Category Archives: Preserving Foods

Preserving Season Has Begun Again

We love Creasy Green which others may call Field Cress or Dryland Cress.  We haven’t had any on this farm though we’ve tried several times.  We’ve concluded that the ground is too rich and creasy greens like poor ground.

These are the earliest of spring greens and they love the cooler weather. They’re not strong or bitter.

We have a market fairly close to home that brings in fresh produce weekly and we asked the owner of SuperValu on Rt. 460 if he could get some in and call us when they come in.  He called on Sunday afternoon and we went to pick them up.

The box they came in is about the size of banker’s box and held about 15 pounds of greens. The cost was $1.49 per pound or a whole box for $25.00 and we got the entire case.

Monday and Tuesday afternoon I washed them, washed them a second time (sand seems to hold fast to them) and then blanched them in a very large pot.

This is the largest stainless steel pot I own and I filled it to the top and put about an inch of water in the bottom of the pot.

I boiled it hard to blanch the greens and they cooked down to about a quarter of the bottom of the pot.  No salt or seasoning because I wanted to freeze them in quart bags.  I got six quarts out of the first cooking and four out of the second batch.  We had a large bowl of them for dinner last night and they were so good.

I can keep them in the freezer for about six months but they won’t last that long.  I froze just enough in each bag for a meal for the two of us.

We love them with pinto beans, fried potatoes, and cornbread!!  Great meal!

Garden Season Ends With Success

I’ve not had a lot of time to write posts this summer because I’ve been doing this:

Fresh tomatoes

Apples from July through October unless the weather changes drastically!

In years past I’ve not had much luck with green peppers but this year I’ve frozen 30 packs of peppers in small dices, strips and large chunks. They are like onions in our kitchen, we use them in everything!

Yellow onions grew and grew. We got a sack full of them and have them hanging in the smoke house until the weather starts to freeze. At that point I bring them in my laundry room (cool spot) to use all winter.

One crop failed miserably this summer and we’ve never had this happen before. We got one egg basket of white potatoes. Thankfully I canned all of those from last year so we won’t have to buy many!

We had some type of bug that bores through the roots of cucumbers and squash. Our cucumbers were used mainly for fresh eating and in salads this summer. I had plenty of pickles left over last summer and with the help of two very special friends we got18 pints of pickle relish and then they were gone.

Fresh peaches and first crop from our young trees. I canned 21 quarts!

The squash faired better than our cucumbers and I froze 12 packs of sliced put in the freezer. We ate fresh squash all summer.

Fresh raspberries gave us 12 quart bags full and the blackberry crop was non-existent due to the weather again.

Dicing green and banana peppers

Canned cabbage

Squirrel season came in two weeks ago and I’ve froze over 12 bags so far. We love squirrel and rabbit meat!

I froze over 40 bags of fresh corn and everyone that we’ve shared it with says it’s the sweetest corn they’ve ever eaten.

Green pepper strips

I’ve tried just about every apple in our orchards in the last two months to find the best for apple pies and fried pies but all of them are great for fresh applesauce every meal!!

While I was canning tomatoes I was also canning cabbage and freezing it. I canned 14 quarts and froze 24 quarts. We’ll use both in vegetable soup and cabbage is a great favorite side dish at our house with pinto beans, fried potatoes and cornbread!!

Our tomatoe crop wasn’t the best because of the rains coming in when they were ripening. They split, cracked and had hard black spots on the outside. I did manage to can 18 quarts of tomato juice. This winter when it’s cold outside I’ll make pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce from what we preserved this summer.

We raised some of the sweetest cantaloupes I’ve ever tasted this year and their my favorite of all the melons.

This wooden crate is full of all types of apples we have on the farm. They’re all somewhat tart and we will buy sweet apples from a nearby orchard to make our cider in the coming weeks.
We didn’t grow a lot of watermelons this year but got good return on the seed we planted.

The crate is filled to the brim with cider apples from our orchards. We think it holds about 15 bushel of apples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course we also had green beans this year but I didn’t can very many because we had a lot left over so about four canners (28 quarts) was enough to fill up the shelves.

You will never starve as long as there’s green beans on hand!!!

Left-hand side of the cellar shelves are overflowing!

Right-hand side of the cellar is catching the overflow! I normally store all of the empty jars on that side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then to sum it all up we have these:

Canned white and yellow peaches

Frozen broccoli

Frozen corn off the cob

Yellow summer squash

New white potatoes-This was the most we got from the first plants!!

Onions drying for winter use.

Wonderful pickle relish that we use in pinto beans, on hotdogs, and in tuna or chicken salad. Hubby loves it on peanut butter sandwiches!!!

Our favorite pizza sauce of which I only made a few half pints and one pint. I’ll make more throughout the winter.

Two crates of sweet potatoes. One of the potatoes was the size of a football. We’ll have several meals from that monster!

Gorgeous canned peaches, I can’t wait to open the first jar!

 

Canning season 2015

I retired July 8th and the garden came in like a fast moving thunderstorm!  For that entire month I was either in the kitchen canning, on the porch preparing to can or in the hayfield with hubby moving hay to the haylots.  I want to share with you our season bounty in a photo roll.

14 quarts all sealed and ready for the cellar

14 quarts all sealed and ready for the cellar

A full bushel of yellow onions. All of the red (Spanish) onions rotted in the ground. Apparently they don't like all the rain.

A full bushel of yellow onions. All of the red (Spanish) onions rotted in the ground. Apparently they don’t like all the rain.

The last run of honey for the season.

The last run of honey for the season.

Green beans. They didn't produce like we would have liked. Hubby thinks he minimized the space in the gardens and everything was too close together and the sun couldn't do it's thing.

Green beans. They didn’t produce like we would have liked. Hubby thinks he minimized the space in the gardens and everything was too close together and the sun couldn’t do it’s thing.

Pickles, pickle relish, and more pickles.

Pickles, pickle relish, and more pickles.

Blackberry crop was excellent and I froze a lot of them.

Blackberry crop was excellent and I froze a lot of them.

Apple butter 072015

Apple butter on toast for breakfast. Peanut butter and apple butter sandwich for lunch!

Apple butter on toast for breakfast. Peanut butter and apple butter sandwich for lunch!

Fresh raspberries

Fresh raspberries

Cherries

Cherries

Striper fish, fileted and frozen. I think we froze about 10 packages.

Striper fish, fileted and frozen. I think we froze about 10 packages.

I froze about 15 bags of white corn.

I froze about 15 bags of white corn.

Yellow corn was froze.

Yellow corn was froze.

Delicata squash was harvested and I stored about 20 in the cellar.

Delicata squash was harvested and I stored about 20 in the cellar.

Yellow squash was sliced and vacumn packed with about 20 bags.

Yellow squash was sliced and vacumn packed with about 20 bags.

I froze 18 pints of applesauce made from transparent apples.

I froze 18 pints of applesauce made from transparent apples.

We dug our potatoes on Thursday and picked up 21  five gallon buckets full and they’re beautiful again this year.  The potato bin is more than half full and it’s a 6’x6’x6′ bin.  We picked up about two gallon that were cut when plowed up and Friday I made a crockpot full of potato soup and a half gallon of potato salad.

The cellar is pretty well stocked but for two shelves which I saved for venison.  The Cellar 2015 (3)

This shelf section is full of green beans, canned potatoes and canned sausage.  The second photo is tomatoes, barbecue sauce, spaghetti sauce and more potatoes.  The third is full of jams, jellies, pickles, relish and maple syrup, and more.The Cellar 2015 (2) The Cellar 2015 (1)

We have three freezers of various sizes and one is full of fruit, one with vegetables and meat and the big freezer will be filled with meat as well. My family will be well fed this winter.