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rainbowgardener
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Re: Harvest time & putting food by

As long as you are canning things with enough acid in them for water bath canning, it is easy. I have never done pressure canning. The things like carrots, etc that would need pressure canning I just freeze. I like frozen veggies better than canned anyway. To freeze the carrots, just wash and peel them, chop them into how you like to use them, coins or sticks, blanch them in boiling water for just a couple minutes. Then immediately pull them out (if you have a metal sieve, you can leave the carrots in the sieve and just immerse that -- makes it very easy to pull them right back out) and dump them into ice water. Leave them in the ice water until they are well cooled. Then drain them thoroughly and put them in a zip lock bag. Press as much air as you can out of the bag and seal and freeze. Other veggies are processed similarly for freezing.

I'm very generous with my friends about giving away plants I start from seed, because I have so many. I'm afraid I'm not very generous with them giving away any of the fruits of my garden. I have so little garden space, I can't come close to producing enough to get us through the winter. I do give away herbs and almost all of the jellies, jams, herbal teas, infused oil and vinegar, and stuff like that, that I make goes in the Christmas baskets.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Harvest time & putting food by

OK, so I forced myself to decide it is enough herbal tea already! 26 half cup canisters in 13 different recipes (which sounds like 2 of each, but is anywhere between one and four, depending on how much of what ingredients I had). Used up all the chamomile and yarrow and lemon balm (dried lemon balm that is, there's a bunch more still growing in my garden that I may or may not get around to harvesting). Cleaned up the bottom shelf of my seed growing area - the top shelf has all the finished product. The bottom shelf will soon become my work bench for making soaps, lotions and/ or whatever else like that I decide to do.

There's plenty of lavender left (some in the jar, some drying and some still in the garden) for lavender biscotti, lavender chocolate brownies, etc.
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applestar
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Re: Harvest time & putting food by

I can just picture your well organized "workshop" :D
...I have question -- where do you get large qty of white wine vinegar?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Harvest time & putting food by

Unfortunately, just at the grocery store. I didn't take the time to look around for cheaper, though probably there is some. I didn't make THAT much. Six 500 ml (17 oz) bottles = 102 oz or about 3 quarts. I didn't buy it or make it all at once, so I never broke the bank in any one grocery trip.

In the "used up" list should have been anise hyssop also. Still have a little jar of bee balm and one of spearmint, plus lots of spice jars of herbs like basil and sage. Some of those will just go in Christmas baskets that way, for people without their own gardens. My honey makes cool labels for all of this stuff with my avatar and "rainbowgardener product" on them. :)
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Harvest time & putting food by

So, I had company over and used up the last of last year's herbal tea that I had in my cupboard. Made me realize that I have all those herbal teas destined for Christmas baskets and none for me. I could of course just filch some, but instead I'm going to make up a blend based on what I have left over. So here is what I am calling "Mint and Flowers Tea": equal parts lavender, bee balm, spearmint, and rosehips (purchased, but I have some left over from what I already purchased for making the Christmas teas).

Haven't tasted it yet, but I think it will be nice.

Other possibilities: Lemony sage tea with lemon balm, sage, lemon zest (I have a bunch of lemon peels still in the frig from making lemon juice). Balmy tea with bee balm, lemon balm and mint. Etc.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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