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View Full Version : The Garden Is Planned ~ Now How About Canning?



Diamondindykin
Apr. 10, 2011, 04:35 PM
I have my garden all planned, got the soil prepared (decided on steer manure compost) and got the seeds started.

I am putting in a very large garden this year and would like to can and freeze some of my yield.

What is the best produce to can? What is the best produce to freeze?

Any ideas would be appreciated:yes:

ETA ~ I have never canned before so my MIL is going to show me how to do it correctly so I don't kill anyone ;)

coloredcowhorse
Apr. 10, 2011, 05:01 PM
Tomatoes.....can or dry
Beans....can or blanche and freeze
Squash/pumpkin....can
Strawberries, berries....freeze
Peaches, apricots, cherries...can (you can find some awesome recipes for things like pickled fruits) or freeze (can also be dried)
Corn...I prefer blanched and frozen but you can can
Spinach...blanche/freeze
Asparagus.....can

What else are you growing?

Daydream Believer
Apr. 10, 2011, 05:05 PM
I've never canned before either and I bought the book "Canning for Dummies." It seems nicely laid out. I got mine off of Amazon.

I have blanched and frozen veggies before. We also want to explore drying especially as backpacking rations.

Diamondindykin
Apr. 10, 2011, 05:15 PM
I bought a book yesterday about canning from the Ball company (the ones that make the jars).

I am also interested in drying the herbs that I am growing to use in the winter.

mpsbarnmanager
Apr. 10, 2011, 05:35 PM
I am going to can the crap out of some green beans! We didn't get any last year due to a very late start and I was really bummed! I *love* me some canned green beans and its not hard to do once you have done it once. We also can tomatoes, potatoes, and I tried to make dill pickles last year too but they were gross. :( I am excited to plant either tonight or tomorrow. Ill be planting green beans, peas, sugar snap peas, carrots and maybe broccoli for now.

Diamondindykin
Apr. 10, 2011, 05:53 PM
Tomatoes.....can or dry
Beans....can or blanche and freeze
Squash/pumpkin....can
Strawberries, berries....freeze
Peaches, apricots, cherries...can (you can find some awesome recipes for things like pickled fruits) or freeze (can also be dried)
Corn...I prefer blanched and frozen but you can can
Spinach...blanche/freeze
Asparagus.....can

What else are you growing?

Tomatoes
Potatoes
Yellow & Red Onions
Peppers
Lettuce
Beans
Peas
Eggplant
Squash
Zucchini
Cucumbers
Maybe corn
Broccolli
Garlic
Spinach

Dill
Oregano
Rosemary
Thyme
Parsley flat & Italian
Basil
Chives

Blueberries
Grapes
Apples (for the horses)

Dad Said Not To
Apr. 10, 2011, 06:00 PM
We also want to explore drying especially as backpacking rations.

I'm doing this right now with store-bought frozen veg-- have peas in the dehydrator at the moment, then carrots will go in. Evidently corn, peas, carrots, and dried, cooked, then redried beans rehydrate well. Limas and green beans don't. Broccoli is kind of iffy. BF is on the AT for the summer-- guess who gets to send him frequent food drops?

Alagirl
Apr. 10, 2011, 06:20 PM
tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes are also good frozen then chucked into sauce.

herb drying is pretty easy: tie into small bunches and hang in an airy location, putting a paper bag over it keeps the dust off, like a small sandwich bag...:)

Diamondindykin
Apr. 10, 2011, 09:40 PM
tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes are also good frozen then chucked into sauce.

herb drying is pretty easy: tie into small bunches and hang in an airy location, putting a paper bag over it keeps the dust off, like a small sandwich bag...:)

I tried to keep the perennial herbs over the winter but they died. Can I use the herbs fresh all summer and then dry what is left of them in the fall or do I need to dry them at the peak of summer?

I am thinking of canning the tomatoes with the herbs together for a marinara sauce.

birdsong
Apr. 10, 2011, 09:46 PM
Grew up on a farm with a 5 acre garden. We froze EVERYTHING then opened it up to the community.

I can shuck corn and shell peas faster than anyone!! Thank God I don't have to any longer!

DMK
Apr. 10, 2011, 09:53 PM
I have a tiny garden, but I get enough to do some ice pickles and green tomatoes and onions. This year I may add red sauce but I hate regular maters (sun dried, cooked or sundried is fine, raw and red is untouchable... so I was really happy when the only maters I got out of my garden were end of season green maters). I also blanch and freeze zucchini and yellow squash when I am sick of eating it.

ET's Home
Apr. 10, 2011, 10:11 PM
Dry the herbs at their peak, before flowering. If you keep most herbs trimmed they won't flower. As you trim them, use what you need, dry the rest. At the end of the summer you should have a nice bunch put up. Let some of the dill go to seed and collect the seed for the following year or let it self-seed.

Invite a few friends who also garden and have a canning party. Makes it more fun. 'Cause peeling tomatoes in the heat of summer next to boiling pots of water just the ticket.

ET

ET's Home
Apr. 10, 2011, 10:12 PM
Oh and canned green beans with dill and garlic are to die for!

Poniesofmydreams
Apr. 10, 2011, 10:25 PM
There is a great book called "Putting Food By" that is all about canning and preserving food. The author (I think) is Janet Greene. My neighbor let me borrow it and I plan to buy my own copy. Its a keeper.

Daydream Believer
Apr. 10, 2011, 11:00 PM
I'm doing this right now with store-bought frozen veg-- have peas in the dehydrator at the moment, then carrots will go in. Evidently corn, peas, carrots, and dried, cooked, then redried beans rehydrate well. Limas and green beans don't. Broccoli is kind of iffy. BF is on the AT for the summer-- guess who gets to send him frequent food drops?

Your BF is lucky! Is he thru hiking?

rustbreeches
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:54 AM
I have a great, easy refigerator pickle recipe I will send if you want. They keep at least 6 months, so they make great holiday gifts. I freeze tomatoes as well as can them. If you have a zucchinni bread recipe you like, you can grate and freeze the quantity needed for teh recipe in small bags. I always freeze my corn. I put up 32 qts last year. You can string and dry jalapenos. For onions, save old panty hose and drop an onion in teh toe, tie a knot and repeat all the way up both legs, then hang in a cool dry place.

Dad Said Not To
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:45 AM
Your BF is lucky! Is he thru hiking?

Yes, he is. I dropped him off at Springer a month ago today, and he should be in Bakersville, NC tomorrow-- I should be meeting him at Katahdin in about 4-5 months. He wanted me to go with him-- I managed to convince him that that wouldn't be good for the relationship. ;)

Daydream Believer
Apr. 11, 2011, 08:51 AM
Yes, he is. I dropped him off at Springer a month ago today, and he should be in Bakersville, NC tomorrow-- I should be meeting him at Katahdin in about 4-5 months. He wanted me to go with him-- I managed to convince him that that wouldn't be good for the relationship. ;)

I'd give my left arm to thru hike! Just who would take care of my farm and critters for 5 months...UGH...not anytime soon for me.

I wish him luck. Does he have a trailjournal? What is is trail name? I hang out on Whiteblaze and often folks mention who they see and where they are.

carolprudm
Apr. 11, 2011, 09:18 AM
If you like Tex Mex try 1 or 2 tomatillo plants cilantro and a wide variety of peppers.

However with gardening it is very easy to start all gung ho and get overwhelmed,

One of my favorite resources
http://www.gardensalive.com/default.asp?sid=100842

SmartAlex
Apr. 11, 2011, 11:18 AM
I don't particularly enjoy the stress of canning. I do like freezing though. Here is a list of what I put up:

Sweet Pickles
Dill Pickles
Canned Tomatoes (every other year)
Frozen Tomato Sauce
Green Beans (blanch 3 min and freeze)
Peas (blanch 3 min and freeze)
Carrots (blanch 3 min and freeze)
Sweet Corn (I cook 6 ears, eat half, freeze half)

Things I don't bother with anymore:
Summer Squash ~ Frozen=yuck
Brocolli ~ I just don't use it
Anything that involves the pressure cooker

The blueberries I would freeze. The apples I would dry.

Our neighbors can a nice pepper and onion in tomato sauce mixture that I blend and use in my sauce sometimes.

2DogsFarm
Apr. 11, 2011, 11:30 AM
I am All About E-Z & freeze all my surplus.

Tomatoes can be frozen whole or cutup, uncooked or made into sauce.
I don't even remove the skins when I make sauce - it kind of disappears into the sauce.

Beans get rinsed and put into freezer bags. Green beans get frozen on a cookie sheet first so I can get a handful, not the whole bag, to cook later.

I don't take sweet corn off the cob, just rinse, remove husk & silk and freeze. Months later it still tastes pretty fresh.

I micro-cook squash then freeze the pulp to use later.

Berries get frozen loose on a cookie sheet too then transferred to freezer bags so they don't clump together.

Peaches get peeled & cutup then frozen on the cookie sheet before going into bags.

Freezer pickles are a great way to use zucchini as well as cucumbers. I have a freezer relish recipe and another one that gets done in the microwave.

If anyone here knows how to freeze pears w/o having to cook them first I will be forever grateful.
My 2 trees produce a bounty of pears that end up wasted for the most part even after I give away bushels!
:(

sunridge1
Apr. 11, 2011, 11:33 AM
I can Dilly beans, Tomatoes (stewed, whole, juice) and Peaches, Applesauce.

I freeze beans, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, corn, winter squash, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb, spinach, beets.

Working on a way to keep whole carrots through the winter.

I have never stored my Asparagus but eat it fresh.

I make homemade jellies and jams from wild and domestic fruits, canned and freezer. This year I will try my hand at wine.

Gardening and (wild) gathering is my second love to horses.

carolprudm
Apr. 11, 2011, 11:46 AM
If you do a lot of freezing a FoodSaver is a handy thing

pony grandma
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:02 PM
Oh and canned green beans with dill and garlic are to die for!

:yes::yes: w/ some vinegar added - LOVE THESE!


I am All About E-Z & freeze all my surplus.

Tomatoes can be frozen whole or cutup, uncooked or made into sauce.
I don't even remove the skins when I make sauce - it kind of disappears into the sauce.

My 2 trees produce a bounty of pears that end up wasted for the most part even after I give away bushels!
:(

Freezing tomatoes - cut the core out first then freeze with the skins on - I use old bread sacks - then shake them loose in the winter to use for soups and sauces. Run hot water over them and the skins slide right off.

Pears! HORSES LOVE PEARS!! even more than apples. This is a horse forum I assume you have horses. My horses will also eat the giant battleship sized zucchinis, I toss them over the fence and they break apart for them.

I used my herbs/peppers and onions to make the pasta sauces and hot sauces to can. So lovely to use them up when they are fresh. YUM I love home grown produce and the incredible meals.

SmartAlex
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:09 PM
Beans get rinsed and put into freezer bags. Green beans get frozen on a cookie sheet first so I can get a handful, not the whole bag, to cook later.


Oooooo.... I'm going to do THIS. :D

mtnjen
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:46 PM
your local Extension office should have some great resources for you. Ours has trained volunteers who teach food preservation classes. Canning is a blast and yes, you do have to do it correctly or you can end up with spoiled food and/or profoundly ill people. Veggies are the ones you have to pressure can b/c regular boiling water baths CANNOT get the temperature up high enough to kill botulism spores, you have to add pressure to get the heat high enough (and then you still need to boil the veg once you open the can). Fun way to preserve those low acid foods without pressure canning is pickling, so things like dilly beans and pickled asparagus, etc. Tomatoes are great and easy but you do have to add acid as today's tomatoes (even from the garden) are not as acidic as our grandma's were. Bottled lemon juice is easy to use, then you can hot water bath 'em. Jam and jelly is addictive to make, oh my - so much better than store bought! Drying is great, a fun way to make some supplies for camping or snacking, and freezing also rocks. Try to find recipes and instructions from companies like Ball, or the USDA, or Extension Offices to be sure they are tested for safety. An AWESOME book is "So Easy To Preserve." Okay, I think I've geeked out enough for one post, eh? I love this stuff! Have fun, both gardening and preserving. Add another vote for a canning party, it is such a blast!

SmartAlex
Apr. 11, 2011, 12:51 PM
Tomatoes are great and easy but you do have to add acid as today's tomatoes (even from the garden) are not as acidic as our grandma's were. Bottled lemon juice is easy to use, then you can hot water bath 'em.

Note: If you use heirloom varieties (as opposed to the modern hybrid varieties), you do not have to add acid. I generally do anyway, but I actually AM using my grandfather's tomatoes.

OlmosHeaven
Apr. 11, 2011, 04:18 PM
I've got some pears that just were sliced and put into freezer bags. They won't be pretty for use in canning, but with the bag I've got left, I may make a pie or some other baked item. Saw a recipe for a pear/ginger cake that looked interesting.

I don't garden (maybe when I retire :)), but I do use what grows wild around here. I make dewberry jam (they are a blackberry variety that vines instead of bushes), mustang grape jelly, sand plum jelly and mesquite bean jelly. I could do prickly pear jelly, but three or four is usually all I can manage.

No plums this year -- they flowered but didn't set fruit. I think it was too dry. I picked some dewberries this morning. I hope I'll get enough for at least one batch of jam -- again it's too dry and they flowered late, so they'll ripen fast and dry up just as quick. :cry:

Looks like the mustang grapes are holding on -- but they won't be ripe until July (and also need rain). And I'm hoping that I'll get to pick peaches from trees belonging to friends for peach jam again. Did not do mesquite bean jelly last year; never really saw the trees laden with bean pods, but the trees are blooming now, so maybe I'll pick some this summer.

I'm envious of all of you who will pick produce from your gardens. Maybe one of these years ...

2DogsFarm
Apr. 11, 2011, 04:50 PM
Pears! HORSES LOVE PEARS!! even more than apples. This is a horse forum I assume you have horses. My horses will also eat the giant battleship sized zucchinis, I toss them over the fence and they break apart for them.

I used my herbs/peppers and onions to make the pasta sauces and hot sauces to can. So lovely to use them up when they are fresh. YUM I love home grown produce and the incredible meals.

I use homegrown basil & oregano and bell peppers in my pasta/pizza sauces along with the fresh & later frozen 'maters. I freeze the sauces in freezer bags too.
For some reason I cannot grow an onion to save my life. :no:

I do feed pears to the horses - they are truly droolworthy according to my guys :D
They get all the windfalls that the wasps or ants don't get first.
But I have just 1 horse, 1 pony and they cannot possibly keep up with the pear harvest.
This year I may try nuking them in a simple syrup then freezing.

As for the zukes.....
The year I planted 15 hills (I know, WTF was I thinking?:eek:) right by the barn, horses turned their noses up at the squash. The little bitty tender ones & the baseball bats alike.
They.Were.Not.Eating.Them.Period.

The pumpkins from last year that sprawled into the pasture were fun to step on, but they didn't eat those either.

sunridge1
Apr. 11, 2011, 05:11 PM
I use homegrown basil & oregano and bell peppers in my pasta/pizza sauces along with the fresh & later frozen 'maters. I freeze the sauces in freezer bags too.
For some reason I cannot grow an onion to save my life. :no:

I do feed pears to the horses - they are truly droolworthy according to my guys :D
They get all the windfalls that the wasps or ants don't get first.
But I have just 1 horse, 1 pony and they cannot possibly keep up with the pear harvest.
This year I may try nuking them in a simple syrup then freezing.

As for the zukes.....
The year I planted 15 hills (I know, WTF was I thinking?:eek:) right by the barn, horses turned their noses up at the squash. The little bitty tender ones & the baseball bats alike.
They.Were.Not.Eating.Them.Period.

The pumpkins from last year that sprawled into the pasture were fun to step on, but they didn't eat those either.

Oh dear you and yours are lucky to still be alive! I've heard when planted in mass quantity they can mutate into giant monsters consuming everything in their path. :lol:

carolprudm
Apr. 11, 2011, 05:38 PM
Even my goats won't eat zucs. We call the big ones Nucs

Dad Said Not To
Apr. 12, 2011, 08:46 AM
Does he have a trailjournal? What is is trail name? I hang out on Whiteblaze and often folks mention who they see and where they are.

His trail name is BookSmarts and his trail journal is at http://www.trailjournals.com/location.cfm?trailname=8742

Back on topic: I can my (heirloom) tomatoes and sauce made from them, but since I don't like pickles enough to make and can a bunch, don't have a pressure canner, and am leery of canning low-acid foods without one, everything else gets frozen, dried, or put in cold storage.

Sunridge, if you have a cool space that can act as a root cellar, carrots keep very well in a tub of clean sand. I'd go through them at least every other week and pull out any that are looking questionable, but you should be able to keep them at least most of the winter.

atlatl
Apr. 12, 2011, 11:22 AM
I can my tomatoes and am just now down to 6 cans from last summer.

I froze green beans last year but they were mushy. Maybe I did something wrong, but I'll be canning them this year too.

If you are at all concerned about the acidity of your tomatoes and whether you need to add acid, buy a set of pH test strips and test them before you process. One small step to avoid one big mess of botulism and ruining all your work.

S1969
Apr. 12, 2011, 01:00 PM
Echoing Mtnjen - canning isn't hard, but there are rules.

If it's your first year canning I'd say -- stick to high-acid canning and freeze or dry the rest. High acid foods: tomatoes, fruit jams/juices/preserves, pickles. These can be done in a boiling water canner and it's easy and virtually foolproof.

Low acid foods: green beans, peas, mushrooms, meats, etc. - these need to be canned in a pressure canner so that the temperature will be high enough to kill bacteria in absence of acid. If you don't do this properly you can make people extremely ill or even die.

I've been canning tomatoes, pickles and jams for years now and might take on the pressure canner this year. But...freezing is so much easier if you don't have to worry about power outages.

Good luck and have fun! My friends and I are planning a tomato canning party (or two) this summer!

Diamondindykin
Apr. 12, 2011, 04:51 PM
Thanks everyone!! I think that I will stick with the high acid stuff this year and freeze the rest or I will give the other stuff to my MIL to can for me since she has been doing it for 50 years or so:D

Where'sMyWhite
Apr. 12, 2011, 05:17 PM
Slightly off topic... for those of you that can tomatoes, pressure can or hot water bath?

Catersun
Apr. 12, 2011, 06:01 PM
I've never canned before either and I bought the book "Canning for Dummies." It seems nicely laid out. I got mine off of Amazon.

I have blanched and frozen veggies before. We also want to explore drying especially as backpacking rations.

back packing rations my hiney ;) ya'll are survivalists... just admit it now ;) *tease* the end of the world and all lol

S1969
Apr. 12, 2011, 06:01 PM
Tomatoes are easy to can with a water bath canner. I suppose you could probably do it in a pressure canner...I wonder if it would be faster? But they don't need to be under pressure if the acidity is high enough; which is the reason you're often advised to add lemon juice or citric acid to ensure that the acidity is high enough.

Daydream Believer
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:13 PM
His trail name is BookSmarts and his trail journal is at http://www.trailjournals.com/location.cfm?trailname=8742

Sunridge, if you have a cool space that can act as a root cellar, carrots keep very well in a tub of clean sand. I'd go through them at least every other week and pull out any that are looking questionable, but you should be able to keep them at least most of the winter.

Thanks! I'll check out his trailjournal. I can live vicariously this way on the AT!

On carrots. With some protection from the snow, like a cold frame, they can winter over outside in most climates. They set up more sugar and are very sweet and yummy! Parsnips winter over outside also. I LOVE parsnips!

Daydream Believer
Apr. 12, 2011, 09:16 PM
back packing rations my hiney ;) ya'll are survivalists... just admit it now ;) *tease* the end of the world and all lol

Well, I have to admit that I will like not having to buy grocery store veggies at high prices this winter...and if the world ends in the meanwhile, we'll be pretty self sufficient. :cool:

I hope to put in some cold tunnels this summer and garden all winter. It is possible to grow cool season veggies all winter with one or two layers of plastic as far north as Maine. I figure why not...beats buying veggies from Mexico or whereever.

fancyponies
Apr. 12, 2011, 10:33 PM
I can all my tomatoes, after putting them through my Vita-Mixer so the skins are blended in. I use a hot water bath and sometimes add extra lemon juice depending on the variety. I like that in a jar they are ready to use right away as salsa, tomato sauce, or pizza topping, depending on what I add to them.

I blanch and freeze my beans on cookie sheets, then repackage after they are frozen, so they don't deteriorate when frozen from enzyme action, and they are easy to separate for cooking. Wouldn't probably do water bath canning for beans as they are low acid foods.

Pumpkins or winter squash I microwave cook, then skin and clean out, cut into cubes, and freeze on a try, then repackage.

Strawberries, berries are frozen on a cookie sheet, then repackaged in ziploc freezer bags with a spoonful of sugar or some honey, or made into jams or preserved fruit in a hot water canner. Again, I like that jar goods are ready to dump out of the jar and use. Also make homemade grape juice by pouring a light syrup over a bunch or two of grapes in a jar, and puting in a hot water bath. The fruit can be eaten plus you have home made juice.

Peaches, apricots, cherries again I like to preserve in a jar with hot water bath in the canner. No issues with freezer failure and ready to use.

Kale, chard, and spinach, blanch in hot water and freeze in freezer bags. No deterioration from enzyme action, ready to drop in boiling water for a few minutes and use.

Peas are too much work :( The coons eat all my corn every year just before it is ready :( I buy these ready-frozen while they are in season :)

Carrots keep well in my root cellar. Lots of rows of carrots for the horses and ponies in my garden! Potatoes keep well in root cellar also. Potatoes will overwinter in the ground here, or if you dig them all, leave small ones in the rows, they reseed and you have the earliest potatoes ever.

Apples make great juice as well as applesauce canned in jars. Core the apples, add a bit of sugar or honey depending on the sweetness of the variety, and process them in vitamixer skin and all, then can in hot water bath.

Grow parsley, basil etc in rows seeded thickly, at end of summer, cut them off at ground level, put the whole thing through food process or Vitamixer, spoon into icecube trays, freeze and repackage (or just freeze small portions in snack bags, keep handy for dropping into all kinds of cooked dishes, stews, pastas, etc.

Good luck with your own food preserving. Much tastier than most "fresh" veggies trucked a long distance, gardening is good physical exercise, and it is great to take photos of the fruits of your labour looking pretty in jars.

P.S. Would love to hear how your homemade wine turned out. Goes great with COTH on cold winter evenings after everyone is tucked in.

atlatl
Apr. 13, 2011, 01:01 AM
Slightly off topic... for those of you that can tomatoes, pressure can or hot water bath?

I pressure can them. Why take the chance?

S1969
Apr. 14, 2011, 08:34 AM
I pressure can them. Why take the chance?

Water bath canning is not at all dangerous with high-acid foods.

That said - how long do you need to process tomatoes in your pressure canner? That's the big downside of canning tomatoes...40-45 minutes in a water bath canner sure heats the house up in August!

SmartAlex
Apr. 14, 2011, 10:17 AM
Another thing I can't figure out is how you are supposed to do all the necessary steps on one normal sized stove top.

I use my turkey fryer out in the driveway (http://2manytomatoes.blogspot.com/2010/08/yes-you-can-tomatoes.html).

S1969
Apr. 14, 2011, 11:07 AM
Another thing I can't figure out is how you are supposed to do all the necessary steps on one normal sized stove top.

I use my turkey fryer out in the driveway (http://2manytomatoes.blogspot.com/2010/08/yes-you-can-tomatoes.html).

No kidding. Looks like you have a good option! My friend has a friend who has a "canning kitchen" in their garage. I'm SOOO jealous. But we're all going to do our tomatoes there this year. She even has an apartment over the garage so we can sleep over. Tomato canning + girls weekend all in one!

atlatl
Apr. 14, 2011, 11:29 AM
Water bath canning is not at all dangerous with high-acid foods.

That said - how long do you need to process tomatoes in your pressure canner? That's the big downside of canning tomatoes...40-45 minutes in a water bath canner sure heats the house up in August!

I agree that water bath canning is not dangerous with high-acid foods; my point is that in order to really really know if you are at the appropriate level of acid you need to measure it. I have pH strips for that purpose. Yes, there are certain foods that, in general, are high acid foods, but as there are low-acid tomatoes I figure better safe than sorry. Since I have a pressure canner, and the time is significantly less than water bath canning I just pressure can mine.

I think I process tomatoes for 20 minutes or so, but would need to look it up in later tonight. I know it's not 40-45 minutes for sure.:)

carolprudm
Apr. 14, 2011, 01:23 PM
Check with your county agent. Some areas have community canneries
http://www.townofbowlinggreen.com/?q=node/58

Diamondindykin
Apr. 14, 2011, 01:27 PM
Check with your county agent. Some areas have community canneries
http://www.townofbowlinggreen.com/?q=node/58

Thanks is really awesome!!! Sadly we do not have that here :no:

JCS
Apr. 14, 2011, 01:42 PM
Another option is a root cellar. If you have a basement that stays cold in winter, you can keep many veggies in it just as they are. You can get really involved, with special ventilation systems, sandboxes for carrots, measuring humidity etc. But you don't have to. Last year was our first year root cellaring, and frankly all I did was stack stuff in boxes. Everything kept fresh until about February. Once it started warming up, it all rotted all at once. But still.

Here's what we kept in our cellar last year:

Potatoes
Carrots
Apples
Onions
Winter Squash

I also do a lot of blanching-and-freezing. I find it to be the easiest, and we have a big freezer downstairs, so it works out.

atlatl
Apr. 15, 2011, 12:01 AM
From the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving: raw packed tomatoes with no added liquid are processed for 25 min at 10 pounds for both pint and quart jars. If you pack them with water, process for 10 min at 10 pounds (this is for both raw and hot pack)

If anyone can help me figure out why the beans I blanched and froze last year turned out soggy, I'd appreciate it. I tried to dry them as much as possible before freezing.

S1969
Apr. 15, 2011, 08:49 AM
From the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving: raw packed tomatoes with no added liquid are processed for 25 min at 10 pounds for both pint and quart jars. If you pack them with water, process for 10 min at 10 pounds (this is for both raw and hot pack)

If anyone can help me figure out why the beans I blanched and froze last year turned out soggy, I'd appreciate it. I tried to dry them as much as possible before freezing.

Wow. I see a pressure canner in my immediate future!! Processing quarts for 45 minutes is so hot in the summer!

I don't do a lot of freezing because I don't have the freezer space....sounds like they might have been either too wet, or maybe blanched too long? :confused:

SmartAlex
Apr. 15, 2011, 09:47 AM
If anyone can help me figure out why the beans I blanched and froze last year turned out soggy, I'd appreciate it. I tried to dry them as much as possible before freezing.

There are a lot of variables from the variety of bean used, to the maturity of the bean, to the cooking. I've had the best luck with the following:
Blanch for 3 minutes.
Cool and bag and place in freezer immediately.
Cooking frozen beans:
Bring water to rolling boil
Place frozen beans in boiling water and cover
As soon as the water begins to simmer again, dump and stop cooking. Beans can sit in emptied pan with a lid for 5 or 10 minutes without suffering too much.

I grow Blue Lake bush and Goldmine because those seem to work the best for me. I also grow Purple Queen, but those are more likely to get mushy for some reason.

atlatl
Apr. 15, 2011, 11:26 AM
Hmm, I only blanched for 1 minute, dumped them in ice water to cool and dried them before freezing.

These were a combination of bush beans and a great Italian heirloom pole bean. Think I'll plant more this year and can them.

Thanks for the info.

sunridge1
Apr. 15, 2011, 11:55 AM
It also helps to tray freeze them before bagging. I do that with all vegetables now.

NeedsAdvil
Apr. 17, 2011, 01:04 AM
I cannot imagine canning. I've never done it and it seems like SO much work. Especially when I can buy canned tomatoes for less than $1 a can. :lol: I've planted my first largish garden this year after only doing very tiny ones in the past. I've got:
Tomatoes
beets
green onions
radishes
zucchini
summer squash
carrots
green beans

and herbs:
dill
cilantro
flat leaf parsley
basil
oregano
chives

I am sure I've forgotten something. But hopefully, I'm not planting too much of anything that I can't use up fresh or frozen. Otherwise I'm going to have to learn about this canning thing.

Trixie
Apr. 17, 2011, 12:37 PM
I cannot imagine canning. I've never done it and it seems like SO much work. Especially when I can buy canned tomatoes for less than $1 a can.

Ah, but they are RARELY as good!

:lol:

Diamondindykin
Apr. 17, 2011, 07:19 PM
Part of the reason for growing my own garden is my growing concern about what is in my food.I like knowing how my food was grown and what was put on it. Cost was not really a motivating factor.

Guin
Apr. 17, 2011, 08:11 PM
In my next life, I will move to the country and buy a GAS freezer. Then I will grow a garden and freeze all the yummy vegetables without stewing over a stove in July.

http://www.lehmans.com/store/Appliances___Gas_Refrigerators_and_Freezers___Diam ond?Args=

atlatl
Apr. 18, 2011, 12:52 AM
32 tomato plants in the garden today! OK, 31 made it intact. I only have 4 jars left of canned tomatoes from last summer. There's no comparison to store bought. Pop open a home canned jar and smell summer!

Diamondindykin
Apr. 18, 2011, 12:57 AM
32 tomato plants in the garden today! OK, 31 made it intact. I only have 4 jars left of canned tomatoes from last summer. There's no comparison to store bought. Pop open a home canned jar and smell summer!

WOW that is too early for us here in Washington. We actually had snow two days ago and frost twice last week. I have lettuce, broccolli and califlower planted but that is it.

atlatl
Apr. 18, 2011, 12:23 PM
One of my sisters is a Master Gardener and recently moved to Oregon. I keep telling her if it were easy she'd be in California. I started my tomatoes inside at the end of January, she's started hers this weekend and is worried it's too early still.

BTW: I had run out of potting soil for the second transplant of the seedlings so used a heavy portion of worm compost; those seedlings ended up being approximately 3 times the size of the others, some over 1' tall at transplant to garden time.

Everythingbutwings
Apr. 20, 2011, 07:54 AM
Trixie and I are masters at no-dig gardening. Late in March, she planted 10 kinds of fingerling and heat tolerant potatoes in empty chicken and horse feed sacks that we had saved.

I checked our feed sacks this morning and we have potatoes sprouted in three of them. :)

For the past several years, Trixie and I have planted our veggies (other than the potatoes) in straw bales but have had a problem with blight doing in many of our tomato plants from overhead watering.

This year, we're going with homemade self watering containers (http://lifehacker.com/#%215190496/turn-storage-containers-into-self-watering-tomato-planters) for the tomatoes but sticking with the straw bales for the green beans and cucumbers, which thrive in them.

I found several websites with good instructions (http://www.seattleoil.com/Flyers/Earthbox.pdf) on how to make the containers and have decided on the "single tub" design. Each container is made from one 20 gallon Rubbermaid or similar rectangular storage tub.