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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bargain Buys!

As frustrated as I've been with the garden, it was nice to finally have enough of something for some canning and freezing yesterday. 

I tore out the remaining bush beans and trimmed the pole beans down a bit, removing any flowers that hadn't begun to grow pods yet.  I did the same with the tomatoes a few days ago and covered them with plastic as well. 
Grow room shelves are now packed with canned goods and curing onions.  I need a pantry!

The final harvest of beans was enough to blanch for the freezer, there were also finally enough cucumbers to make two quarts of pickles, and I made up some chicken stock from the roast chicken we had earlier this week.

As if that didn't keep me busy enough I took my mom shopping and discovered a few deals at the produce store.  Mature mushrooms were $0.99/lb again, and they had 20 lb. boxes of canning tomatoes for $12 too.  So I bought up 3 lbs of mushrooms and a box of tomatoes and stayed up past midnight canning 16 pints of diced tomatoes.  The mushrooms will be sauteed and frozen today.

As exhausting as all the tomato processing was I'm sorely tempted to go get more for sauce and salsa... it was very satisfying to finally have some tomatoes around!

Dried rosemary to fill the spice jar.
In other news... I didn't post about it before, but last week I took down the hanging bunches of rosemary, thyme, sage, lavender, and mint.  I stripped the dried leaves off the stems, crushed them up a bit in the mortar and pestle, then filled up my spice jars and little baggies for the freezer.  Freezing extra dried herbs keeps them fresh longer.  I reuse the storebought spice jars when I can, but some things like the mint and lavender I just put into bags in the freezer. 

My rosemary harvest was huge and paid off in two full jars of dried rosemary (purchased at the grocery store these would have cost me about $8 each.  Perennial herbs pay off!)

My daughter is super excited about her little herb garden, later this week we'll trim the lemon balm and vervain and yarrow and get them started drying as well for teas.

I'm still waiting on the sunflower seeds and pea seeds to finish up drying, but the sunflower will be weighed in and added to the food total weight when it's done.  The peas seed is just for replanting, though I should probably weigh it since pea seed costs money and these will be money saved in purchasing more.

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