My Growing Pantry

I only know of a very select few people in my real life who are interested in gardening and food preservation, but I get pretty excited about what’s going on with mine. I’m tempted to bend the ear of anyone who happens to ask me how my weekend was…but I tend to just say “Oh, it was great!” and move on. I’m lame. I don’t share as much of my real life to others…in real life…as I used to.

I haven’t had the ability to focus on creating many new items for my Etsy shop lately, although I have added two new products to it in the past week. Instead, I’ve been focused and very busy harvesting the seemingly never-ending crop of tomatoes in my garden. Last weekend alone I canned 15 jars of crushed tomatoes. Since then I have picked another two big baskets full and, likely, more tomato canning will happen next weekend.

pantry

I’ve also, as I think I’ve mentioned before, picked and dried herbs, as well.

I am drying more chives today and tomorrow I’ll dry some thyme. The bag of apples in the first photo is also for making homemade applesauce. We got the bag for $21 at Bowman’s Orchard and they were the less-than-perfect apples which are perfect for applesauce makin’. We have apple lovers in our house and the bag has been depleted quite a bit from the day they were purchased…it’s a blessing that our kids love fresh fruits and veggies as much as they do.

Anyway, today I also clipped all of my green onions and froze them. We usually have one taco/nacho night with the kids per week so these will be perfect for that as the weather gets cooler and the fresh stuff from the garden becomes more scarce.

Basically, I am trying really hard to waste as little as possible. The past three weeks I’ve gone back to weekday dinner planning and Theresa said it’s been saving us at least $50 per week. Since we really want to get our downstairs bathroom finished (at a cost of anywhere between $5,000-$6,000), it’s a start in the right direction of cinching our belts a little tighter so we have more money to put away. We’ve also noticed a lot less food waste in general by planning our meals out ahead of time. It’s a win/win.

But now we also have Christmas staring us right in the face. I got a good start on it with the dried herbs AND with some shopping I did today. I got some great gifts to begin putting baskets together for my friends and family. I also got this beauty of a print for $5 for our house:

succulent print

Unsure what room it’s going to go in, but I couldn’t pass it up!

So, back to the canning and drying – it just feels wonderful to have enough to put away for the winter. It’s nothing compared to others who have been doing this a lot longer (seriously, I’m part of a canning group on Facebook and some of these people just amaze me!) but I’m proud of having done what I’ve done so far and what I’ve learned. It certainly does take up a lot of time but I feel fortunate with my garden this year. It has brought me much happiness and even though I feel pressed for time quite often with all on my plate, I look at what we have and feel very #blessed despite the #stress.

 

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