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The cucumbers are coming on like crazy and that means pickle time!  I enjoy canning, and I especially enjoy canning pickles. I don’t do one big canning day when it comes to pickles, I just pickle them as they come in, which means a batch every few days or so.

Today we did our first batch, 13 quarts, I’m hoping to get about 50 to 60 quarts this year, the zoo loves pickles and we will easily go through a jar of pickles once open.


And It Starts


Finally, after weeks of waiting we are starting to pull in a harvest. The beans have come on, about 6 weeks late, and we are getting more and more each day. I’m beginning to believe that I might have food to store for the winter!


Today I canned my first batch of beans, a modest 6 quarts out of the 50 or 60 I hope to do this fall, it’s a small start, but a start.


Drying Onions

We had an awesome onion harvest this year, more than enough for our needs. The big onions are being stored fresh in the basement (I had intended to braid them up all cute like, but it just didn’t happen), for the little onions I decided to try something different.

I had about a half bushel of smaller onions, they had a really good flavor, but I just didn’t want to mess with little onions, to me they aren’t worth the effort to cook with them. BUT, they are still good food and it would wrong to just discard them.

So I decided to was going to dry them. I used dehydrated onions a lot in my cooking. I tend to get a little lazy at times and instead of chopping an onion I will throw a handful of dehydrated onions in soups or ground beef.

IMG_5064I was very simple, I just sliced them about a half inch and threw them in my dehydrator.

I set the dehydrator outside, I didn’t want the smell of onions to fill the house, and boy they were strong smelling too.

It took about twenty four hours and they had dried crisp and beautiful, perfect for throwing into a pot of soup.

They are stored in a gallon size glass jar in my pantry, a simple, easy way of storing and preserving onions.


While 2013 was the year of the beans, it will also be known as the year of the big tomato failure.
Temperatures were just too hot this year, we went from mild and cool spring weather to record breaking heat in a matter of a week.  We missed out on the few weeks of temperatures needed to set tomato fruit, therefore the harvest was very slim.  Around the end of the season things picked up a bit, but not in the quantities we needed for storage through the winter.

Sadly I had to buy boxes of tomatoes, maybe next year will be better.

IMG_4822IMG_4823(Lou searching for a ripe tomato or two)

IMG_4870IMG_4872Lou was our faithful tomato grower this year, even though it wasn’t the bumper crop we were hoping for she was still very diligent in caring for her tomatoes and when canning time came around she was right there doing her duty.

IMG_4875Seventy quarts later we have our tomatoes for the year.  I just can pain stewed tomatoes so I can go quickly, and any other tomato products that are needed throughout the year can be make from them.