Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thoughts on the garden/homestead

     I just came back inside from working on our garden. Neither it, nor I, are a pretty sight right now. In late May I had re-injured my left hip and while most of the plants were large enough to handle it, the weeds went on a growing spree while I was healing. We started planting outside back in March and have been working on succession plantings and crop rotation. Because of how fast it turned hot this year, we are harvesting weeks before anticipated. This has helped with our homesteading goals for the year.
      Braving the heat, I've spent the last two days pulling up black bean and cow pea plants. The beans are already dried out and ready to pick. We spent yesterday evening watching an older sci-fi series (Seaquest) and shelling beans. So romantic! Looks like tonight will be the same thing. I was like a toddler in a toy store though, running my fingers through the near full bowl of black beans. It blows me away that we have been able to grow so much of our own food out of five 4x10 raised beds!
     I love learning how to preserve what we have grown and tonight will hopefully trying out the new pressure canner. Last year we froze all of the tomato sauce I made. Last week I froze several large batches. The big basket I use to collect them is full again so it's time for more sauce making. This time I'm going to try properly canning it. I've done a series of foods that just need a water bath process (peaches, apple butter, pickled beets) with complete success. Hopefully, this will be just as successful. Wish me luck!

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