Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How I Am Getting Ready For Winter

We planted a garden this year with plans to do a lot of canning and freezing.  I really wanted to get some fruit and veggies put away for the winter when we couldn't get what we wanted. 

I have tried to start buying as much as I can from local farmers and growing the few things that we could grow.  This years garden had tomatoes, okra, bell peppers, jalepeno peppers, and several things that didn't make it.  Our squash and zuchinni all died.  Got some good advice from an old farmer here in town so hopefully next years garden will be even better.  Lessons to be learned...

I also picked and bought lots of blueberries this year and picked blackberries that I made jam out of and also put in the freezer.  I also bought a bunch of peaches that I made peach preserves with.  Delish...

My last canning the other night was tomatoes and blueberry jam.  My next thing to do is hopefully to pick apples from a grower down the road from me and make apple butter.

Now, I want to make sure it doesn't sound like I am boasting or bragging about what I am doing.  I just wanted to let you know what has taken up a lot of my time and what I am doing to prepare for winter. 

This has been a busy yet very productive summer.  I feel very good about what I have accomplished for my family.  I can't wait to pull blueberries out of the freezer in December and think about the day the kids and I went blueberry picking in July.

Blueberry jam made with some of the best blueberries I have ever eaten.  They were organic and locally grown. 

We go through jams and jellies very quickly.  We love toast, bagels, and english muffins with jelly. 

We did green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, salsa and spaghetti sauce.

My freezer is full of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, corn on the cob, fried corn, okra, squash, and peppers.  It's also stockpiled with other foods that I find on sale at great prices.  (mainly breads, bagels and such that I get at good prices and stock up on)  I have also started making a breakfast casserole that I put in the freezer so that I can use up some of the many many many eggs that we have.

There you have it.  My summer job in a nutshell.  I feel like the ant who was getting ready for the winter.  The difference is that I have lots of help from my three kiddos.

Do you can any of your foods?  What about freezing?    I would love to hear about some of the things you are putting away for winter.

Can I just say one more thing?  My nanny would be so proud.  She canned everything that she could possibly can.  Her shelves were always stocked with food they had grown and preserved.  I am thrilled to be following in her footsteps even just a little. 

Tell me some of your preparations.  I would love to hear about them.

Linking up over at The DIY Showoff.  It's not a craft but I did do it myself.

Also linking up over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.



Mrs T said...

do you can or pressure cook the potatoes?
this yr I have only put up sand plum jelly but my pear tree is groaning under a full harvest:) the unbearable heat is giving us a break so tomorrow I will be out seeing if pears are ready and harvesting if they are

thanks for commenting on my blog :)
I will try your soap when the store bought runs out

Lynda @ Happenstance Home said...

Your canning is fantastic and it must feel wonderful to open your cupboard and see all that amazing food! Sometimes I make jam but that is all I have tried. I am so impressed and inspired by what you have cooked - and how healthy your family will be eating! That's super!

Nice and Easy Antiques said...

OMG Amy!! I never canned anything.... :(
I've always wanted to try but for some reason I'm afraid I won't do it right. Your "production" is amazing!!!!!

Becky C said...

Oh my! You have been busy! What wonderful winter goodies. I've always wanted to have a real garden. You've inspired me, as always:)
Becky C

julie said...

Your post reminds me of the Little House on the Prairie books when Laura and Mary are sitting amongst all of the food that has been stored away for the winter. I loved that part of the book....so comforting. You have accomplished quite a bit! I do freeze lots of berries and pesto from all of my basil, but I have always been afraid of actually canning things. I'm afraid I'll give someone food poisoning! One year, I will actually try it. Seeing your pictures has certainly inspired me!

afistfullofweeds* said...

I totally think its a craft!! I have canned pear-rasberry jam, and pineapple-kiwi jam, both are yummy!!!

Denise said...

I had great plans for putting up lots of stuff. However, I only ended up with corn (frozen) and peaches (canned).I had some peppers, cucumbers, squash and tomatoes that we used this summer but not enough to put up. Wouldn't you think I'd have lots more since my husband is a full time farmer? We do however have plenty (a whole) cow in the freezer.

I have what my sister and I call a hoarder closet that I use to store anything I find on sale. (Not my regular pantry). I go to Sam's about once a month, too.

Wish I'd been as productive as you. Maybe next year.

Secret Garden Cottage said...

Wow girl! You have been one busy lady, and you're so well organized!!
Makes me want to go organize all the stuff in my kitchen island (LOL)!
Thanks for sharing with us!
Have a great day,
~ Jo :)

Reinspire said...

You have inspired me to start canning! We will have to chat via email so you can give me the rundown on how to do these things!

Debbie said...

In agree with an above comment that said that it was a craft. My grandmother (who would be 101 today...) was a master craftsman at it, too. If I close my eyes, I can still taste her bread and butter pickles.

And her tomatoes? Oh my.

I love that you do this and wish that I did more of it.

Tell me, what advice did the man give about the squash?

Ginger said...

I had plans to be productive like that, but they didn't happen! Admiring your bounty from afar! :)

Mrs. McB said...

Hi! I'm new to blogging and your blog is such an inspiration! I'm a newlywed, love all things home as you do too, and a Christian woman.

Thanks so much for a wonderful, wholesome blog!

Come and visit if you'd like:


Debbie said...

Hmmm... I commented here. Now WHAT did I clickity click by mistake??