Tuesday, August 26, 2008

harvesting and putting away

Have you heard of the book, The $64 Tomato? -where the gardener had one expensive failure after another. Well, it's an oddity, not the norm. The truth is you can save a lot of money by growing your own food. And it's leisurely and enjoyable, thus far, knock on wood. Another truth is eating eggs from your own hens is safer and healthier than eating the eggs of industrial farmed chickens. (And the eggs are prettier not to mention the good karma of happy hens.) this experiment in backyard harvesting has given us far more returns than what we eat and i would garden regardless of cost effectiveness.

So now that the garden is grown what will we eat all winter??

NPR interviewed a woman who had one disaster after another while trying to preserve fruit. I laughed at the stories and then worried. Until now, I've always been part of an assembly line of canning, I've never been the mastermind. Could I manage by myself? Would my kitchen be subject to exploding glass jars and flying arcs of ruined syrupy produce? That would stick to the walls and floor. Shudder.

And though my manual put the terror of botulism in me i proceeded. It helps that I live in Provo, Utah, the capital of canning where you can knock on almost any door and there is someone who can ease your mind and encourage your efforts. I promise. (Thanks Carr family!)

Between Ball jars and Kerr jars, the Kerr are the loveliest. The glass looks old and wavy.
The jars could have been filled with more apricots but they are sealed! Victory! (thanks for the fruit, Cutries!)

Since then i've canned peaches and tomatoes and the dehydrator has made us tons of prunes. o'lover packed a freezer full of his plum ice cream (thanks for the fruit, Ramseys!)

All this good fortune has gotten me dreaming. And someday, someday i want to enter the Utah County Fair. Until that thrilling day i lust after the skills of others for canning and growing. check out this cabbage:

that 20 lb bowling ball should be in the olympics!! what a winner!
(thanks to Adrian Hinton for letting me handle that glorious cabbage, what a privilege!)

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