Sunday, November 2, 2008

Harvest

Well it's harvest time around here. I know that the majority of people are not all too involved in "harvest" as we live in a world were all things are availble to use at the grocery store year round. But we still do a decent amount of canning and freezing in our home in order to cut down on the costs of buying foods when out of season ... plus we like the taste of them better. So this is one of the reason I haven't had computer time, seeing as each week there seemed to be a couple foods that needed to be tackled on top of keeping up with regular schedule, socializing and appointments. The business of this time of year brings back some memories as it's been a few years since I've done much storing of food. Over the past couple of years I've put a few basics in the freezer to keep us going but didn't do too much. Even this year I did considerable less then during our days on the farm. Part of this comes from the fact that my garden is about a 1/16 of the size as one the farm so I'm not saving as much by growing and preserving my own produce. I'd have to plant my whole back yard as a garden before I'd come close to what we used to have. It felts good to be doing the "normal" things of "days-gone-by". I won't say that I particially like doing gardening (for sure not) or even the mess that comes with canning etc, but I do find it so rewarding to see the jars all nicely lined up on the counter after we're done, or to open the overflowing freezers right now (although a bit frustrating since I can never fit anything in it anymore and have to dig forever to find stuff ... but really not something to complain about :)

Due to lack of freezer space I was not able to make as many pies as I usually like to ... but was at least able to put a dozen in the freezer. Marietta happened to be home for the morning recuperating from strep throat the day I tackled this project so she was quite thrilled to help out ... and I must say is getting to an age where she is actually helpful.












I was just finishing up when the kids came home from school so I made sure I saved some pie dough for Rebecca so she could make a pie for herself as well.












Some of the things we canned this summer/fall. I did a couple batches of salsa. The garden didn't grow very well (an ongoing problem here that I've come to accept) and so my tomatoes were not as plentiful as I had hoped. Our pickles also got a fungus and died off, much to the girls disappointment as this also happened a couple years ago when we tried to restock our pickle supply. Since a few pickles did grow we decided to let them grow big so we could
get more jars made by slicing them and making them into pickles that way. The kids still like that that way, so it worked for me ... although I much prefer baby dills. The neighbour has a pear tree that she doesn't use so we ge the pears on our side of the fence and can them. My peach supply is a little lower then I thought ... I should have done more this year, but by time I realize it was getting a bit late and I ran out of time.

The freezer is full of frozen broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green onions, beans, peppers, cabbage, beets, strawberries, apple pies ... on top of the usual meat, bread and other sales items we stock up on. But I won't take a picture as they look quite disasterous :)
I missed the celery sale (I do carrots, celery and green onions for soup) so I'll have to keep my eyes open for the next dip in celery price as I am now flat out of celery. And I decided to wait a bit before I do my applesauce as I have no more freezer space and prefer freezer applesauce over canned applesauce.
So it feels good to have the cupboards full and the freezers full and have lots of variety that I can just grab when needed. Rob always said we could survive months if a extreme blizzard ever hit us :)

5 comments:

HH said...

Wow Steph, you have been busy. I'm simply in awe of what you do. How do you do it? I don't think canning is a real big thing here in Australia, certainly not in our circles. But...is there a special way of doing it? Like do you put stuff in the juice/water to preserve. And do you have a seperate place where you keep it all. When you look at your freezer and cupboard stocked full, that's much reason for thankfulness hey. God blesses our labours. Enjoy!

L.V. said...

I think I'm going to follow you around next year Steph! You're my inspiration ;) I was quite happy with my apple sauce this year - maybe it's just the beginning of a whole new "world" for me!
Laura :)

Anonymous said...

Wow Steph - you have sure been busy! Good for you! I could learn a lot from you! I have never been good at that - I think it comes from living in town, cause my Mom always did it.. Hope you can have a bit of a break now :-)
Have a good day!
Henrietta VdLaan
PS-Nice memmory of James (a beautiful rose)

Kevin and Amy said...

yummmm... that looks so good!

I really like Rebecca's hair short - very cute on her:)

That is a ton of work, but like you said, very rewarding and totally worth it. Enjoy the "fruit of your labour." :)

Anonymous said...

Amazing! You certainly have accomplished a lot this fall. We know that you will enjoy all those fruits and vegetables in the middle of the winter. How rewarding it is to be able to take what the LORD has provided and use it to bless your family.

We loved the pictures of the girls helping you make pies. They have grown so much and will surely be great helpers for you. And how wonderful that they will learn to appreciate the art of preserving food!

Arend and Willa Dale