Sunday, August 28, 2011

Canning at the Family Garden

Yesterday, my sister-in-law and I blanched yellow summer squash, bottled some sun-dried tomatoes, canned sweet pickle relish, worked on the 8th day of 12-day sweet icicle pickles, made and canned tomato-apple chutney, and made the most beautiful organic golden apple sauce.

We were preserving whirling dervishes!

My brother contributed by clearing a shelf in his historic house's bottle pantry. The family garden is across the road from this historic home on the grounds of what is also a historic property, the Pipe School.

Notice I said "clearing", not "cleaning". The shelf still had plenty of mouse dirt and spider webs to wipe down.

In a historic house such as theirs, the women of the house would have taken in and canned and preserved as much of the harvest as they possible could. The early owners of the property raised sheep. So mutton would have been regularly served in addition to whatever they could fish and hunt.

All of us have been impressed by the beauty of our canned produce lining those shelves and the fresh melons and veggies displayed on the counters.

These days we are simply trying to be gluten-free, and pesticide and herbicide-free. I should not say "simply". It has not been simple or easy to hold my hand from the pesticides when the Colorado potato beetle has found our garden, nor so I like what the cabbage moths have done on our bountiful harvest crop. But we do have an abundant crop.

Now what to do with 25 pounds of cukes every 3-4 days!


  1. Gosh, magnificent historic house!

    ...and where do you get all your energy from...I'm exhausted after just reading about all that canning and pickling- very impressed!

  2. My sister-in-law was helping. The 2 1/2 year old twins have been pressed into washing produce, so it is a team effort! I keep meaning to get a picture of our canning.

    The house is great. At one time before my brother and sister-in-law, it was a B&B and has six bathrooms!