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I have been recently been accused of being part Squirrel… And that was before we harvested walnuts!
It’s been a very busy canning/preserving year over here. What started as a fun couple day activity during the year has become a bit of an obsession…still fun…
This is my third year canning and preserving on my own. Before 2013 I had canned only with the Carpenter’s Grandmother and few others. I was intimidated by the process of doing it on my own so I started simply by preserving plum syrup and some jam. The fruit we got was free and it was easy to process with a water bath canner.
In the last three years we have had access to lots of free apples (mostly because we ask people with unharvested apple trees if they want to use them) With My Carpenter’s help, that first year we made 84 quarts of applesauce. In 2013 we canned 115 quarts and this year we have made over 130 quarts of applesauce . Why you ask? My kids love applesauce and it is a constant side dish at our meals. 120 quarts last us a year.
Since I am now comfortable with the process of Water Bath Canning, Year Three has been crazy busy. From May to October we have been blessed by LOTS of opportunities to get fruit and vegetables through gleaning, friends that have extra fruit available, and our own garden has done well.
We have been in many trees picking fruit and walked in muddy fields picking and digging produce. It is amazing whats available when you are willing to put the work into it.
This is us gleaning and participating in a work Exchange.
In case you are curious: Commercial Break.…The above picture is of us participating in a work exchange at a local farm. While working, we were able to keep produce they couldn’t sell. Produce that is the wrong size or not pretty enough they cannot sell at market. The sad part is that unless it is gleaned through most of that perfectly good food is left in the field to be tilled under. (Don’t even get me started on how ridiculous the modern consumer is to expect things to look pretty). We not only were able to glean while working but we also worked to earn produce. In this case we worked in exchange for their organic sausage. YUM!
Back to our Regularly Scheduled Blog….
In 2013 I decided that it was important to record what I preserved. I have a 1/2″ binder where I record, on simple lined paper, all of what I preserve. Here is a picture of 2013 and this year, 2015, side by side:
As you can see, this year was lots of crazy gathering fun. In that mix is Canning, Dehydrating and Freezing.
LOTS of new stuff this year:
- Cherries (Canned whole, pitted and frozen, jam)
- Blackberry Plum Jam
- Sweet Pickles (Here’s the recipe I used. WONDERFUL recipe)
- Dill Pickles, processed
- Sweet Relish
- Pears (A few canned and Pear Spice Jam)
- Dehydrated Asian Pears, Bartlett Pears, Apples, and Plums
- Freezing: Corn, Leeks and Carrots
- Walnuts (these we an interesting new experience)
This Years Repeats:
- Blanched and Frozen Green Beans
- Refrigerator Dill Pickles
We started processing cherries in May and wrapped up with dehydrating apples just this last week.
It was kind of sad to put the Water Bath Canner away but at the same time I was very glad to put it out in the shed for the winter.
Though we do not preserve as much as many do, it is amazing awesome for us 🙂 I have been labeled the “Applesauce Lady” by many friends. My wonderful neighbor (that I have dragged along with me on many of these gathering adventures) has accused me of being part squirrel… This is for all you fellow canning/ preserving lovers out there….
The Frabjus Lady