By Shannon B.
OSM/VISTA at GreenHouse17

Abundance. What a great word. I was meditating on that word while harvesting the other day.

Abundant joy

Abundant love

Abundant harvest

While wonderful, all of these things can be overwhelming.

What do you do when you don’t have enough hands to help harvest?

What do you do if you have more food than you and all your friends and neighbors can eat?

Well, I’ll tell you. You gather all the helping hands you have and Preserve as much as you can!

Sixteen University of Kentucky students came out to the farm as a part of UK Fusion. Those helping hands made quick work of the early tomato high tunnel. We had to remove all of the plants to make room for our fall planting.

The tomatoes were about done, but there were a few green ones hanging on. When I was a child, one of my favorite treats was pickled green tomatoes. I mentioned this to one of the volunteers and they honestly asked: “You can pickle that?”

About anything can be pickled and they make tasty treats when the weather has turned grey and the garden rests until spring.

We have a recurring class here called Make one, Take one. Residents get to make pickles, jam, salsa or sauce and they get to have some to keep for themselves and the pantry here gets stocked.  Since we were going to pickle those lovely green tomatoes, we decided to grab a bunch more goodies from the field to pickle too. We harvested some dill, beans, baby squash and peppers and made a day out of making pickles.

We used the water bath method of canning. Our brine recipe came from Ball Canning. It isn’t necessary to use the brand of vinegar they advertise, but be sure the strength (5%) is the same.

water bath canning


We added some HOT peppers to a few of our jars of green tomatoes. Some like it hot.




While we waited for these to process. I broke out some samples of pickles that had been made earlier in the season. They were a hit!

Here’s a look at our jars cooling.

pickled squash pickled green tomatoes

Not bad for an afternoon’s work.

2014-09-05 14.43.29

Since we had such abundance we also made some tasty fried green tomatoes.

fried green tomatoes