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2010 Pantry Inventory and Garden Review

November 6, 2010

Despite putting more effort into our garden this year than the past few years, we didn’t reap a whole lot more in terms of harvest.  This was just a strange year for farming and gardening.  It seems like summer didn’t really arrive until mid-August and then it stayed only briefly.  Any crops that relied on hot weather didn’t do so well; this was on top of planting out much later than was prudent.  We planted mostly a canning garden and still had to purchase all of our tomatoes from our regular u-pick farm.  Pickling cucumbers didn’t do well and one of my pickling cucumber plants ended up being a butternut squash plant, decreasing their output even further.  The only things that did very well for us were tomatillos, summer squash and calendula.  We have also had poor egg production from our pullets.  We aren’t getting any eggs right now and we got them only sporadically for a month and a half or so.  I have heard from more experienced chicken owners that they have also had difficulties with their new flocks.

It wasn’t a great year for farming either, so though we picked tomatoes from a u-pick, they were more costly this year and their quality was down.  It took much longer to pick useable tomatoes.

All this means that our pantry is a little more sparse than it typically would be.  Usually my shelves and freezer would be bursting right now, and they are not, but neither are they empty.

Here’s what we put up this year:

Canned goods

  • Ketchup – 7 half pints
  • Tomatillo salsa – 7 half pints, 1 pint
  • Cayenne salsa – 7 pints
  • Diced tomatoes – 9 quarts, 2 pints
  • Plain tomato sauce – 24 pints, 7 half pints
  • Strawberry jam – 5 pints, 3 half pints
  • Peach jam – 4 pints, 1 half pint
  • Peach butter – 3 half pints

Dried/Refrigerated

Freezer

  • Apple sauce – 13 pints
  • Tomatillos – 2.25 pounds
  • 15-25 pounds of each of the following:  blueberries, cherries, peaches and strawberries

Pantry (grown in our garden)

  • Potatoes – 28 pounds
  • Pie pumpkins – 11 (from a volunteer plant)
  • Butternut squash – 5 (from a volunteer plant)
  • Carnival squash – 3(from a volunteer plant)

Luckily we also put into the freezer since June:  one side of beef (purchased) and one local pig (bartered).

Though the weather and main growing season was not kind, we’ve had other great things going on.  We have had steady enough paying work to sustain us and we are thankful to have our home and garden that we can experiment in, while not actually being dependent on our own crops and animals for sustenance.  Another wonderful thing is that we are expecting our fourth child in mid-April.  I don’t know exactly what that will mean for next year’s garden, but somehow I suspect we will manage.  The girls have gotten to be great helpers around the garden as they get older, so they have played a larger role in helping each year.  They certainly need lots of direction and they gripe often enough, but when it comes down to it, they help when they need to and even sometimes when they aren’t asked.

Now, with the weather changing and the dark falling earlier and earlier, it’s time to focus on our home, which is always more neglected during the summer months.  Deep cleaning is in order and preparation for our new arrival will alternate with holiday activities and garden planning.  The focus of our days will shift, but we’ll still be just as busy now as we are during the summer months.

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