Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

September 28, 2009

Put'n it up!

A big part, and to be honest it's a really big part, of the idea of a sub-urban farm or urban homestead or whatever you'd like to call it, is deciding what to do with all the stuff you've grown after you've grown it.

With the economy as it is, we'e been happy to be able to help out friends and neighbors with some extra produce from time to time and we've eaten a ton of really good fresh meals, but at some point, you just have to either put up or shut up. By put up I of course mean putting up food for later. We've done a good bit of that this year. We've dried, frozen, pickled, jellied, juiced and canned much more this year that in any year past. It is by no means enough to feed us all winter, but it helps me to justify to myself the effort, time and let's be honest here, money, that we put into our garden. I wish I'd had a chance to get good pictures of everthing we did, but alas the technical difficulties raised they're stupid heads more than once for me.
Here's some pickles, potatoes, plum jam and salsa that we put up one weekend. It was a busy one for sure.

I also tried my hand at making sour brined pickles this year. I can't take credit, as much as I'd like to, for the beautiful pickle cukes. I can't grow them to save my life! But I did find a local grower that had a great deal on these and they worked great.
After seasoning and brineing them and letting them ferment for three weeks they developed a great kosher dill sour pickle taste. I really really like them. This will be a definite do again project.
This year we also tried our hand at dried tomatoes. Believe me, we have much more than this. After they're dried we can re-hydrate them in a little basamic vinager and then store in the fridge in some olive oil. Very very good!
And of course we canned tomatoes. These are some of our chopped tom's. We also have done whole romas, tomato sauce and even tried ketchup.

Slowly but surely we're building a good food storage in the basement. It would be easier to freeze a lot of stuff, but that won't help me if the power goes out.

There's still more to go, but soon these jars will be regular guests on our dinner table.

Few things taste better than something you planted from seed, picked at the peak of ripeness with your own hands and put up for later.

It's a good life, eh?
Till next time.


Affi'enia said...

Storing food is something we're trying to figure out here. We're expanding on what is going in the garden this year which means we will have to learn to store stuff. We also want to avoid the freezer as much as possible. Canning is a totally new thing to me, currently my preserving skills lie in Jam. Your store room is one heck of an inspiration to me!

ChicagoMike said...

Thats awesome!

Love the commercial kitchen shelves! Did you recover those somewhere in particular?

Barb J. said...

We didn't put up as much this year as we had hoped to - it's an issue of only having so many hours in a day. But thanks for the inspiration!

Meadowlark said...

I didn't do much canning this year, and surprisingly it's because I'm unemployed. Time seems to disappear on me.

Am going to do split pea soup this week, and your gorgeous photos might be the shove I needed.

Pickle recipe? I'm still struggling with brined pickles.

esp said...

Your pantry looks beautiful!

Preparedness Pro said...

Affi'enia, are you familiar with freeze dried foods? This is an easy way to store fruits and vegetables long term for about the same price as canning them. No refrigeration required! http://bit.ly/i1m1u

Irma said...

Beautiful jars of things you have preserved yourself AND a case of wine? You're set!

kaat said...

You rock! What a nice array.
We're in our first year gardening and putting up and it's an adventure. I love taking control of our food supply.

gumboot goddess said...

What a gorgeous pantry! how do you preserve potatoes? and did you make your wine, too? impressive