Thursday, August 25, 2011

Freezing and Canning

The last few days I have spent a lot of time coming up with the best ways to preserve the harvest based on how the families' picky eaters eat.

Blanching and freezing many veggies is one. My sister-in-law has a huge nearly empty freezer, which just makes sense to fill to the brim. So days at the family garden are filled with the twins helping me harvest and wash produce. We did a huge mess of gnarly carrots yesterday. Gnarly, because the soil is hard and needs a lot of aeration to produce good carrots. The picture above show nearly perfect carrots harvested from my village potager grown in the sandy loam with lots of organic material of a well-worked garden.

The biggest difference from the potager and the family home garden is, based on veggie plant appearance, nitrogen. The potager grows a lot more leaves on the plants, yet the family garden' plant have set up a lot more veggies.

The 'Siberian' tomatoes, while being among the first for harvest have not impressed me with their size. They are about 1 1/2" inch in size versus the reputed 2"-3". There are lots of tomatoes set on each plant.

Tomatoes are one veggie that even the picky eaters eat so it is important we harvest every one.

I cut open a 'Charentais' melon yesterday only to be disappointed with its lack of ripeness. It is edible, but not with the honey-tinged sweetness I had hoped. The 'Earlichamps' are ripe and we have harvested two. The twins were enchanted with the still hairy, fertilized ovules that may yet mature into honeydew melons.

And I have been canning cucumbers. Pickles. Hamburger dills, Russian dill pickles, sweet pickle relish, and am still working on sweet icicle pickles.

And I have hundreds of pounds of cabbage. Anyone have a good storage method?

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