The summer dwindles and the larder is getting fuller. The preserving sanity list grows but a lot of the food stuffs that I preserve for the pantry are not ready yet.
Blueberries are a bit of a problem for me this year. Last year a man in town allowed u-pick in his field for a dollar a quart. The field is not open this year. A friend knows of a field for picking so maybe next week. Otherwise, I will be buying some freezer boxes at 22.50 for about 6 quarts. If I were to buy quarts seperatly they would be close to 5.00 a quart. Last year, I froze about 24 quarts of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. They lasted until June. I make jams, syrups and wines this time of year.
Our approach to fruit is we eat what is in season and freeze, can or dehydrate what we need for the rest of the year. We do not start eating our preserved fruit until we have exhausted the fresh apples. We may treat ourselves to some oranges around Christmas and January birthdays. If we travel during the summer I may try to find local fruit; such as peaches , that I can take home and preserve. We have been known to purchase the odd banana now and again. But otherwise our fruit consumption is pretty local. So when I have to consider alternatives to what I have done in the past, it affects the bottom line of the food budget and whether we will have fruit next March. The ultimate lesson in food preservation is flexibility. If I am not able to put as many berries up as I did last year, then apple season becomes more important. I will consider cranberries this fall. There is a wild bog the next town over.
Plant: I have been pretty lame on this, this past month. But I have many hands tomorrow to help me in the garden so I plan to fill every empty spot with spinach.
Harvest: mint,oregano,yarrow, beet greens,mullein,garlic, onions, kale, comfrey, wild rapsberries, wild balckberries.
Preseve: This was herb week at our house. Tincture of yarrow and peppermint. Oregano oil, mullein and garlic oil,dehydrated oregano,dehydrated onion, froze balckberries, froze raspberries, raspberry jam, raspberry wine, 2 quarts of peas, 4 quarts of broccoli frozen, frozen purple pole beans.
Local food systems: U-pick raspberries, purple pole beans, broccoli, peas from a local farmstand. I investigate the possibility of a CSA share where we will be moving; to supplement a new garden plot. I found one that offers half a share for 200.00 with the option of a milk share for 60.00 , all share members have first dibs on U-pick. I found out there will be 4 farmers markets with in a 20 minute drive of our possible new home.
prepped/ managed reserves: Weed, weed ,weed. Pack, pack, pack.
Waste not: we are still making trips to the thrift store, recycling center, composting.
Eat the food: we have been eating last years pig still, we are eating alot of stuff from food storage but trying to add new life to the whole tortilla/bean and cheese thing. So many names for essentially the same food.