Thursday, July 20, 2006


There has been a lack of pictures lately, as unfortunately my camera has had a hiccup, sorted now.

The tomatoes in the polytunnel promise to be lovely and lush, and will probably be a couple more weeks waiting. The smaller ones, varieties sungold and gardeners delight, are ripening and we can pick them every day. It really is a pleasure to see it all coming together and at the same time, a bit daunting to know what I am going to do with the bounty harvest. There are butternut squashes growing, giant pumpkins and the recent heat really has made the plants show up.

Canning has been on my mind, and I am still looking to find the equipment. I have some jars and thanks to Katie I am prepared with my towel in the stockpot. I reflected on what I should can and have decided this year to have a go at tomatoe sauce, green beans and apples. I am restricted to the amount on jars I have available and need to give some thought to what the family will actually eat.

In a dusty bookshop I discovered a small pocket book on canning which is interesting reading. It was printed in 1943 in the middle of World War II and is full of advice on what to do.

So making food stretch is our latest job. And that, I feel is why you are holding this book. Like thousands of others who have never before given a thought to the mysteries of preserving food at home, or who have specialised on a few luxuries as a hobby, you've rolled up your sleeves and are asking ' How do I Start'?

How does one start....
It takes just one step and hopefully I am going to give this a go soon. I have hesitated because actually I felt I could freeze quite a lot quickly but it has been pointed out to me that when the electricity goes, so does the freezer and all the produce and hard work could be wasted. This year I will attempt both then, and see where it takes me. The promise of a larder full of neatly labelled and full jars for winter may be tempting me. I like painting with flowers in my garden and harvest time will be different this year.

The little book is quite specific on food storage ( I had never thought about storing things in the attic apart from the usual junk but I guess during the winter, its dry and even temperature). I am amazed at how much produce our garden can actually produce and how little work is needed, apart from weeding, watering and checking the plants to get worthwhile results.

Of course its a job, but one you can look at every day, it gives you exercise, knowledge and a promise that when winter comes, you can read books, feet up near the log fire, home knitted socks, and a lovely supply of goodies in the larder.

I am prepared to give it a go now that I have managed to at least grow some things.

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