"An Army marches on it's stomach." Napoleon
Canning is a wonderful way of saving money, eating healthier, decreasing pollution and fuel consumption (Oh yes it does!), provides you with a good amount of food stored for emergencies, and even satisfies your lofty pursuit of reducing your carbon footprint.
Canning season in our home starts in June with jams, and ends with root crops- my last item was parsnips. My gardens are basically emptied, with the exception of some lettuce we are using until it freezes, and Italian parsley that is growing still and will be cut and dried later this month.
Here is a list of what we canned or froze this year:
Green Beans- 50 qts
Carrots- 12 qts
Jam- rasp 7 pints
- blueberry 4 pints
- cherry 7 pints
Pickles- sweet 8 qts
- dill 7 qts
speghetti sauce- 29 qts
salsa- 74 pints
tomato sauce- 25 qts
chopped tomatoes- 21 qts
parsnips- 2 qts 12 pints
beets- 12 qts
raspberries- 9 qts
peas- 13 qts
corn- 16 qts
brocolli- 8 qts
blueberries- 12 qts
rhubbarb- 3 qts
sliced sweet peppers- 6 qts
This month, we will also be butchering a pig and a steer, so the freezers will be almost full. We still have chicken that we butchered last January, but ended up not raising meatbirds this year because I wasn't sure when we would be moving the house! Luckily we still have some in the freezer, and maybe can get some more meat chicks once we move to the other farm.
Last year, we also made a trip to the apple orchard near us, and we are allowed to pick all the windfall apples we want for free, so we had put up over 20 qts of pie filling, 15 qts of applesauce, and had lots of apples stuffed into any available fridge space!
We also have lots of peaches left over from last year's canning, so I didn't do any this year. That's good inspiration for me to make more peach pies this winter :-)
Our cold storage consists of over 140# of potatoes stored in boxes in a storage shed to stay cool, onions drying on screens to be also put into the shed once they are dried, and a box of butternut squash. My pumpkin sadly bit the dust due to a blight that hit all the area pumpkin patches, so we won't be canning pumpking this year.
Wish I could end this post with a picture of my canning shelves, filled with jars full of good things to eat! However, since our house is being picked up and moved within the next 2 weeks, I have all of the jars boxed up so nothing falls and breaks.
Even if you don't have the room for a large garden, or have the time to tend to one, putting in a small kitchen garden for lettuce, onions, and a few tomato plants is a great start. Every little bit is one more step towards self sustainability.
So, I guess my army is ready for winter :-)