Thursday, August 19, 2010
Planting and preserving
Decided to get more serious about preserving food after more talk about hyperinflation and the economy going south. Ben, and my friend, Scott, who has lots of business and investment experience, tell me not to live in fear, that we will know far in advance of hyperinflation, but that storing some food is never a bad idea. I've always thought it was a good idea, simply to save money during winter months and have savory bites for soup and snacks. I just have never followed through on it in any serious way.
So, I bought a food dehydrator, a purchase I've longed to make for many years. Finally, it was, for crying out loud, just do it. Also bought a vacuum sealer for freezing food. I froze a yellow squash last night. Not sure how that will work out.
This morning I cut up a tomato, an onion, four jalapenos, a tray of basil, and some potato. The directions say that all of these are great to add to soups, sauces, or as seasoning. I'll see what works. I thought I would try packaging some for gifts at Christmas, too. But don't tell anyone.
When I'm alone in the garden it takes me away from my obsessing about all the other things going on in my life, my foot hurting, mom's needs, who has or hasn't called me, the dog, (who poops in my garden, chews on the irrigation line, digs in the new beds, barks and chases birds, and causes arguments between me and Ben).
But I shoo Tazie from the garden and go back to my ruminations over the irrigation, deciding what to plant for fall, what to leave, what to do next year. There's always so much to learn...even when you think you have it nailed to the wall.
I picked a German Johnson tomato, a salmon colored heirloom that Sue planted. It has an amazing mild taste. Thought I'd dry one to see how it does.
The beans are ready to pick. I freeze them and then I don't use them. Maybe I'll dry them instead and use for soups or as snacks. Didn't plant enough potatos...Sue commented she hadn't gotten but two, although I'm sure it has been more that she took home. But we haven't gotten that many either. Two full rows next year!
Four days ago I planted a new batch of sugar snap peas. If there's a late frost we'll get another crop. Planted brussels sprouts -- again. Finally figured out what I had done wrong. I hadn't pulled the lower leaves off the plant so that the sprout could grow. What an odd plant. I planted more beets, and will plant lettuce tomorrow morning. I've weeded and have a pile of weeds four feet high that I need to deal with.