Friday, August 21, 2009

The Bounty of Bountiful Acres

Our garden is doing a fine job of producing lots of food for us. We have been overrun with green beans this year. So far we have eaten lots fresh, I steamed and froze 20 quarts and we have sold two 5 gallon buckets full, given lots to family and friends too. I will be canning more beans this coming week. There are plenty in the garden!

The other great producer is our cucumbers! Praise the Lord. Last year I didn't get any to grow and had to pickle green beans instead. : ) Today I canned 14 quarts of dill pickles and 8 quarts of bread and butter pickles. The pantry is looking pretty!

We have plenty of wonderful summer squash also. Zucchini, Yellow Crooknecks, and this year I planted patty pans! They are all so tasty. I will make some relish from them to put in the pantry.

The green gage plums are ripe and the trees are loaded. We will pick some and make juice from them for jellies or just to drink.

Our duck, Lilac has hatched out her three little eggs and now has three cute little ducklings. So after selling so many of the first batches, we now have 13 more growing up on the farm.

When I was out moving the water sprinkler in the garden this morning, I noticed several pickle sized cucumbers peeking out from under the leaves! Oh my, more pickles! You can't have too many pickles in the pantry now can you? You just never know if you will have a good cucumber crop next year, so we better put up as many as we can this year. Of course there are always those prolific green beans to make into dilly beans just in case.............. : ) Then there are the huge beets sticking up out of the ground. I love beets. I love to eat them and I love to see them growing in my garden. And I get two crops from one plant. We have the beet root for luscious pickled beets, or just cooked with butter and salt and pepper. And then we have the beet greens! They make a wonderful green side dish, full of vitamins and minerals. I usually blanch and freeze them.

I love the ping ping ping sound of jars sealing! That is such a satisfying sound. Soon the pantry shelves will be so lovely with all the colors of the harvest in the gleaming jars. Jams, jellies, relishes, pickles, veggies of all sorts, and the fruit too. Those cherries look really pretty on that shelf, next will be some apples, applesauce, and canned plums. More berries for making juice and putting in the freezer. Yes, this is a tiring and busy time of year. But come winter I am happy to walk into the pantry and pull homegrown food from the shelves and the freezer.

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