Last year I barely canned at all. I ran into a few people that just couldn’t believe it. One can only do so much and I totally know my breaking point. I was care-taking and honestly that took all I had. Life is all about prioritizing. I did manage to put up several jars of spaghetti sauce which was a bonus but not much else last summer.
This season I was in a different space, with time to put some food by. Not a ton but enough to keep me satisfied…dill pickles, zucchini relish, jam, spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, apple butter and apple sauce. There is also lots of maple syrup on the shelf as well. I even grew some of the vegetables. Yeah me! Maine Man has always been the master gardener until last Spring when he proclaimed he wasn’t planting a garden. This choice was based partially of the fact that he had several other projects he needed to accomplish. Also subconsciously he did it to make me get out there and put more effort in the growing process which would then result in less waste. I know how he rolls! Anyway, it worked. I grew two small gardens and he helped me with a third. I utilized much of what we grew and our wastes were much less then previous years. He guided me through the process and I learned and I grew but I won’t deny that taking direction from MM did not always come easy. He frequently tells me “you don’t like being told what to do.” I of course disagree reminding him that it is all about his approach. Newsflash….we DON’T work well together, on manual labor that is. Ha, what don’t kill you makes you stronger! You should see us haying together. That could be a reality TV show! A few of my friends would attest to that.
Recently we dusted off our 1800′s dehydrator and dried a couple batches of apples and even some jerky. Both were eaten up almost instantaneously allowing for no time to be put up.
This summer and fall I also visited the farmer’s market and local roadside stands on a regular basis to supplement our diets with local fruits and vegetables we did not grow. I was inspired to make that a weekly routine after reading Bringing Food Home by Merry Stetson Hall. A book I very much enjoyed and will someday do a review on.