It was a fairly low-key and humdrum gardening year. As is our custom, we exerted minimal energy and scraped by with just the necessities. Good-enough gardening, I call it.
Strawberries: 51½ quarts sliced with sugar and frozen; 16 quarts whole, frozen; 20 pints of assorted recipes of freezer jam; 4 quarts crushed, with lemon and sugar
Sour cherries, frozen: 4 quarts; 5½ pints
Rhubarb, frozen: about 2 gallons
Basil: 16 half pints assorted pesto recipes, frozen
Zucchini: 13½ pints of relish, canned; 3 9×9 pans sausage and zucchini parm, frozen; 8 one-cup bags grated, frozen
Blueberries, frozen: 22 pints
Green beans, Roma, frozen: 25 (very large) quarts
Tomatoes: 86 quarts and 5½ pints, chopped and canned; 32½ pints roasted tomato and garlic pizza sauce, canned; 60 pints and 5 half pints roasted tomato sauce, canned
Cucumbers: 24 quarts and 3½ pints sweet pickles, canned
Nectarines: 2 quarts sugared, frozen; 2 gallons of chunks, frozen; 7 pints dried, frozen
Peaches: 9 quarts canned; 2 quarts frozen; lots of peach leather
Corn, frozen: 23 quarts
Red raspberries, frozen: roughly 16 quarts
Grapes: 16 quarts of puree, frozen; 22 quarts juice
Peppers: 3 pints cooked and frozen; several quarts fresh chopped and frozen
Apples: 36 quarts applesauce, canned
*Much to my children’s consternation, I decided to forgo salsa since we still had some leftover from previous years. However, we are quickly running out, oops. Next year, make bunches.
*I wasn’t going to make applesauce, either — again, we had some leftover, and my family doesn’t eat tons of it anymore — but now we’re nearly out and I’m reconsidering. It is awfully nice to have applesauce on hand, and I’ve yet to find a good store sauce… (Update: we made applesauce over Thanksgiving weekend!)
*What a bumper crop of strawberries! We filled an entire small chest freezer, which makes me feel crazy rich. Here’s a good dessert: thawed lightly-sugared strawberries over vanilla ice cream (Costco’s is best) with fat, crunchy pretzels from Pennsylvania.
*Also from the garden for fresh eating: asparagus, Swiss chard, beets, jalapenos, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, radishes.
*Gazpacho was a new, fantastic discovery.
*I almost didn’t bother picking the red raspberries. We hadn’t taken care of the bushes and they looked pretty scraggly. But then I decided I should pick at least a few and, like so — picking every other day — look how many I got!
*Zucchini parm freezes and reheats beautifully. Too bad most of the progeny aren’t fans.
*We really could use more blueberries.
*We are cruising through the canned nectarines (leftover from previous years) — my younger daughter loves them in green smoothies — so next year I need to can a bunch more.
*We had so many grapes! A month after I stopped picking (and after a couple light frosts), there were still bunches of (super sweet) grapes on the vine.
*I didn’t make any pesto torte and I miss it.
This same time, years previous: the day before, the quotidian (11.25.13), Thanksgiving 2012, Thanksgiving of 2011, apple rum cake, Thanksgiving of 2010, chocolate pots de creme.
Wow, awesome job, well done! That is a lot of work!!
When you freeze pints and quarts do you use plastic zip lock bags or plastic freezer containers?
Did you grow all those tomatoes or buy some too?
I so enjoy reading your blog, thank you!!
Janet -Woodway, WA
Most pints and quarts are in plastic quart storage containers. Some things are in glass, and others are in an assortment of plastic containers, and a few things (the 1 cup portions of cherries or zucchini, in particular) are in ziplock baggies.
And yes, we grew all the tomatoes (and lots went to waste, too, since there were so many!).
Thank you for reading!! xo
What a wonderful rich and healthy variety of fresh food on hand. So much work to get it that way, but isn't it satisfying to take stock of heading into the winter. Well Done!
Good enough, indeed! That seems like a lot of produce to me, but I know you have a lot of folks to feed. I would feel like I was rich and blessed if I had grown this much to put up. Congratulations on a good year!
Well, we didn't grow ALL the food ourselves. We bought some of the the fruit — blueberries, nectarines, peaches — from a local orchard. But yes, I DO feel incredibly rich … and grateful!