2022 garden stats and notes

It felt like another slow year in the garden (neither of us like to garden so we avoid it), but we still managed to tuck away a fair bit of food, thanks to local orchards, farmers, and friends.

My younger son worked part-time at the produce farm and kept us well stocked in lettuce, kale, cabbages, onions, heirloom tomatoes, beets, and new potatoes, and from our own garden, we had plenty of green peppers, jalapeños, basil, rosemary, strawberries, red raspberries, and asparagus for fresh eating. 

We are still feasting on beef from the three steers we slaughtered a couple years ago. The bakery/diner keeps us stocked in stale bread and leftover pork products. Our cow supplies all our milk and cheese and yogurt, as well as a good amount of butter and ice cream. We’ve swapped/bartered with friends for free-range chicken and pig bones for broth. All our eggs come from my daughter’s flock of chickens.

The Stats

  • Rhubarb, frozen: 2 gallon bags
  • Apple Mint, dried: one-half dehydrator made 3 quarts of tea leaves
  • Strawberries, frozen: 12 quarts
  • Sour Cherries: 1 cup frozen; 2 quarts and 3 pints of canned juice (with sugar); 4½ quarts bounce
  • Wineberries, frozen: 3½ quarts
  • Blueberries, PYO: I forgot to record these, but maybe 4 gallons or so?
  • Applesauce, Lodi (4 bushes): 62 quarts, canned
  • Green Beans: 6 quarts free from a friend, frozen; 14 quarts Roma, frozen; 14 quarts Roma, canned; 15 quarts Tenderette, frozen
  • Oven Dills: 14 pints 
  • Sweet Pickles: 14 quarts, 2 pints
  • Pesto: 6 half-pints, frozen
  • Peaches, Glohaven (2 bushels): 3 gallons, chopped and frozen; 19 quarts, canned
  • Tomatoes, Salsa: 14 quarts and 8 pints
  • Tomatoes, chopped and canned: 8 quarts
  • Nectarines (2 bushels): 7 quarts canned; 12 quarts, dried and frozen; 1 quart, sugared and frozen
  • Red Raspberries: 19 quarts, frozen; 5 pints and 6 half-pints jam
  • Corn (processed with family): 42 pints for us (157 pints total)
  • Grapes: approx 5 quarts juice, 7 3-cup containers pie purée
  • Broth: 14 quarts chicken; 14 (and counting) quarts pork
  • Cheeses: at least another 75 hard cheeses, plus ricottas, mozz, bries, etc.

The Notes
*It was a struggle to find Lodi apples this year. Our regular orchard is no longer growing them, and many of the places I called only had a small amount…maybe. After searching fairly far afield, I finally found some at another (local!) orchard and happily snapped them up: $18/bushel. (I filmed the whole process but then I transitioned the YouTube channel to focus on cheese and never posted it.)

*Five pints of my oven dills didn’t seal, so I just popped them in the barn fridge and used them up first. Good news: certain family members are learning to like dills! We’re eating through them faster than I expected. 

*After years of failed spring plantings of green beans, we finally waited to plant till mid summer — and it worked — a one-time-only planting with good germination. From now on, summer plantings are the way to go.

*We were totally out of sweet pickles so I made a quadruple recipe. I thought it’d be plenty, but the way we’re tearing through them, I’m not so sure. (I planted 18 cucumber plants so I could harvest a whole bunch of cucumbers at one time — I don’t like puny pickings — and next year I might have to do 24.)

*Since we still had some pesto from the previous year, I only made a quadruple batch of pumpkin seed pesto.

*We enjoyed the previous year’s family corn processing day so much that we did it again. We ordered 40 dozen ears from a local farmer for 200 dollars. After about 6 hours of work, we were totally done. Efficiency is a glorious thing! (And the corn is delicious.)

*Both nectarines and peaches were $40/bushel. We love dried nectarines — I have to bury the bag in the freezer so they don’t get gobbled — so I dehydrated more than normal. I discovered that slicing them in thickish rounds, not wedges, is easier and more toothsome.

*I finally learned how to pressure can! My maiden voyage was green beans, and it was soooo easy. Now I’m getting into bone broth. I’ve always bought cases of boxed broth from Costco, but the homemade stuff is much richer and more flavorful, and the accessibility of canned broth can’t be beat. I love adding it willy-nilly to everything: rice, beans, soups, etc.

*If I had to choose one fruit plant/tree, it’d be red raspberry. From July through September, the bushes give and give and give. I pick 1-2 quarts every other day and after a month of pickings, I’m pretty well stocked. (That’s when I call my sister-in-law and tell her it’s her turn to take over.)

*I’m two-thirds of the way through my dried mint and it’s still November. Next year, make more. (This lovely stainless steel French press is the reason I’m crushing so much tea.)

*We bought several bushels of baking and eating apples from our local orchard (the Pink Lady variety is outrageously delicious for fresh eating), as well as about 12 gallons of cider to freeze.

For the satisfaction of hard work completed, and for all the good food, I’m grateful.

This same time, years previous: what I don’t do, fight poem, a fun kitchen hack, the quotidian (11.19.18), the quotidian (11.20.17), curried Jamaican butternut soup, apple raisin bran muffins, how to use up Thanksgiving leftovers in 10 easy steps.

6 Comments

  • Melinda

    While my family isn’t as large as yours, I do what my husband calls “marathon canning.” I’ll can enough of a product to last us two years. One year, when I still had children at home (empty nesters now), I canned 118 qts of green beans.
    Now I do all of my tomato products one year and all of the other veggies the opposite year. Fruits are either processed or frozen depending on the space I have.
    I find it interesting that you both dehydrate and then freeze your nectarine slices.

    • Jennifer Jo

      I freeze dried fruit as extra insurance. Once in a while the fruit isn’t completely dried through and I’m worried it might go bad if stored at room temp. Also, storing them in the freezer creates a useful barrier — so we don’t scarf them all down right away!

  • Thrift at Home

    I enjoy seeing your stats and notes. It’s an art to feed a family! I now have a dehydrator, so I am thinking I am inspired by you to try drying mint tea next summer as well as peaches/nectarines.

  • Jennifer

    Love these end of year posts! Thanks for tracking and sharing all that data. Do you find that some years you just don’t eat through all of what you thought you would? Or do you try to “eat what you own” in a deliberate way?
    We have a large garden that we’re enlarging this winter. And we’re making plans to start keeping more animals.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Some things we run out of; others we have too much of. (Example: this year, I didn’t can any pizza/roasted tomato sauce because we have TONS left from the year before.) I preserve food with the goal of making a good-sized stockpile of the food we enjoy, but if we run out, it’s no biggie — gives us a chance to buy different foods that I wouldn’t ordinarily purchase — and that’s a whole different food adventure!

  • Cat

    I love the pink lady apples, they are my favorite. And the amount of food you grew and stored away is amazing to me. We both work full time and live in the city so our options are bit more limited but I have a small garden and still grew 60 pounds of tomatoes!

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