This is our second year with a garden and therefore only the second time I’ve been canning my own produce. Last year, I didn’t write down anything, a timeline, keep a journal of notes, etc. so I can’t say for sure–but I feel 99% sure I wasn’t harvesting and canning tomatoes in mid-October.
I remember at the end of September I was scouring the internet for green tomato recipes certain that the low nightly temperatures would end their progress.
I was fooled.
The weather has been so unusual that I have been able to can far more tomatoes than expected. Which I’m pumped about.
Can I also say mention my Morning Glories only just started opening up yesterday? How frustrating.
Also, in other news, our 58 chickens finally discovered the garden. It only took them several months to figure it out. We began to gate it in but didn’t rush after we discovered they stuck to the other side of the farm. Well, last week they found it.
But I am not worried. They can have at it and I’ll go find what they can’t reach.
I’m nice like that.
Only because we will be harvesting them soon and chicken and tomatoes go well together.
Apple season is among us. So many of the orchards around here use chemicals. We have a few apple trees out in the pasture, but I don’t think I’ll be canning any of them since the only one who eats applesauce in the house is me.
So perhaps that means today, I’ll go through all my secret hiding places and take a tally of what was canned this season. I want to compare the costs of seeds and start up plants to our canning yield. I already know we made away like bandits since a single can of organic salsa around here will run you $5-$8, but it’s still fun to see how well you did. That way you can walk around the house like a proud rooster, tell all your friends (who could care less), and tell a long story about the product anytime someone opens a can.
“Have I ever told you about that time when I was canning these peaches?…”
Oh yeah, I plan on being one of those people.
See, I take pride in canning and growing our own food. It hacks our food budget in a time of year where money is tight: all the taxes like to come in at once. Gone are the warm months of salads: hello constant stews, soups, and chilis.
And let me tell you, if you think canning isn’t work–oh boy. You should try to do it sometime. I’ve spent many beautiful days in the kitchen for over 10 hours, peeling, blanching, cooking, baking, milling, mashing, dancing (yes!), the list goes on. When you’re done your back hurts, you’re hungry because you forgot about food while canning food, and you want to be left alone to watch Gilmore Girls and drink a glass of wine.
And canning is so much better when you have someone to share the work with. So I am sure someone would love to have a helper if you ever wanted to learn.
So although I may not be canning today, the work doesn’t stop. I’ll have to go to the garden, harvest what I can, uproot the plants, and begin to put the garden to rest for the season (and possibly plant some garlic).