Saturday, September 1, 2012
Harvesting, Foraging and Preserving.
The garden is still producing well, i'm just starting to get peppers but several of my plants are loaded with big red peppers! The purple pole beans are still producing!!! i have a second planting of them that is just starting to bloom, so i'm going to be harvesting beans up until it snows! i'm a bit disappointed with the second and third plantings of squash and cucumbers that i put in. The humidity and cool wet weather just made the conditions too perfect for downy mildew and it has wiped out all my new plants before they really started producing. i should be getting tons of squash and cucumbers again, but instead i'm getting one or two every couple of days that are small and a bit deformed. i'm still getting a tomato here and there from the few plants i didn't pull. The Black Krim and the Amish paste both appear to be somewhat blight resistant. Although they both have a few obvious blight spots on their leaves, the fruit itself isn't showing signs of blight. So it's nice to still get a random tomato to enjoy fresh or on a sandwich.
Some of the wild apple trees around us are ready and my husband went out the other night and picked around 60lbs! These are totally organic and free! This area is blessed with wild apples, blackberries, raspberries etc. i love to be able to forage for foods that we do not grow.
These are the tomatoes that were gifted by some incredibly generous neighbors that live down the road from us. Over 30lbs of really beautiful tomatoes to can!!
So this is what i have been doing this week and why i am behind on posting and crafting! Apple sauce, and pasta sauce!! i told my husband he really needs to build me some food storage shelves in the basement. i'm running out room to store all of my canned goods. i don't have a pantry, and have limited cupboard space. i cleaned out the kids craft supply closet and took over two of the shelves. i have boxes of canned goods just sitting in the basement, and right now they have taken over my all my counter space and kitchen table. :)
i'm hoping to get more apples this week to do a batch of apple butter, and i still have enough tomatoes for one more batch of sauce! It's really exciting to put up so much food that you've grown or gathered yourself. Although we are not yet growing enough food to support ourselves entirely, we are still preserving a lot of food. i haven't purchased store bought tomatoes, pasta sauce or pizza sauce in almost two year. i will not have to buy any blueberries, apple sauce, green beans, sweet potatoes or white potatoes this year either. i have enough onions and garlic to last a few months, although my onions are pretty small so i'm not sure they'll last the entire winter. We are just starting to harvest corn. i didn't plant very much though, so i'm not sure if i'll have enough for freezing or canning. We've been enjoying it every night for dinner though. i have my fall garden in now, so we'll be harvesting lettuces, spinach, leafy greens and broccoli again soon. Hopefully my husband will get some shelves built and i'll be able to get a picture of all my canned/stored food very soon.