This year was the first time we’ve ever had a garden and it’s the first time we have ever tried canning. Both worked out pretty well and I thought I might encourage myself (and others) by listing what exactly we ended up harvesting and preserving this year. And what’s really exciting about all of this is that all of it came from our backyard or from local growers.
*2 lbs. zucchini (not too successful)
*3 lbs. tomatoes (no thanks to the blight)
*4 lbs. cucumbers (very successful)
*3 lbs. carrots (most successful vegetable)
*5 lbs. turnips & greens (very successful)
*Handful of swiss chard
Of those, the cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and swiss chard were eaten fresh. Most of the carrots and turnips were as well, though we have blanched and frozen a good-sized bag of both to add into soups and stews. We realized the soil is lacking in nutrients, so we have had my father come expand and deepen it with his rototiller and in the process of getting the soil tested so we know what needs to be added next spring. We already have next season’s seed catalogue from High Mowing Organic Seeds and have already begun dreaming about next season. I’ll put the catalogue away until the end of January when I will be in need of warm season dreaming and figure out next year’s plot then. And as a side note, everything that we grew this year was done so “organically”.
*Oregano- fresh use all season long plus more dried and put away
*Basil- fresh use until it showed signs of bolting, then made a decent sized batch of pesto which lasted several meals
*Cilantro- fresh use until is showed signs of bolting, then made some salsa
*Chives- beastly things that are still being used fresh, though I have some frozen to experiment with this winter
Having herbs around caused me to use more of them, teaching myself more about their flavors in certain dishes (especially how amazing fresh oregano is with eggs), and really appreciate having them around. They will be planted again next year.
-12 (4oz.) jars blueberry jam- blueberries from the Blais Farm
-12 (4oz.) and 2 (half pint) jars strawberry jam- strawberries from Wellwood Orchards
-12 (4oz.) and 2 (half pint) jars black raspberry jam- black raspberries from Cherry Hill Farm
-12 (4oz.) and 3 (half pint) jars red raspberry jam- red raspberries from Cherry Hill Farm
*3 (pint) jars of peaches- peaches from Wellwood Orchards
*7 (pints) frozen strawberries- strawberries from Wellwood Orchards
*9 (quarts) homemade spiced applesauce- apples from Wellwood Orchards
After our first batch of strawberry jam, the jamming and canning bug had definitely bit us. Not only is it fun, but it will bring us much joy this winter as we yearn for warm days. The jam is better than anything you’d ever find in the store, and we’re very excited to share a large portion of it with our friends and family this holiday season.