It’s not just opening a jar, it’s so much more…

Today it is time for a garden update!

These tomatoes are growing in abundance! They are a variety I have not tried before called Verona. They are mostly still green, we’ve tried only a couple and they weren’t quite at their peak of ripeness, I confess to not being able to wait, so I can’t make a total judgment on taste at this point, but they sure are prolific!

Garlic was pulled almost 2 weeks ago. It did very well, and we should have loads of good garlic this year. I learned that in order to grow the best and biggest garlic the next year, that you have to set aside some of the best bulbs for breaking up and planting next year. In the past I have usually gone for the nice big ones right away for cooking, but this year I will, a bit sadly, tuck away those huge lovely bulbs for next year, and cook with the more medium sized bulbs I have. This should increase the size and quality of our garlic for next year, eventually after years, we will have all large high quality bulbs.

A pretty sampling from the garden.

Things are starting to really get going, soon the kitchen counter will be mounded with loads of produce for processing and storing for the Winter. The joy of opening a jar of tomato basil soup, or salsa, or pickles or kraut during the Winter is amazing, and thinking of what went into said produce is very gratifying! When I open these jars, I often find myself thinking about how I started the plants on a cold February day and tended to them till they were transplanted into larger pots during a rainy cool April, and then in late May transplanted to the garden with hopes of no late Spring frosts occurring. Then comes Summer and food processing from June to October. Finally, I open those jars in the Winter and taste the Summer inside them. It is more than gratifying, these jars are a living calendar of the seasons, and despite all my convenient kitchen tools that help me process this produce, and prepare it for the future year’s food, it still gives me a reminder of how historically people worked so hard to do what I am doing, they didn’t have the options of eating any other way but seasonally and by working hard to store enough food. My way of doing this surely is easier than their way, but it gives me pause each time, and I am filled with respect and reverence for the incredible work people put in to feeding their families, whether it was our ancients, or our more recent ancestors, everyone worked to put food on the table. This is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done.

Nope, these are not this year’s potatoes. These slightly less than perfect potatoes are the end of last Summer’s potatoes. I will use them up quickly at this point, because our new potatoes are ready! Making sure things last throughout the year is a bit of a dance. I don’t want to use too much up early in the Winter, and when late Spring comes I also don’t want to be left with too much, this dance has gotten easier each year, as I can now anticipate our needs better.

The only thing here from the garden is the Calendula flowers and the Chamomile. The rest was gathered. Mullein is useful for nagging coughs from colds, while the Elderflower is a soothing tea, Yarrow helps to stop minor bleeding, Chamomile soothes the skin when made into a salve and Catmint (sometimes referred to as Catnip) can be used in a preparation for use as an insect repellent.

I could not be more grateful for this way of life.

One comment on “It’s not just opening a jar, it’s so much more…

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Ha! We gather ours too, not just because I am too lazy to grow herbs, but because I do not see the need to do so when so many grow wild on the roadsides.

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