The Weston A. Price Way

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fall Gardening and Canning Contemplations

I am...we are...contemplating a fall garden. Those in the know have told me the fall garden is easier than the summer garden. Less pests, less heat at harvest, and the joy of fall treats like squash and cool-weather loving greens. With the hecticness of our summer lives, we decided this year, not to fail at summer gardening yet again. It's been difficult because we've never failed at tomotoes and peppers so I've always had this great salsa that one of my grandkids 'lives for'. This year I have to buy that stuff and I am NOT happy about it. My husband did plant a few tomatoes, but the blasted shade in our back yard did not let them grow well. I am thinking of starting to plant veggies among our flower garden that surrounds the pond next year...It's the only place that gets enough real sun. Well, the only place besides right in front of the garage entrances, which obviously won't work.

BUT, our side yard gets lots of sun. It has not been tilled or prepared and so, even if we do plant a fall garden, it may not produce beautifully this first year, but I do want to give it a try. Hubby says the ground's so hard he'll need a stronger tiller than what we have, so we'll need to rent one for a day. But if I can just get him to till it, I can do the rest.

Been reading a little about companion planting, too. Not sure I can get my husband to go for it. He likes his straight rows of all one kind of plant. While it does look nice, I have a feeling God's garden didn't look like that, and I have another feeling that if I'm right about the first feeling, then there must have been a good companion planting.

So, I'm looking over this canner I got a very long time ago that I've never used for anything except water-bath canning. But it's a pressure cooker canner and a friend of mine just started pressure cooker canning and is very, very excited about it. And I'm looking at my canner, now, in a little bit of a different light. It needs a gasket. Knowing as much as I do about pressure canners, I think that's all it needs, so I ordered one for my 16 qt. Harvest Gold pressure cooker canner last night. It comes with another little thingy, too, so I reckon I'd better check on that, too.

I am happy to say that I can get it's downloadable instructions online. I will need them.

Why the interest in canning? Preservation of good food in non-metallic vessels for one thing. And when my friend told me about being able to put your leftover chicken and dumplings, chili, and whatnot in a jar and preserve it for another meal that you don't have to remember to thaw...I liked that. A lot. I over cook, I mean abundance-wise, all the time. I never know if it's going to be just me and my husband or an additional two or ten. So when I cook things, especially things in pots, I tend to want to fill the pot. So, canning my veggies, some farmer's market veggies, or my leftovers, sounds like a fantastic idea. Another thing that can be done is buying veggies when they're on sale and canning them.

My friend told me once I get started I won't want to stop. Now, I've done jams and tomatoes via water bath canning and I'm not so sure she's right about the not wanting to stop part. But I could get hooked on having jars filled with pretty foods lining my shelves. And I'm thinking, it's always been hot outside when I've done this in the past, and it heats up the kitchen and me with it, so that part has not been fun. But what if we do the fall garden? That would mean canning when it's getting chilly outside and that might be a whole lot better for me.

Anyway...Just thinking.

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