Yes, the lovely summer season has come to an end. For me, this is a sad fact but one that allows me to get some long awaited tasks done indoors.
The weather report was threatening a freeze and it indeed came. Killing all my beloved plants in my garden. This year, I planted a second round of crops to extend my harvest season. I did this to boost my roadside stand stock and it was a fruitful (no pun intended) decision! This was my second year for my stand and sales increased by more than 200%!
I pulled most of my plants before the freeze and picked all the remaining veggies. There are tomatoes (Roma and Big Boys), bell peppers, egg plant, zucchini, habaneros, Lima beans and green beans. I also pulled a peck of green tomatoes with a couple of recipes in mind. With the plan to jar and freeze most of my final harvest, I brought it all inside and it sits here ready for my use. A little overwhelming but I will start with the freezing first to get that out of the way and because this step is the least daunting!
I have one of those vacuum sealers so freezing goes pretty quickly. My plan is to freeze the Lima beans after shelling them and next would be the green beans. I will then move on to eggplant by slicing and freezing on a cookie sheet. I then put the frozen slices in a air-free sealed bag. This method prevents them from sticking together and you can remove just what you need.
Canning is my favorite method for preserving tomatoes. I am going to make green tomato relish and salsa. I used Pinterest to find my recipes, the ones that looked like they fit our family’s tastes. Cold water canning is my method of choice. Using up all of my red Roma tomatoes, I will be canning some whole and will also stew some. We use a lot of stewed tomatoes over the winter so I make a lot of these!
Processing and preserving my harvest makes me feel good, knowing that I am saving money and giving my family healthy vegetables that came from my garden. I pulled many seed pods to start in my greenhouse next spring. Selecting seeds from the most prolific plants will ensure a great harvest for next year and I can save money too!
This blog is about doing and sharing my little part to enrich our lives through being Eco-friendly. With a focused effort not to waste. Growing my veggies is something I can do to contribute to our bee population, leaving a smaller footprint on society and to use our bountiful earth to supply my family with the treasures that come from it. Canning is good because I reuse the same jars every year, only to use new seals. Maybe you should give it a try. It isn’t hard to do, takes a little bit of time but rewards you with your own, home grown vegetables all through the cold season. There is nothing that feels warmer than that!