Sunday, September 2, 2012

By The Fruits of Your Labors

 This year has been really fun having a backyard with a huge area for gardening & several fruit trees.  
I want to have a place to keep track of what I did this year, so I can compare for next year. 
Here are some pictures of what it's been growing. 

A sunflower getting ready to bloom. 
The bean fences in the background. 

 Pumpkin plants. 

We had 11 tomato plants, cucumbers, crookneck squash, several zucchini plants (yum), sugar snaps peas, green beans, corn, jalapenos, green-red-yellow bell peppers, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, melon (never bloomed), strawberries, raspberries, blackberries. 
I think that's it. 

Our spaghetti squash plants.

We used huge tomato cages. 
They were hard to put in, but great at holding up the plants!

The corn. They ended up taller than the fence. 

Pepper plants before they got huge. 
I'm determined to learn how to grow the best peppers. 
We eat so many. 

I learned how to make real jam.
The stuff you cook, jar & can keep on the shelf for food storage.
All in all, I made 5 pints of strawberry jam, 4 pints of apricot
cherry, 4 pints of apricot raspberry,  11 pints of cinnamon plum.
Whew. It was fun, sticky, but we're set on jam for awhile.
Also all the people I've given it to. Plenty more peeps!!

I'm super paranoid about canning tomatoes, but I've done 11 pints so far. 
If you don't do it just right, you'll grow botulism & kill everyone who eats it. No worries right? 
I just added some extra cooking time to kill all germs. 
Fingers are crossed. 

Here is a picture of some of the food I've canned.
Apricots  3 quarts, 6  pint.5,  8 pints.
Peaches  9 pints, 9 quarts.
Pears 3 quarts.
Asian Pears  5 pints, 14 quarts, 1 pint.5.


Now that I know what I'm doing, I can plan better next year & do more. 
I want to get more creative with jam flavors. 
I also made at least 12 batches of strawberry freezer jam. 
The booth on Bradshaw has a great deal for a huge bucket of over ripe/ugly strawberries for $6. 
Awesome! Lots of fruit for yummy jam. 

So here's to next year! 

1 comment:

Kosel Family said...

Looks like you have been busy! I started learning how to can this year too. I've done black and garbonzo beans, raspberry and marion berry jam, pear chutney, pear jam,apple chipolte bbq sauce, green beans, apple sauce, pears, and pickles. It is a little intemidating but easy once you have done it a few times. If our tomatoes ever go from green to read I'll probably be canning those too.. or maybe just dehydrating them. I also started making sour dough bread from scratch and Paul has been grinding our own wheat with a hand crank mill :)