Life In A Small Cowtown

Caribou Farms Annual Report

As the veggie garden, grapevines, raspberry patch, herb gardens and scattered mints wind down for the season, my harvesting and foraging is nearly done for 2020. I thought I would share this year’s food preservation results. A lot of food can be grown in a modestly-sized backyard garden. It’s healthy, saves money, and you don’t need to have a gym membership, since your backyard and kitchen will become your new workout areas.

The garden still has lots of carrots and green onions, as well as plenty of grape tomatoes, and a few lingering Roma and Celebrity tomatoes. I may manage to squeak out one last pint of ketchup from the grape tomatoes (yes, they make good ketchup!) but I’m done with all the canning projects. The pressure canner and hot water bath have been scrubbed clean and stored away.

We also benefitted from the bounty of our local community. This year that included sweet corn from Pray Farms, honey from our neighbor’s bee hives, apple cider from our landlord, as well as Thai eggplants and sweet plums from my sister-in-law.

If you’re interested in my ketchup or spicy beets recipes, here they are. If you want any other recipes for foods I’ve mentioned, just comment and I’ll see what I can do to add the recipe to the site.

I visualize pints and quarts better than I do ounces and pounds, since most of my food goes into pint and quart jars (even the dried herbs and teas), and that’s why my list leans toward those measurements.

6 trays assorted chopped bell peppers
4 trays halved grape tomatoes with oregano
2 trays halved and gutted rose hips

Are You Hip To This Jive?
Are You Hip To This Jive?

1 quart garlic cloves
5 pints tomato ketchup
4 loaves dandelion bread
4 loaves zucchini spice bread
14 stuffed bell peppers
2 quarts shredded zucchini

Get Stuffed!
Get Stuffed!

9 pints green beans
7 pints pork & beans
10 pints sweet corn
4 pints creamed corn
9 jelly jars sweet zucchini relish
4 pints marinara sauce
4 jelly jars marinara sauce (for 12″ pizzas)
10 half-size jelly jars marinara sauce (for smaller flatbread pizzas)
10 pints spaghetti sauce
20 pints tomato soup plus 1 unsealed pint that we ate that night.
12 quarts pickled beets plus 1 quart that broke in the hot water bath (sad!)
10 jelly jars Concord grape jelly plus 7 unsealed jelly jars
SEVEN jars! What’s the deal? We shared some with our landlord and are eating lots of it from the fridge right now, but I have never had such trouble with jelly jars not sealing.

Not Quite Campbell's Tomato Soup
Not Quite Campbell’s Tomato Soup

Dried Herbs
1 pint summer savory
1 pint dill seed
1/2 pint dill leaf
1/2 pint coriander
1/2 pint parsley
1/2 pint basil
2 pints oregano
2 pints Chinese garlic chives

Dried Teas
1 quart catnip
2 pints orange mint
2 pints chocolate mint
1 quart dandelion flowers (whole, stemmed)
1 pint dandelion petals

Foraged Mints and Petals
That’s Entertain-Mint

Other Stuff
2 pitchers Concord grape juice for drinking, in addition to the jelly previously mentioned. Our vines had a great year – no bugs for a change!
1 gallon raspberries, which made eight individual-size casserole dishes of really yummy raspberry crisp
2-quart jar pickled beets is in the fridge for immediate use
2 quarts chives flower vinegar

Chives Flower Vinegar Is So pretty!
Chives Flower Vinegar is so pretty!
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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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