Sharon July 1st, 2011
…half a bushel of zucchini, 20 quarts of cherries, some baby beets and a buttload of basil. Guess what I’m doing this weekend!
Anyone else out there preserving? What are you making?
Well, I’m not preserving on the same scale that you are, but yesterday I picked 25 pounds of strawberries and made six pints of jam, as well as freezing a few gallons of whole berries. It’s still a little early here for preserving season – a month ago I was pickling asparagus, but that’s about it so far. I was just thinking that at saturday’s farmer’s market I would get there early and see if I could buy up a whole load of snap peas for making hot peas (spice pea pickles) and maybe there would be pickling cukes ready. A neighbor lady just gave me about fifty quart canning jars and I intend to fill them UP!
Oh and I count cheesemaking as preserving – it’s the only method I have of preserving my abundance of goat’s milk! I make about four pounds of cheese a week – most recently seeded gouda.
Right now, Strawberries, Pea’s, Radishs, Elderflowers and Daylilys, Currents and Gooseberries are ready in the garden and so they are the ones that are being perserved.
Jams, Jelly, Canned fruits, Dried fruits and herbs, plus some frozen for later use.
Not canning yet, but I am drying – 2 quarts of strawberries, 8 pints of blueberries, some lemons and chamomile so far.
I also did some oregano and lemon balm, but they ended up with *no* scent left. Too hot? Too long? I have no clue – I tried air drying last year, and they all went mouldy. Used the dehydrator this year, and I may as well have left them in the garden. Any suggestions??
Mostly freezing chicken, chicken soup, chicken broth and drying herbs and vegetable foliage right now. A rosemary died and I am salvaging the leaflets. The pie cherry is ripe but there are ants in a lot of the cherries this year. I have mostly been haying and firewooding and getting over the flu.
I have done the cherries already. Pesto tomorrow. The Excailbur is fully loaded with yarrow and chamomile, clover and elderberry. I wish I had more. My garden is VERY slow this year but I think I can harvest peas tomorrow.
Here in Australia the lemons are heavy on the trees, and I’ve friends ready to give me as many as I want. So I’m going to do jars of preserved lemons and marmalade, plus bottles of lemon cordial. Plus put some away in the freezer for when they’re out of season. It’s my first foray into preserving, so I’m hoping all goes well!
Got stewed rhubarb and strawberry rhubarb jam canned; a batch of strawberry liqueur started, have dried somewhere near a gallon of spearmint and lesser quantities of lemon balm and peppermint, froze a few batches of eggs and managed a rough inventory of what’s left in the pantry, to evaluate what does and does not need to be made this year.
Sore feet tonight! Bread and butter pickles canned, watermelon pickles soaking in brine for tomorrow’s canning, need to bring in the lemon mint, spearmint, more oregano, the basil, lemon thyme, lavender, more parsley and black cumin. This will be the third picking of herbs. We have a drought, but the herbs love it. Need to and salt and soak, cook and puree the last of the turnips for freezing.
There is a boatload of green tomatoes on the vines. That’s going to be a very welcome job to can them when they ripen.
I wish. Over here, even the weeds are wilting. Horrible year for gardening.
We’ve frozen a lot of rhubarb, and dried a few bunches of nettles just by hanging them in the pantry (no money for a dehydrator at the moment). Tomorrow if it is nice, I plan to go pick some yarrow for drying also. We’re in zone 2, and our garden is just getting going. We picked a ton of wild rose petals from a nearby provincial forest and made rose petal jelly, but for now we’re just waiting for the real harvest to start coming on…
Canning: carrots, celery, dry beans, green beans, cherry pie filling, apricot pie filling. Dehydrating: zukes, celery, carrots, cherries, strawberries, onions, apricots, green beans. Freezing: rhubarb, strawberries, onions. Whew! And the season has just started!
Here in Indiana we are so far behind due to our wild weather. We’re still drowning in snow peas and some carrots, but that’s about all. Perhaps our heat wave this weekend will prompt our tomatoes along!
We went strawberry picking the other day. 4 quarts frozen,1 quart dehydrated, 6 pints jam. I think I’ll head back for more. We like them dehydrated and I still needto make some wine. We like strawberries but we love blueberries and usually pick more of them. We found a great highbush blueberry u-pick farm nearby.
Each morning I go out my door and watch for the peas, they are there but not plump yet. Fava Beans should be ready soon too. They are a new crop for us this year. Apparently you can get a second crop out of them in the fall.
Meanwhile, I am picking loads of red clover, borage leaf, oregano. Dill and cilantro have been thinned out a bit. I am also dehydrating kale.
French sorrel has gone to seed and I am waiting to harvest the seed.
Aimee, can I have your hot pea recipe? That sounds fabulous! And cheesemaking absolutely is preservation!
K.B. – it could be too hot – what temp did you use? Herbs are usually done at right around or below 100 degrees. It could be too long – lemon balm particularly is famous for not drying super well, and it is very fussy. I hang my herbs to dry in my glassed in porch – hot but good air circulation, but the dehydrator does work too.
K.B. – I agree, probably too hot. If it’s too humid outside to dry them there, you could try Alton Brown’s box fan dehydrator indoors.
(Although I doubt you actually need the furnace filters. Any number of other things would do.)
For herbs I *try* to watch the forecast and wait for a low humidity day (say, under 85%) to harvest and hang to dry. If all else fails, I hang it in my utility room on a day when I’m doing laundry that gets dried indoors. I haven’t tried my Excalibur on low, but even then I suspect that would be too hot.
Other than cucumbers and zucchini, where there is no way not to get too much, this year my garden is producing about what I can eat. There’s just no way I could be canning with my schedule now. If it will preserve on the vine (like dry beans) or live in the fridge for a long time (like garlic) it’s a winner for me right now. I do hope I have sufficient time and tomatoes later in the year — tomato paste is just not the same.
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DH picked 30# of cherries, we froze 12 qts, dried most of the rest, have frozen and dried strawberries from a coupla weeks ago. Put up 5 jars of pesto and several pints of frozen raspberries this weekend. Sharon, where in the heck did you get a bushel of (presumably organic) cucumbers this early?! And what will you do with the zukes?
Aimee, we’d love your hot pea recipe too – in case we ever get “too many” sugar snap peas to just eat out of hand while loitering in the garden. Not much chance of that so far.
Risa, glad to hear you’re recovering.
Testing out the solar dehydrators with 24lbs of strawberries. They should be done this afternoon.
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