Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumn means canning!

I have been crazy busy this month, away almost every weekend, but the garden continues to produce!  My tomatoes are just about done, but as you can see from the above photo, I got a nice harvest this week! I also picked my last zucchini, some beautiful cherry hot peppers, and lots of green beans this week. My herbs are still doing nicely, too.

My fall garden, that I planted in August is starting to produce radishes, and the lettuce and spinach is looking good too.  The squash has flowers and if we don't have a frost in the next week or so, I'm expecting to see some squash.  Once the fruit starts growing, they can take a gentle frost, but at the flower level they don't like frost at all.

As busy as I am all of these weekends in September, I am enjoying my mornings prepping my harvest for use this winter.  This week I have frozen several quarts of green beans, and have made and canned salsa from my tomatoes and peppers.  I have also made and canned applesauce and pickles this week.  No, I didn't grow the apples or cukes, but Vito and I did handpick the apples at Applecrisp farm in Hampton, NH, and I got a great deal on the pickling cukes at the market this week. 

Here is a photo of the food I put up this week, as well as the bottle of basil and garlic infused olive oil I made.

Would love to hear what others are doing with their bounty!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Harvest time!

Spring and fall are my favorite times in the garden!  Spring, because I've been itching to get my fingers in the dirt and my face in the sun, and March, April and May give me plenty of cool, sunny days to get out and prepare my beds, tidy the yard, and just enjoy tending to my little spot on planet earth.  I love watching the seeds I have planted turn into seedlings, and mature as the weather warms.

I do not, however, love the hot summer months.  I am extremely sensitive to the sun, and can only take it in very small doses, so it makes it difficult for me sometimes in the summer to keep up with the weeding, and supporting plants that have gone wild.  But come September, ahhhh, the garden and I become fast friends once again.  The garden is providing me with an over abundance of her bounty, and I lovingly come back and spend hours caring for her, pampering the late bloomers, and enjoying the harvest.

Right now, like most everyone else, I have lots and lots of tomatoes, my second planting of green beans is flourishing, cukes, zucchini, carrots and kale are still doing well too, and I'm finally getting some peppers! We can't eat it as fast as we're picking, so it's time to get creative in the kitchen.  I spent much of Labor Day prepping my harvest to have over the winter.

Canning and freezing are what I do most, although I like to dry my herbs.  Yesterday I put up 4 pints of salsa, froze a couple of quarts of green beans, roasted and then froze cherry tomatoes,  pickled more cherry tomatoes, made a couple of quarts of tomato sauce, and several gallons of soups.

Here's a great resource for preserving your harvest: