While visiting gardeners this week, I saw some unusual things in jars! Our gardeners have been hard at work canning and freezing their harvest. One lady I visited with had culled a hen from her flock and canned chicken soup! She had used carrots, onion and celery from her garden. What a wonderful idea to have on hand for the winter.
Another gardener had taken her abundant harvest of grapes and made grape juice! She simply put 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup of grapes and put in a qt jar. She added water leaving 1 inch head space, sealed jars and canned at 5lb pressure for 10 minutes. When ready to use she will strain the juice and add 1 qt water. Fresh and healthy juice for her family!
Many people are still harvesting bushels of tomatoes from their garden. I have seen many different things being canned using tomatoes this year. Of course lots of salsa is being made. Also, juice, sauce and just plain tomatoes are in jars for the winter. I have seen some more unusual items being canned also. One participant made her own ketchup, another canned tomato jam, another canned tomato soup. The tomato harvest has been wonderful this year! Our gardeners have dug deep to find some wonderful recipes to add variety to their winter diet.
Several of our gardeners are planting fall gardens this year. Many already have onions, lettuce, kale and other various greens in the ground. We are looking forward to seeing how the fall crops will do this year.
We are thrilled with our hard working participants this year. The harvest has been wonderful and the preservation of food has been fantastic! Lots of seeds have been saved and fall gardens are on the rise. The program has really made a difference in our community and in the way people are looking at the future of food production for their family. People are stepping up to share their harvest with their neighbors and the local food bank. Our participants are eager to share seed from that special plant that they tried this year. We could not be happier with the success of our gardeners this season. We are looking forward to the rest of the year!