Co-op members harvest abundant local fruit, reduce green waste

Linda’s son in Laurel Canyon found a persimmon tree at an unoccupied house under construction.  After clearing permission, Cyd (our tallest Co-op member) set out with his fruit picker and harvested all the Hachiya persimmons, which otherwise would have ended up on the ground and in the green waste can.  Meanwhile, back at Co-op HQ (otherwise known as Susan’s kitchen) Marina and Linda joined Susan for an intensive afternoon of preparing the 19 pounds of Concord grapes.  After washing, they were pulled from the stems.  Because these are ripe slipskin grapes, this is a more painstaking process then simply grabbing a handful.  We separated out the plumpest for grape juice, while the rest went into a pot and were crushed for a more concentrated juice.  The grape juice was made using a very old technique, in which boiling water is added to whole fresh grapes and a little sugar in the jar, then it is canned.  This is ready to drink straight from the jar after simply straining out the grapes.  It will be ready to enjoy next Saturday, so a big distribution is coming up. After soaking the crushed grapes overnight, the next day I strained out the skins and seeds, then brought the liquid up to 150 F, under a boil, but enough to scald and sterilize it.  Then this liquid was canned, sterilizing it and preserving it.  With no sugar added, this can be sweetened and diluted to taste.  And those Hachiya persimmons?  Once these are soft and dead-ripe, we’ll be making preserves.

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