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hendi_alex
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Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

How did your canning/freezing/drying go?

Each year it seems that I move a little more into preserving. Last year was a major expansion, with an effort to freeze enough tomatoes for 100% of off season use. Am feeling pretty good about that, as just yesterday used the last block of frozen tomatoes to make a batch of spaghetti sauce. Also, last week used the last bag of frozen greens. I definitely DO NOT want to have more than we can use in one winter season. This coming year will perhaps put up another ten packs of tomatoes and will probably do about the same or maybe only two more packs of greens.

This worked out so well, will freeze a few packs of spring grown greens for summer/early fall consumption. We did a very few bags of frozen corn this year. Will try to expand that to maybe a dozen bags this year. Also, may put up a few bags of frozen green beans for use in veggie soup this coming winter.

Last year we made home made fig preserves. Will probably expand that to include strawberry, blackberry, and blueberry jam

What is something that you preserve, that you just couldn't imagine doing without? And how do you manage your inventory, to use up preserved items in a reasonable time frame?

For many years, we have dried enough tomatoes to take care of yearly needs. I usually just do that every other year, freezing 3-4 one quart bags. With dried tomatoes, a little goes a long way. On the other hand, it takes probably 15-20 pounds of tomatoes to just make one quart, so lots of effort goes into each of those little bags.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

Green Mantis
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Re: How did your canning/freezing/drying go?

Haven't been on here for ages. Missed you all.

The only thing I got to put up was Hubbard squash. Froze a whole bunch of freezer bags full. We just use it as a side

veggie, with our meals. Sure is good though. :) Sounds like you put up lots of good things. Congrats. :)

GrowMoore
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Re: How did your canning/freezing/drying go?

I plan on expanding what I preserve every year and know it will happen in baby steps. This will be my second year with a much bigger garden and so I have high hopes of having more saved over the winter. Like you I hope in a few years to have a better handle on the amount we will need but for now I am experimenting.

Last year I was learning how to can so I only did plain tomatoes. I still have about a dozen jars and have really enjoyed them. This year I would like to go a step further and make them into spaghetti and pizza sauces that are ready to go.
Every other year our 1 apple tree gives us lots so I usually make up batches of apple butter (easy to do in the crock pot) and also dehydrate some for munching. This is the year that the tree should produce lots. Since it is only every other year I was thinking of doing more dehydrating since those would last longer.
My new project is to learn how to make pickles. I picked a variety that is good for pickling whole and I will let you know how that goes.
I also just got a freezer (Yay!!) so hope to put that to good use too. I planted strawberries and raspberries so hoping that I will get something out of those patches. I am thinking that I will have to come up with a system for keeping track of it all, maybe a list / spreadsheet on the side of the fridge? And crossing off items as they are used.

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sweetiepie
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Re: How did your canning/freezing/drying go?

hendi_alex wrote:
What is something that you preserve, that you just couldn't imagine doing without? And how do you manage your inventory, to use up preserved items in a reasonable time frame?
I try to have preserved about two years worth of food encase I have a bad year on something in the garden or even livestock. In the basement I have three sturdy canning book cases, made of metal. Rather large, each set of shelves are for one year of canned goods. So I have room for three years. Anything on the shelves that are three years out start going to the animals, chickens, cats, dog and soon we will have pigs.

Each year with the new canning season, I take inventory of what I have left and then subtract from what I had canned up last year. So I know how much I used in that year. I then start my canning, and try to make sure I have two years down there. Each batch I can I then add to the inventory list. I do this with meat canned or frozen also. If I run out of something entirely I make a note the day and month I ran out, so I have an idea of how much more I need. Anything frozen I only keep about a year's worth. I have two freezers as it is. If I have last years stuff in the freezer and it is a lot and it is butchering time again, I start canning the old meat. That doesn't happen often but occasionally with the chicken. If it's hamburger left over I start making jerky, usually.

I also dehydrate as much of my spices, onions, mushrooms, potatoes, and some fruits.

I can't pick one thing that I could live with out. My pantry is my grocery store. I can all kinds of vegetables, (tomato sauce, tomato juice, tomato soup, salsa, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce). To many to list. Last year was the first year I canned celery and lard. I have canned apple butter and apple pie filling and made grape jam. My trees in the orchard are only a few years old, so have not done much with fruit yet.

I for sure could not live with out my canned milk. I use my canned milk when my milk cow goes dry. Since it is canned it tastes like the canned milk you buy in the store and doesn't taste right to just drink but I use it to cook with. It's nice especially when the kids have drank the last of the milk, didn't tell you, and you are in the middle of a recipe, only to find the milk is all gone. I will also use my canned milk when we get our piglets for a few weeks before my milk cow has her calf. (Yes, I know there is a lot of controversy on canning milk.) I also freeze the cheese I make, buttermilk, ice cream etc.

Sorry, that got way long. I love providing for my family, I get so excited. :-()

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hendi_alex
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Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Re: How did your canning/freezing/drying go?

Wow, a great self-reliance story!
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex



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