Kittens, Canning and Harvests by the Bucket Full
In these parts, I find the busiest part of garden season to be mid-August to mid-September -- that's when all the huge harvests are coming ready. All the tomatoes are ripening now, the potatoes are just a couple weeks from being ready, and the beets have to come out any day now.
This also tends to be the time of year when I do the most barbecues. I call them "garden harvest barbecues", where I try to make dishes that feature some of the fresh-from-the-garden produce. So it's a big socializing part of the year.
Like you, while I can do canning by myself, I will oftentimes pack everything in the car and take it all to my mom's place to do the canning there. While her kitchen is a little better set up and I don't have my cats pestering me, the biggest benefit of doing the canning there is that it gives me an opportunity to visit my mom for a few hours. I'm not the greatest at conversation, so this keeps us busy in the same room and some conversation will naturally flow from that.
greatly appreciate your email, and empathize with the priority of what to do, but must do a little bit of relaxation, which is where God's Sabbath Day comes in! Have a day a week without work and praising God who made it all possible.
We have been busy harvesting Elderberries from our Elderberry bushes..
We have dehydrated 6 quarts of Elderberries and also put 12 gallon bags in the freezer to make syrup later this Fall. Our tomatoes didn't do well this year because it was just too Hot. Our tomatoes were cooking on the vines..
Hey Ashley! You mention chokecherries...do you know much about black cherries? I've been meaning to get back out to the roadside and properly identify the wild trees that are growing intermingled with sassafras...I think they are black cherries, but not sure how to be sure! I've been reading the foragerchef's blog about use of cherry pits as almond flavor when properly dried. There's also the fact that they can be poisonous when not dried, which is disconcerting :) I don't even know what my question really is, it's just curiosity!
Like all of you, I’m busily harvesting from my garden. Time is short as there’s lots to process, dehydrate and freeze. I always love reading your emails as I take a moment to breathe and relax. They keep me motivated, focused and excited about feeding my family throughout the year! Thank you-I know it requires such dedication on your part. Your sharing of knowledge is so appreciated!
After seeing the price of green beans in the store right now I’m glad I replanted them for a fall harvest.
Thank you for the comparison pic of freeze dried and dehydrated raspberries, no comparison.
Inspiring and excellent as usual. You are my litmus as someone who is really living life the way it was meant to be lived. I am really glad to know you are out there. Thank You most heartily.
I am no longer a homesteader, which is what I always called myself. Now a widow living in an apartment. I still manage to get into trouble in the kitchen and garden! This week I tackled elderberries for first time. Oh, I misspoke! For the LAST time! I thought because a neighbor gave me a bag of fresh picked elderberries, I was ahead of the game. I spent two days prepping the little buggers. Then, following safety guidelines, I heated them up to kill the cyanide. Then made elderberry jam. Very seedy. I have enough juice to try jelly this week. Now aren’t you sorry you asked?
Great post and great photos. It’s kind of bittersweet time of year imo as you feel the season wrapping up and you know you’re starting the slow slide into a long winter. Having some of these bright summer flavors preserved is such a pick-me-up on a cold and dark day in January.
I decided to go fancy, and make profiteroles and blend the jam with the cream in the middle! Ive got some elderberry juice too, so going to try jelly!
Bittersweet time of year, trying to hold on to summer while preparing for winter! I have a question for you- someone gave me 60 cans of commercial canned tomato juice - tomatoes/salt/citric acid- can I recan them ? Some of the cans are dented etc. what’s your thoughts?
Thanks, Chris in California
All your canning is so wonderful. You write so nicely and photos too. I picked some nice blueberrys yesterday which are the best part of my land and ate raspberries straight from the plants. Most of the gardens did poorly this year. The flowers did well though. Elderberrys are ready so I need to pick them between rain.
While away at the saltwater ate a nice striped bass we harvested and the small blackcherries were ripening so ate them by hand as I did my few beachplums.
Back in Vermont I let to many zucchini go unharvested.
Can you share any of your recipes?? Thanks
Can you recommend a good St. John’s wort salve if I can’t make my own? I am building my medicinal garden but do not have that plant- but wow the information in your writing and it brought much peace to the time set aside to be drawn in this morning!!
Ashley, does our US native shrubby St. John’s Wort have the same medicinal properties as the European?
I loved this post - I am so inspired. The photos were fabulous - I love photos. Do you have your own freeze drier?