment” that we could, once we realized it was on top of us.

Next year, the apricots will be better trimmed, thinned, watered and harvested….

…actually, who am I kidding, we’ll probably fail all over again, with a fresh batch of excuses! 🙂 BUT, at least maybe we won’t let ourselves down quite as much.

Prep On Guys,

-Dan

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