Monday, October 04, 2010

Filling The Pantry In Fall With Red And Orange Vegetables

My Three Little Girls!
This morning when I get up, the air is cold and crisp. We do not have heat on at night yet. Soon our big wood stove in the living room/office will be cranking. For now it isn't cold enough to use it. In some ways I look forward to the colder weather. As my regular readers know, we have been living for over a year without any refrigeration. That is not easy by a long shot! I regret it so many times, yet it was my decision. The gas from the propane refrigerators made me sick. I cannot stand the fumes in the least. Some people can and do. The colder weather means that my pantry will be our refrigerator and it keeps even the meat and dairy very cold for days. 

Tawny with her winter coat starting to come in already!

On the other hand, the colder weather is the time of the year that my husband has the chores he hates, shoveling snow and firewood work. He is almost sixty now and his body is reminding him of that fact daily. He has been having trouble with his heels, his knees, arms (one was crushed in 2002 in a work related accident driving unsafe equipment for the local highway department) and shoulders. He thinks it is because he does physical work, but he is the type of person who cannot sit on a couch and watch television. If he is in the house he is working on his laptop. If he is outside he is doing some kind of a project.......even though he may suffer later, or for days.

He does have many paths to shovel. When we get snow here we get much. We live in a little snow pocket that delivers more snow in our immediate area than the whole surrounding area. The forest of course, is protected with all the trees and we are in the center of it. So our snow piles sometimes are higher than our truck. If we had little children they would love it out here in the winter! So much to do when you are young and enjoy snow. Anyway, he has several paths to shovel and he keeps them shoveled so they don't build up too much. The path to the barn from the house, the path to the manure pile from the barn big enough for the wheelbarrow, the path to the spot where I empty my kitties' litter box, the driveway, of course, and sometimes he shovels a path into the forest for getting more wood or kindling. He always keeps the area in front of the barn door clear, for the twice a month hay delivery, when he picks up our load of hay and has to throw it upstairs into our barn from the back of the truck. Another heavy chore day!

Photo Credit: Public Domain Photos

I love the harvesting of the fall vegetables. Today I have the business of canning my small crop of hot peppers. I am hoping to get a canner full but I only have about five plants of them and one plant of sweet bell green peppers. The hot peppers are pretty big and I am trying for the first time canning them in the rings for sandwiches and salads. I love them! I used to buy them a lot but not lately as they have gone up so much in price. 

Photo Credit: Sam Mugraby

I will be purchasing carrots and beets at the end of this month to can them also. They are something I like to have in the pantry for winter meals and if I can get enough of them I might make them last a couple of years. Then the pumpkins too, of course. I think I may be able to get another crop of kale canned this week too if it doesn't get hit by frost, but what I have read is that kale improves being hit by frost.

I mustn't forget apples too! Apples will be available locally as it has been a very good year for apples. My own apple tree is full of the best fruit it has ever had in all the years we have lived here. I give the horses a apple and their mouths just fill with juice and foam. They love them this year more than ever. I usually buy at least a bushel from a local apple orchard to keep in the pantry. I would like to buy more than one this year and can the other as applesauce, sliced apples and apple pie filling. 

Photo Credit: Sam Mugraby

So what are you doing to fill your pantry this fall for winter? If you are here from Homesteading Today I know you are doing much or have been doing it steadily. If you are new to the modern homesteading idea then this is where you must start. My goal is to not have so many store bought foods in my pantry this coming year. I am so tired of all those empty cans and plastic containers to get rid of every week! So I am still trying to eliminate all the products that come in them. 

Have a happy homesteading day!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

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