This year, we have had a lot of veggies to can up for Winter eating. But, we didn’t grow most of them ourselves. A few we have purchased, but mostly, as we didn’t have the time needed to have a really successful garden this year, friends have given us their excess garden produce. We have been very fortunate to have friends who have shared excess banana peppers, squash, zucchini, corn, green beans, basil, rosemary, and literally almost 2 bushels of tomatoes! We have either eaten fresh or canned for Winter eating from all of these wonderful foods.
We plan to move a lot of our raised garden beds to a different place on our property so that they may get more sunlight than where they are now. Leafy greens, like basil, do really well in that spot, but tomatoes, hot peppers, and beans just don’t seem to take off like they should. I think a couple of extra hours per day of sunshine may make a big difference. Of course, the fact that I spread a very thick layer of “poopy hay” from the riding stables and didn’t leave quite enough time for it to break down, didn’t help my situation a bit.
But, live and learn and I learn a little more of how not to garden every year! Of course, the best garden I have ever had was in old tires filled with purchased compost and rabbit manure. Oh, the peppers and tomatoes were stunning and plentiful. Oh well, I don’t think that the tire garden, no matter how structured and orderly, is going to make it past my parents. As I am not inclined to put them in an early grave, I tend to abide by most of their aesthetic desires for the yard. But, that being said, Patrice over at Rural-Revolution has a hugely productive tire garden!
Not to mention that my Mom isn’t really big on canning, but she is always game to help out, snap beans, prepare tomatoes, and just be my buddy in the kitchen. Canning tasks seem so much easier with an extra set of hands and some good company!
So, have we canned enough that we won’t need to purchase any veggies this Winter? No, but it ain’t over yet! There are still collards, kale, cabbage, and others that I may come up with or purchase. Plus, canning dried beans make fixing a quick meal so easy. At the end of a long day canning, it is so nice to see rows of jars, cooling on folded dish towels. No matter what kind of day it was, just that sight can remind me that it was a truly productive day.
Have you preserved much food this Summer?
Till next time,