Boy Howdy, it’s been a bountifully blessed year here on the farm. In only a few days, it will be a year exactly since we arrived, but I was actually speaking about our awesome spring and summer garden. I’ve been so busy processing our bounty that I haven’t had the ample time to really share my continually growing experience with you.
Since my last post, I’ve processed so many veggies so many ways, that I’m at a panting crawl. Well, that and the heat…Gardening in August in Texas is a cruel existence, lemme tell ya! But with our tomatoes, okra, melons and peppers still poppin’, we do what we have to do…well, sometimes. Thankfully, we have pigs to help when we can’t drag ourselves outside, or process veggies in time. You really have a 1-2 day window to properly process most veggies. And while it’s best to clean and process immediately after picking, early in the morning, with one to two hands working, sometimes, it’s just not possible.
We began by pickling cucumbers…dill, kosher, spicy, sweet, relish…you name it, we did it! Then the squash and zucchinis began coming in, and we canned, froze or pickled them through out the season. We canned whole tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, condensed tomato soup, pasta sauce, stewed tomatoes, “rotel” style tomatoes, pickled cherry tomatoes (not perfected, they bust), salsa, tomato juice cocktail and tomato soup base, and we froze roasted tomatoes with our onions and garlic. We canned and also froze packs of our purple hulls which also had some creamed peas and blackeyed peas mixed in because the co-op purple hull peas were um…more like a mix! But hey, we have PLENTY of each type of seed, and we will sort them out so that we have rows of each type to can individually next time.
We made spiced peaches and peach salsa. We canned a few pints of figs. We pickled, candied, and/or dried our massive variety of peppers. Are you ready? Here I go: Gypsy, Red Bell, Yellow Bell, Green Bell, Big Bertha Bell, Cayenne, Habanero, Jalapeno, Hatch, Cherry, I have a feeling I’m missing one. Oh and okra, pickled or cut and breaded/frozen for frying.
What we don’t eat, we process and either store or give to our extended family. This year, underground water lines made all the difference. And this fall, we will see what life is like under the high tunnel. Oh goodness, I forgot our canned corn, and frozen cobs. The rain was awesome this year, and we had many pollinators buzzing around doing their work all day, every day. We’ve even begun processing our butternut squash! We are awaiting our melons and cantaloupe while we prep the ground for our fall/winter garden. We’re a little late getting a few things in the ground…my hamster wheel is malfunctioning!
The sawdust bedding really made the no-splash effect nice, so that cleaning veggies was a breeze. Our melons and cantelopes are steadily growing on the arbor, and our chicken coop is just growing into a mega-chicken complex. If they had stuck to the original plans, it would’ve been done, but it keeps growing and growing and growing and….well, you get the picture.
Speaking of pictures, I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite pictures of my canning adventures with you. So sit back, scroll down, and enjoy.
We Thank God for This Good Season! And I thank you for stopping by!
Until Next Time,
Vaya con Dios!