I could have taken 100 pictures of these beautifully stocked shelves but I controlled myself. It was hard to get it all in one shot.(The bottom row is not visible)
This is what we haven't already consumed or given away. Here we have mustard pickles, dill pickles, zucchini pickles, pickled beets, and zucchini relish. Next year I plan to have a pressure cooker so I will be able to preserve an array of our bounty rather than being limited to high acidic foods.
Last year was the first time I did any canning since before having children. I preserved zucchini pickles and relish only, it went quickly. This year I swore to put up more zuchinni and I did not, now my stock is already almost depleted. :( The are real popular with the kids, my parents, and my neighbors.
Note to self for next year: MAKE LOTS OF ZUCCHINI RELISH AND PICKLES
My food stash is not much in comparison to the food some that my fellow bloggers put up ..Nita at Trapper Creek, Angie at Children in the Corn, and Phelan at Homesteading Neophytebut it is a start. They have been my inspiration!
In the past I've dabbled with freezing vegetables from the garden and we always had a deer meat but this year I really stocked up. Our freezer is stocked with tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, corn, green beans, edamame beans, home fries, blueberries, blackberries, cabbage, chickens, turkeys (soon), and we will have pork by December.
The root cellar will be stocked with garlic, onions, acorn squash, buttercup and butternut squash, spaghetti squash, hubbard squash, and potatoes.
We have grown gardens for years but I've never had much of a desire to preserve until recently. Nor did I have the time with 2 little ones, work and school. I have found that canning is time consuming but the rewards are immeasurable. There is nothing like sitting down with your family eating a homegrown meal that everyone took part in creating. The kids take pride in this too. We go around the table giving thanks for something and whatever creature we may be eating usually is mentioned as well, "for the chicken who sacrificed his life for us" and in recent months we take notice to what came from the farm, what we obtained locally, and what did not.
I really never realized how much this life has impacted our kids lives until we went to their parent teacher conferences last week and both of their teachers mentioned how much the kids shared about their lives on the farm. In past years writing was not one of Luke's favorite interests. Now he says he often needs extra paper because he has so much to write about. Luke is passionate about the life we live and Leah enjoys it as well but she is not she is not as verbal about it. However, she does love the critters and cooking is most certainly on the top of her favorites list. Luke says he is the only child in his class with a garden which I find hard to believe in living in Maine but he knows better than I.
When we bought this farm we were just excited to have a bigger house and lots of land. We had no idea how into this farming thing we'd get. Over the last 2 years things have just evolved. The first farm animals were an impulse buy on my part, can you believe? The kids and I were at a local "Animal Kingdom" and as we were leaving I questioned the owner if she had anything for sale. She happened to have ducks and chicks and a few minutes later we were cruising towards home with 6 baby chicks(which all turned out to be roosters) and 2 ducklings. Luke was in the back seat saying "Dad is gonna killlllllll you." I chuckled and said, "no fear". John is use to my unpredictability . I think that is part of the reason why he loves me, it can be fun (ok well I think it is fun). Let's see, I have come home with "without permission " a beater car in high school, a pool, a couple stray dogs, rabbits, many cats, a sheep, and a few goats.
What do you think I will come home next, they will be ready on the 20th, they are small and fury.
Last I will share a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins that I made last night.
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
- Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
- Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
ENJOY THE WEEKEND :)