Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fall Harvest For The Self-Sufficient Homestead

Dark Shadow

Fall is definitely in the air. No birds singing to wake us up in the morning.  Or to put us asleep in the evening. No robins following my husband around while he mows the lawn. No robins in the garden when I am out there working. I miss the robins the most. Soon I will have chickadees and blue jays at my bird feeders. Chickadees following me around to let me know they need more bird feed. I know fall is pretty and that everyone likes the cooler temps. I like fall and it has always been my favorite season because of the colorful leaves and the fall harvest. But I do love the robins and miss seeing them hop all over the lawn. And I definitely miss hearing the birds singing together! It is my husband's favorite sound.

Kale from the garden

Yesterday I canned 8 pints of kale from my garden. It will grow  back and hopefully, I will get some more. I like to add it to soups and stews in the winter. This year I got a nice crop of it. If you cover it in really freezing weather it should over winter enough to be part of your winter greens menu. Tomorrow I am planning on pulling up the old bush bean plants that are done and re-plow the bed. Then I can plant more winter greens or a quick crop of something that will come up before winter.

The day before yesterday I canned 14 quarts of green and wax (yellow) beans. I mixed them together after one of my Facebook and Homesteading Today friends mentioned she does that all the time. I think I will too from now on. They look pretty. So far I have canned 41 quarts of beans and am hoping to can 14 more. One quart a week for a year. That is how I am planning our pantry vegetables. Each vegetable we eat, one quart a week for a year.

Pumpkin Plant

I have one big pumpkin in my garden. It is really big and I never have grown one this big before. I can pumpkins and winter squash by first letting them cure in my pantry or root cellar a few weeks first. That improves their flavor. Then cut them in cubes and peel them, in either order. Whatever is easier. Then I put them in a pan with water covering and bring them to a boiling temperature. Then you can go ahead and process them according to the recipe in your canning book. Though most canning books now tell you not to can them but I have this information from Jackie Clay, Growing And Canning Pumpkins on it. Scroll down to the first question and she tells you there why you shouldn't can the pureed pumpkin. I have a large harvest of winter squash I will be doing the same way.

Speaking of Jackie Clay, she and her spouse, Will, had an accident and fell from the roof of the hay storage building they were working on. They were hurt pretty bad and Jackie has had to take it easy for the time being, though from the looks of her blog, she is still working hard. She wrote an excellent article in Backwoods Home Magazine, Building and Stocking Your Pantry. You have to read that article. It is excellent, as usual Jackie gives the best information.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

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