It’s strawberry season around here!
That means, we loaded up the truck/van (I don’t know what to call our large family vehicle?!) and headed off to the local organic strawberry patch. Within 1.5 hours, the girls & I had picked 75 lbs. of fresh, red, delicious strawberries. The girls were excellent pickers!
Despite an early evening piano recital, we still have time to give attention to the fresh berries. The strawberries were promptly washed, hulled over an afternoon and then processed the following day.
I made strawberry pie filling, strawberry jam and rhubarb strawberry pie filling. I also froze quite a few large freezer bags of strawberries for future recipes and delight during the winter season. We have a small strawberry patch that we started this year, but I am sure it will be a few years before we can actually enjoy many berries from the patch.
Strawberry Pie Filling
6 quarts of fresh strawberries
4-6 cups of sugar (taste and decide on the sweetness you prefer)
2 1/4 cup of a thickener (I used Therm Flo)
7 cups of cold water
1/2 cup of lemon juice
Here are the directions:
Wipe rims, add hot lids and rings and process in water bath for 30 minutes at a full rolling boil.
It is about time I flipped the one light to my pantry and start organizing what is needed, what was consumed the most, and so forth in our Provision Room. The task feels a bit daunting but once I get going, I know it won’t be so bad. I shall wait for a rainy day to tackle this job. There is still a lot of canning left over from last year, but I do know the tomato products (mainly pre-made tomato sauce and pizza sauce), carrots, soups and green beans were a favorite and will not last much more than a few more weeks. Applesauce is another favorite and will need replenishing.
The vegetable garden is coming along- but slowly. It has been very rainy here and very mild weather. We do need some heat to pump up my tomato growth. There has just been SO much rain this season! (Any tips for growing faster, bigger vegetable plants?) We spread some old, mature chicken manure around the plants about two weeks ago. We replanted some bean seeds, which the hard rain promptly washed away, and then replanted them again. Let’s hope they grow. Beans are a fun vegetable for everyone. So lovely fresh and beautiful canned and decent if frozen.The girls and I had to transplant our little corn plants from one half row to another, as only half a row of corn came up in each row (of which there are three). I replaced the empty row with some more squash plants.
How funny – I never thought I would be writing about a vegetable garden! It has certainly turned into “my life” lately. In fact, if I go to someone’s house, that’s the first place I want to see. You can skip giving me a tour of the inside of the home (although I still find that fascinating) – I would love to see your garden! Even the girls are noticing people’s gardens more, as well. They are noticing plants and vegetables that are familiar to them in other people’s gardens.
And I could talk canning and ‘putting up’ all day with someone. And preserving of all ways … have you tried dehydrating? I was thinking how fun dehydrated strawberries would be for little mouths in the winter months? With so many young babies and children, I can imagine they would love little tidbits of treats such as dehydrated bananas and strawberries when the snow is falling all around us. What are your thoughts on dehydrating? I’m not sure if it is worth the cost for a dehydrator … hmm …