Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Time to get busy....

When this family decides to do something we don't go small scale....not in the garden and not in the kitchen....We purchased this bad boy canner over the internet from a company back east. It cost nearly $400 but it holds 19 quarts and saves us a lot of time. So far we have pressure canned pumpkin, spaghetti sauce, salsa, carrots, tomato soup, meat, barbeque sauce...not to mention everything we water-bath canned.
This pressure canner is extremely heavy when you get it all loaded and you can't use it on a regular stove top...lucky for us we have a gas range with metal grates... and it takes up two burners!

This was a practice run season for gardening and canning as next year we are ramping it up with the addition of another 24 by 80 feet of garden space and 2 additional raised beds. We got a good idea of when our various crops will need to be harvested and also how to plant in succession so we also get fall crops. I wanted to see how much I could produce so that next season I can sell at the farmer's market. I would also like to grow various crops for people who enjoy fresh veggies but hate to garden...(Hard to imagine that people hate to garden :) I already have a few takers on this idea so I am very excited....I am also considering taking orders for vegetable baskets in which the customer would get a basket of vegetables and or flowers on a predetermined schedule and delivered straight to their front door. I am also interested in growing some vegetables to provide to the local food bank. This year we had an abundance of tomatos and cucumbers (I grew over 100 plants each) so I gave quite a lot to the Post Falls food bank...It feels good to give especially when it is fresh garden veggies that you grew yourself....

I have already began the garden plans for next year and I am also investigating hydroponic gardening so I could grow some veggies year round. We are going to build a few potato boxes and a composter for next year... I saw some pictures of potato boxes online and they seem pretty cool. You can expect 50 to 150 pounds of potatos from each box so we will give it a try.....When it comes to gardening we are always thinking of ways to improve next year's yield.

For now though...it's back to the kitchen as we still have 4 rows of carrots to clean and can. :)

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