how does your garden grow? june 21, 2011

by babhoyersh on June 21, 2011

Lettuce and flowers in flower bed

Lettuce and flowers in flower bed

Come here on Tuesdays to read about my vegetable garden project and share yours.

My Garden
May the canning and preserving begin! I’m so excited to start steaming and freezing veggies and watch my freezer stash build. It’s a great feeling knowing that the work I put in every day is providing my family with organic vegetables year round!

I use a variety of methods to preserve food from our gardenwater bath canning, pressure canning, dehydrating, steam juicing, and steaming/blanching & freezing. Most of my time is spent steaming veggies and freezing them, either individually or in bags of mixed veggies. I have a steamer from Ikea that holds enough veggies to fill 2 to 3 quart bags which I’ll do a few afternoons each week.

When the tomatoes start ripening (only a few yellow cherries right now), I collect them in gallon freezer bags in the freezer and do a canning session when I have at least 5 gallon freezer bags. Freezing the tomatoes first prevents the tomatoes from going to waste; freezing also releases water from the tomatoes making the final canned product much less watery.

Making pickles is another big canning project. I expect to have enough cucumbers by the end of the week to do my first batch. While I love Nourishing Traditions, the traditional way of lacto-fermenting vegetables hasn’t worked well for me. I don’t have room to store lots of veggies in jars in the fridge, and my family hasn’t liked the taste of the lacto-fermented vegetables. Instead, I have a few stand-by recipes that use vinegar – bread and butter pickles, relish, and dill pickles.

I can’t wait to get started on preserving food!

Share your vegetable garden progress in the comments!

Also part of the Homestead Barn Hop, Monday Mania, and Garden Tuesday.

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Athena at Minerva's Garden June 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Look at how beautiful the chartreuse lettuce contrasts with the reds in what looks to be caladium leaves–just gorgeous!

babhoyersh June 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Yes, caladium. I planted them in the spring, and they’ve taken awhile to come up. I love not having to trim back dead flowers!

pam June 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Preserving food is one of my favorite things of summer. A couple of days ago, I started some limoncello, blueberry vodka, and cranberry liqueur – to get me through the winter :)

babhoyersh June 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Was it John Lennon that said whatever gets you through the night? Or in your case, the winter? If you’re looking for something non-alcoholic, the strawberry lemonade recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is good, and I’m sure it would work with alcohol, too.

Marjie June 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Stopping by from Pam’s.

I’ve never canned anything except applesauce from my trees! Your garden is lovely; looking forward to your canning.

babhoyersh June 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm

How about trying tomatoes or pickles this year? Both are easy to can. Did you use a water bath canner for the applesauce or a pressure canner?

Melynda@Moms Sunday Cafe June 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Love the lettuce plants, they are beautiful What a lovely salad they will make. I made all our pickles and relishes years ago, I am slowly getting back to my “past” and having a good time in the process.

babhoyersh June 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Have you seen this post about salads from Nourishing Days?

debbie June 21, 2011 at 8:45 pm

love preserving what i grow in all the various ways! and eating it!
looks like youve got some vegetables growing!

Green Bean June 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Interesting. I’ve never heard of freezing the tomatoes first but I’m so trying it this year. Thanks for the tip!

babhoyersh June 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm

I started doing it because I didn’t have enough tomatoes at once to can, and then I realized that freezing first released the water and made the final canned product less watery.

Denise @ Creative Kitchen June 24, 2011 at 7:45 am

Barb…so glad you stopped by my site! I wanted to comment on your Bread and Butter pickles recipe, but comments were closed. I LOVE bread and butter pickles…my grandmother used to make them. I’ll have to compare her recipe to this one while she is still around :)

I stumbled your pickle post on Stumble Upon. There’s a great “food blogger” community over there if you want to look me up. Another great aspect of social media. Let me know if you’re already over there and I’ll follow you.

Hope you have a GREAT weekend! Nice to meet you!!

babhoyersh June 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Thanks! I think the comments were turned off when I moved from Blogger to a self-hosted Wordpress site.

I’ll definitely check out StumbleUpon this weekend!

Let me know how the recipe compares to your grandmother’s. Maybe we could get a canning carnival going in July or August.

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