Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's a Canning Time of Year!

I get this way each year in the late Summer/early Fall.  I am not sure if it genetic or environmental.  The reason really doesn't matter, but what I try to accomplish every year seems monumental. 
Last year it was tomato sauce.  100 quarts of tomato sauce!  That was my final tally.  I was even shocked!  This year, I am a bit more diverse, most due to the good and bad that is my garden.

My husband is a farmer by trade, and so he grows a lot for the company he works for.  Super sweet corn, russets- I even learned something new this year after 9 years of marriage, and that is that there are early and late potatoes, sugar beets, winter wheat, barley and hay.  So, our garden is relatively small because of things he grows at work.  This year our garden consisted of cucumbers, green bell peppers, pimento peppers, cantalope, strawberries, and pumpkins.

I have frozen the corn in cob form mostly, we have eaten ourselves relatively sick on cucumbers and cantalope, and I have frozen the peppers.  The strawberries were mostly eaten right off the vine by the girls, and as for the pumpkins, we check them almost daily as they are in varying stages of ripeness.  It is comical that I can cheer up a three year old, just by asking her to show me the pumpkins.  She then gets so excited and animated to show them to me.

As for the potatoes, I will freeze some of it, but I was told about a way to can them so I decided to give it a try.  The processing time on them is enormous, three hours in boiling water, but they sealed and appear to have weathered the adventure so we shall see.  Also, we have so many potatoes that my husband traded some with our neighbor for some apples, as they have sort of a mini orchard at their house.  I have made some crock pot apple sauce that smelled divine, and I will also freeze pie filling for later in the year.

You might notice that I skipped over the tomatoes, and all for good reason.  Last year, my plants looked sickly and dingy and sad, but I ended up with a huge crop of amazing tomatoes.  As for this year, The plants are chest high, healthy and robust, with hardly any tomatoes on, and very few of them have ripened.  The term "early girl" is there for a reason, I would think.  I am hoping that a miracle happens before it fully freezes but at least I still have leftover sauce from last year so we should be fine!

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