This year was the first in which I paid serious attention to garden output, in regard to what we put directly into our freezer, canning jars, and pantry. It was our hope to put up enough fruits and vegetables to avoid most grocery store produce through the winter. However, it wasn’t the easiest year. The local potato crop caught blight, which spread first to our potatoes, then to our tomatoes and late season beans. That said, because we planned ahead and were careful, we did still get quite a few tomatoes (enough for green tomato salsa and pizza sauce).
Below, please find a list of our garden’s (and local farmer’s market’s) bounty, and how we preserved it:
- 36 c. local blueberries (washed, dried, then frozen on cookie-sheets before shuffled into sandwich bags (1c. servings) that were then placed in quart freezer bags)
- 5 quarts local strawberries (washed, hulled, dried, then frozen on cookie-sheets before placed in quart bags)
- 4 qts. sour cherries (pitted, rinsed, then frozen on cookie-sheets before being placed in quart bags) – from fiance’s father’s cherry tress
- 12 pints pectin free strawberry jam (used lemon juice to replace pectin)
- 4 qts. cherry cordial (tried with vodka, rum and 2 types of whiskey)
- Pesto Cubes (make pesto, place in ice cube trays, freeze, remove from trays, bag in quart bags). I put up about 2 dozen of these over the summer and continue to grow fresh basil in the house.
- Green Beans – 2 loose qts. frozen for soups and stews & 25 2-person servings for dinners, frozen in small packages
- Fiddleheads (foraged in our backyard) 8 servings
- Peas – 2 loose qts. frozen for soups and stews & 8 1/2 c. servings
- Summer Squash & Zucchini – 25 c. shredded, measured and frozen
- Pumpkin – 30 c. (roasted, pureed, and frozen in 1c. servings) – sourced from local farmers, as ours didn’t grow this year
- Pizza Sauce – 30 c. made fresh & frozen in individual freezer bags
- Green Peppers – 2 qts. chopped & frozen
- 4 qts. dill pickles
- 8 pts. dill pickles
- 8 qts. green tomato salsa (with fresh local apples, green tomatoes & our own peppers)
- Butternut Squash – 6 very small
- Cabbage – 12 – Went Bad – Will Freeze Next Year
- Spaghetti Squash – 8 med.
- Onions – 150 (Bad Year)
- Garlic – 30 (Rough Year, Very Small)
- Potatoes – Small Red – 1 5-gallon pail
- Potatoes – Commercial, Gleaned from Local Fields – 2 5-gallon pails
- 5 Winter Squash – Sourced from Local Farmers
In reflecting on this, I’m pleased with how much we accomplished even in a rough growing season. This list doesn’t reflect the numerous fresh vegetables we were able to eat over the summer. Next year, we are hoping for better luck with our squash and pumpkins, as I depend on those a lot for baked goods in the winter. We’ve also decided not to plant potatoes and, instead, depend on late season gleaning, as they brought disease into our garden this year.
Coming soon… winter recipes for summer’s preserved bounty.