Monday, August 23, 2010

The August Harvest

One basket of butternut squash picked!

My garden looks like it is coming to the end of the season...........but wait! It doesn't have to end yet, after all it is only coming to the end of August. September, October, November and December can be used for a new harvest of cold weather crops. You can even grow some crops under the snow or in a cold frame during the winter. Just have to be aware of the plants you choose and how they can survive in colder temps. The two that comes to mind are kale and spinach. They both grow pretty good in the cold weather and you can eat them as fresh greens in a salad or cook them. Just make some kind of a cover for them to protect them from the cold night time temperatures.  Cabbage too, is another cold weather crop and can be grown when your weather cools off. 

I have reseeded my lettuce beds and once they are producing again, the last one that I kept will be reseeded also. We like to eat fresh salads as much as possible. This year we have been slowly changing from store bought salad dressings to our own homemade ones. I have always made them if I have time but the convenience of the store bought ones seemed to win out. Not anymore! I have gotten my recipes back out and we will be using them. They are much better and you can put what you want in them. Those salad dressing don't seem to cost a lot, but that is deceiving. If you add up how many bottles you use in a month, it adds up to quite a bit. Instead buy your ingredients for the dressings in the biggest containers you can store and afford. Now you will have some awesome salads!

Kale Growing Pretty Good This Year!

If you are planning on stocking up for the winter, the greens in the garden such as kale, spinach, collard greens or any other kind of greens can be canned. Look in your canning book under greens and follow the directions. Then these can be used in soups, side dishes, added to casseroles or eaten as a cooked vegetable. Unless you have a really big family, I would can them in pint jars.

I will can my butternut squash cut up in cubes. I have canned it in the past and it comes out really good. We can have it in pies or cooked as vegetable. My husband especially loves the winter squash and pumpkins. I expect to get at least another basket full of the squash and then pick up a bushel at the produce market. I want to put a lot of it up so we have some variety in our meals. 

What is growing in your garden that you can harvest for your winter meals? Or maybe you can buy a bushel of something and can it. Just remember if you are canning vegetables you HAVE to use a pressure canner and I do not mean a pressure cooker. They are two different things. It is important to buy a canning book and follow the directions for the safety of your family. It is not hard once you have done it the first time. It becomes addicting once you see all those jars of food on your shelves! My husband knows how to can and he helps me often. He would rather eat the foods I can than anything that comes from a store or a restaurant. I really like that. It helps to have your spouse support your efforts at eating well and not resisting it. I am sure it is because he can see and taste the difference in the foods.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
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