This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

my larder


It's the end of another gardening season. My larder is as full as it's going to get this year. I have vegetables stored in different locations: my freezer, refrigerator, and new food storage pantry.

My new food pantry is separate small room just off our garage. Similar to a root cellar, we built it here since we have no basement. My husband build pine shelving to line the walls. With a cement floor it stays about 50 degree F like a root cellar, though we put a temp regulator in just in case. This room has squashes, potatoes, canned tomatoes, pickles, jams, and jellies. I have several batches of pickled beans, dill beans and three bean salad. I have pickled zucchini squash and pickled garlic scapes. Lot's of canned tomatoes. My garlic (I ended up with very tiny garlic heads this year) popcorn, and a few last onions hang in bunches behind the door. (Sadly, no fruits from this year ... pears or apples ... because of a late hard frost.) Oh, and there's also about 100 ponds of honey on the shelves.

In the refrigerator I have several jars of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. Also carrots, beets, and celeriac in plastic bags.

My frozen garden produce includes lots of pesto. We put away a quart this year. It's stored a ground basil and pine nuts in olive oil. We add cheese and dilute it a bit with pasta water to serve it. I have baggies of frozen pizza sauce and roasted chile peppers. I also still have raspberries and dried pears from last year's bumper crops.

sweet potato harvest IMG_8218 pickled 3 bean salad IMG_8539
IMG_9057 IMG_9055
IMG_9054 IMG_9058

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Blogger FairviewFarm said...

Full pantries, cold cellars and freezers are a great way to head into winter. So easy to make good meals when you can "shop" your own stored produce.

November 15, 2016 1:51 PM

Blogger Stephanie Cavallaro said...

Love it! I am in awe!

November 15, 2016 8:10 PM

Blogger CHRIS said...

wow. so impressive! do you have a trusty book and/or website recommendation for canning how to and safety info? i'm new to the concept but really interested since the garden always seems to overproduce at times...

November 16, 2016 2:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I'd like to go shopping there.

November 16, 2016 5:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very impressive, especially that first photo of tomatoes and vegetables. But I notice that the bands are still on the jars. I thought we were supposed to remove the bands so they don't rust or stick.

November 16, 2016 1:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful root cellar, but your honey will crystallize at 50 degrees! You may want to store it at room temp, unless you do not mind it hardening. Gorgeous honey.

November 16, 2016 3:01 PM

Blogger kathy said...

For canning I rely on the "Ball Complete Book of Home Canning". I'm cautious of trying other books, though I do like "Food in Jars" by Marisa McClellan as they are very creative and I think are generally closely based on the Ball Book recipes. There are hundreds of canning books on the market, but many of the authors do not test the safety of the recipes (see Univ Wis Extension site: Safe and Healthy, Preserving Food at Home).

Roger Swain recommended "The Joy of Pickling". This book looks great. I just ordered myself a copy of the newest edition (3rd edition). Mr Swain recommended the pickled turnips that are colored red by adding beets. It sounds like this is a recipe that even people who dislike turnips (me!) will enjoy.

November 16, 2016 3:47 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Yes, I see you're right about the rings. The USDA recommends they come off for storage because they rust, which makes the rings stick to the jars and makes the rings unfit for reuse. What am I going to do with all these rings!?? I have been getting some rust on the rings after several months of storage. None have been hard to remove - yet. I'll start removing them.

My reasons for leaving rings on: I didn't know any better. I like the way jars look with the rings on. If I open the jar and want to keep it in fridge until I finish it, it's easier if I don't have to go looking for a ring (though I do have a ring drawer in the kitchen that's easy to reach). Also, if I give a jar away, it's best to give it with a ring on in case the person doesn't have one to hold the cap on after they open the jar. Not compelling reasons if USDA says not to.

Thanks for your advice.

November 16, 2016 11:40 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I do like crystallized honey better than liquid. I like the way it spreads on bread and the slight crunch of it. But I'd rather not have it all crystallize. I'll look up the temperature honey should be stored at. I'm still figuring out the best temp to set my pantry so that it stores most things well.

Thanks so much for the advice!

November 16, 2016 11:45 PM


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