Saturday, June 4, 2011

Being A Copy Cat

I'll admit it right off and try not to feel guilty. Leigh over at 5 Acres & A Dream posted another fantastic blog entry. She did a detailed inventory to see what she currently has left of her canning, preserving and dehydrating from last year. As interesting as it was for me to read, I'm sure it was very enlightening for her to see all her facts and figures on paper.

At the end of her post Leigh asked how the supplies were holding out in each of our own pantries and if we planned on making any changes for this year.

Well, since I had a sneaky suspicion I was going to let my gardens lie fallow this year because of our remodeling project, I did go a bit overboard when it came to putting food by last year. I was skeptical as to whether I could grow and preserve enough veggies to make it for two full years but I did manage that to some extent and moreso with some of the fruits I preserved.

I have not done a detailed inventory as Leigh has but I have a pretty good idea of what I still have. Or don't have. So here's my copy cat post.

I'll probably forget some things but I'll just jump in and see where my ramblings lead.

The one thing we ran out of first was applesauce. We had an exceptionally good apple crop of our own last year, and also got a nice big bunch of apples from a friend's beautiful, old tree. I saved some apples for fresh eating and baking, but most of the apples went into 18 quarts of applesauce. It was yummy applesauce, and we ate it with gusto. Those 18 quarts were gone before we knew it. Must do more this year. About twice as much I figure will last us for the whole season. I lost quite a few of the apples I tried to save for fresh use, so this year I'll make more into applesauce initially.

My onions ran out . . . when? Four or five weeks ago? I harvested 8 pounds of red onions and 46 pounds of yellow. They kept beautifully and I lost only a few to sprouting and/or rotting. I need to grow more in years to come.

I still have potatoes, both red and white. They are wanting to sprout in a really bad way and are not as hard and crisp as they were months ago but remain very flavorful. I probably would be able to make it until August with the ones left . . . if they don't sprout too much. But I have a feeling they will. Rats.

I harvested 43 pounds of carrots which was way too many for us to eat. I packaged them in bags of about 3-4 pounds each and stored them in the bottom of our spare refrigerator. I have four bags left that are now going to be thrown out into the woods for the deer to feast on. These remaining carrots are starting to rot and grow very long "hairs."

Last year's bumper crop of Red Kuri squash gave me enough to freeze 12 - 2 cup bags of cooked squash, about 6-8 whole squash I kept and baked individually and many others I sneaked into people's vehicles when they came to visit. I didn't lose one that I kept in storage, but it seemed we ate a lot of squash for a while there. I still have 10 of the 12 packages of the frozen, cooked squash in the freezer. So there's not really any fear of running out of squash soon.

I canned enough dill pickles, Bread & Butter sweet pickles, zucchini relish and pickled beets to last for a full two years. Maybe three.

Even though lots of jars of strawberry jam were given at Christmas time, I still have enough for another year. And, of course, even though I'm not vegetable gardening this 2011 summer season, the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are perennial and will be coming in again this year. I won't be making any more jam because along with the good supply of strawberry, I still have plenty of blueberry and raspberry jam made up also.

Seventeen quarts of frozen strawberries went into the freezer. We have 5 left. Nine gallons of raspberries were frozen; there are 5 left. We had 6 gallons of frozen blueberries. Only one gallon remains.

One vegetable that we're coming up short on is green beans. I froze 40 servings (that's enough to serve both of us for 40 meals) and I have 4 or 5 servings left . . . which I've been hoarding. I definitely should have done more last year. Frozen peas will last through this summer for sure and I don't know who put up all the frozen sliced beets but we have enough of them to last a whole other year. Or more.

So this is my copy cat post of what Leigh so meticulously did and laid out in her post. As I say, I'm not as organized as Leigh so I may have left out something obvious (oops, that's right, I did some dehydrating but other than putting some dried strawberries in granola, my dried goods are still untouched) but it is a quick overview of what's currently still on hand from the preserving of my garden produce from 2010.

Now I'll ask the same question Leigh did: How are your supplies from 2010 holding out?


The Apple Pie Gal said...

I'm going to work on this one. Love that you sneak stuff in the cars of unsuspecting visitors!

Mama Pea said...

APG - Better than driving around at night leaving them on doorsteps. Saves gas. ;o}

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I will be very interested to see if you make the next year with what you have preserved. I am really feeling kind of like a gluton, as we seem to have plowed through our large stores. Maybe thats what I need to work on, quit eating so much ;)

Mama Pea said...

Jane - Well, I know we wouldn't starve if we lived off of just what I have left from last years harvest . . . but meals would probably get a little monotonous. (Also heavy on pickles and jams -- yuck.) I am planning on biting the bullet and purchasing (ouch!) frozen veggies (organically raised) to fill in for those I won't be growing this year.

Regarding not eating so much . . . it is amazing how very little adult people actually require to stay healthy (assuming we're eating only "healthy" food) and functioning well. We all eat more than we actually need . . . or at least I know the two of us in this household do!

Erin said...

You are amazing! The amount of root vegetables you can grow up there is astounding. A very timely post too, as I was just making smoothies for the kids digging deep down into the freezer I found I still had lots of berries in there. I think I will post on what's left too, as I will be defrosting the freezer and making room for the new stuff this coming week (yes, I know I said I was going to do that last week) :)

Mama Pea said...

Erin - I thought Leigh's idea to take inventory was a really good one. Rethinking everything can lead to some good reorganizing of the garden or preserving and possibly even jar the ol' brain cells into coming up with new food menus!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Forget I ever asked you why you weren't making more time for quilting last summer / fall - obviously you were busy preserving food!! I am so jealous of all your frozen berries. Maybe instead of jam this year you can work on wine ;)

Mama Pea said...

Jen - It is just a shame not to try wine making with our home grown berries. Just thinking about raspberry wine makes my head swoon. Someday. Someday.

Susan said...

Well, seeing that I am a family of one and that I can enough for a family of six every year, I should be okay unti 2020. Seriously, it's a good idea and I think I will take an inventory this week.

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, thank you so much for doing this post. It is really interesting to read how others are doing. I've been amazed that there have been several commenters at my blog who aim for a two year supply of everything, for times of not growing things, or in case an item doesn't do well. I'm thinking I may not need to grow everything every year, if I can put up enough to last.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - So many have commented that it's okay to preserve more than you can eat in a year because of the possibility of crop failure some year. I don't think there is anything wrong with eating your own 2 or 3 year old healthy food that you've carefully put by.

Leigh - Exactly! I'm thinking about applesauce especially right now. Our apple trees have not yet fully blossomed out because of our very cool spring/early summer. That means they will be slow in developing apples. If we should have a short fall this year, the apples won't mature and I won't have apples to can. I could have done a lot more applesauce last year but didn't. If I had planned for a two year supply, the (possible) lack of harvest this year wouldn't be such a big thing.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Don't say someday - make time this year! :)

Mama Pea said...

Jen - Make time for wine making? You have no idea how busy we are this summer . . . and I don't think we'll be done by fall either. Just a darn good thing I didn't try to do the full-blown garden, too. I'd be in a padded room by now, no doubt about it. ;o\