I finally am getting this post all rounded up now that the garden overwhelm is over! It was a busy summer and while not everything went as I planned ( welcome to gardening) it was a successful tiring year! The burnout is starting to wear off and already thinking about next year. I like to have this all written down to see the difference in years and what we got out of the garden.
Man does it feel good to be preserving time again! I got to start it off with green beans and hopefully have a ton more in my future this year.
Got the first 7 quarts canned on 7-17-20 And it went well. My MIL canner was kind of leaking a little which worried me but I was able to get the temp up high enough, and all my lids sealed so I think I am just fine.
I had quite the lull there for about a month but then they started producing like wildfire again and on 8-16-20 I got another 7 quarts done in my new canner. The water seemed to really go down in this batch so I need to look up on that. Little bit of a learning curve but happy with the new canner. 8-22-20 another 12 cans. We are excited to have 26 cans stored away to eat all winter!
Also found out this summer that pole beans are truly the best thing ever and man that produce SUCH great beans and are ten times easier to pick. Will definitely be doubling or tripling the amount I do for next year.
Pretty much used up all of them for salsa and eating in the summer. But I did work on curing them on my front porch so they would be able to make it quite a few months in the basement and finally got them all cleaned up on 8-22-20. Super easy process and next year I plan to plant a ton more and hopefully have good luck with having plenty of excess for the year. As of 10-21-20 I still haven’t bought an onion at the store and have about 10 left downstairs and none have rotted.
Got some big ones from John Veenstra at work and got them all food processed on 7-31-20and put in the freezer to make breads and muffins later. Got more from Anna Nieuwsma and got those taken care of on 8-18-20 and got another 3 bags done. Our boys love zucchini muffins and bread and it is a super easy breakfast to make for the whole week. Also ate a few on the grill with egg wash and breadcrumbs this summer.
First batch ended up being kinda mild and not as yummy as I was hoping so when I did the second batch on 8-5-20 I made sure it be a tad hotter and put 10 jalapenos in it. Kyle still thought it could be hotter but I thought it was plenty hot. 8-22-20 Made another 9 jars of salsa and ended up with 35 cans of salsa. Have given a few away, we have already ate a few pints, and it is so nice to have for snacking with chips and using in dinner recipes. SO much cheaper than going to the store and paying 2.50 minimum per jar of salsa like I did when we were first married. Haven’t bought a jar in well over two years.
Whenever a tomato gets squashed but I am not ready to make salsa I just quick throw it in the crockpot with some spices, tomato paste, onions and a little pepper and call it good. Ended up making only around 7 bags this year. I wish i would have done a ton more because i actually just use it as our chili base because it’s just a touch too watery for Kyle’s liking as spaghetti sauce, and we have already used 4 bags. SO much better tasting than store bought cans of tomato sauce/tomato soup.
30 bags – I got corn from Ashley Theune’s grandma Junella Van Kooten because they had tons extra they were not going to get to. We picked 3 laundry baskets of it and I ended up giving one away to the Nieuwsma clan. Kyle Carol and I got on basket done on Saturday and then Sunday Kyle and I finished it up and got 30 bags which I was super happy with.
46 bag – The Boenders ended up having extra corn so we went to work on that with the Riggens. We got 46 bags done and split that and gave 15 to the Collins who weren’t getting any corn done this year.
There was a fundraiser for the local Youth for Christ and grandma said that the peaches were good so I bought a box and then me and grams canned/froze them. I had never done it before and I am super glad me and my grandma were both cutting them up to make it go faster. Otherwise super easy process. Ended up with 8 pint jars, 4 quart jars and 4 bags of frozen.
I finally found a carrot variety that worked well! We did the bolero variety and i didn’t even plant a whole packet, but for sure will next year do a few! We again pulled one whenever we needed one and then one day I had Kyle help me get them all out because they were dang stuck in the ground! Got them all washed up and cut up, blanched them, froze them individually quick, and stuck them in a gallon size freezer bag. I now just pull out some when I need them for roasts or soups and have yet had to buy carrots.
We had another wonderful pepper jalapeno year. i tell you what if you get these plants well established, they are work horses and produce easily into October it is crazy. I made SO many jalapeno dips and they are still coming out of my ears after giving them away. Also obviously use them up in our salsa. I cut them up in slices and freeze them, I am really impressed with how they keep their texture frozen and so we use them in eggs, quesadillas, other recipes throughout the summer.
No technical work to do with these, but we did pull a plant whenever we needed one all summer, and then very end of August I ended up digging up all the potatoes left. Got the dirt knocked off of them and then put them in a basket downstairs. We used them all up by Mid October but they kept really well and so I am planning on doing that next year too. Not buying a bag of potatoes for 5 months of the year off of $2.50 worth of seed potato definitely saved us a ton of money!
My mother in law had someone offer her apples this year and she knew I would want them so she went and picked me 4 5 gallon buckets of them! I got to work one afternoon during naptime and ended up with 37 containers of applesauce! this was a lot more tart apples than last years so I had to add sugar and I always add a touch of cinnamon. The boys all LOVED and raved about it so it will be so nice to have it all winter
Great job! I grew Bolero carrots for the first time this year, and was super happy with them. Certainly is a blessing to have full shelves and freezer from our gardens during these strange times. All your preserving looks terrific. Be proud!