A large pot of pasta sauce is simmering on the stove to be canned later. Rows of jars of beans and other vegetables already line up on cellar shelves to be consumed during the winter months. Two of the children have poison ivy – all signs of summer.
It’s only July – the middle of the summer, and we are already thinking about the cold months. It seems strange to not stop and just enjoy the moment, but taking time to pause would be a luxury when there is so much work to do as the harvest starts pouring in!
All the ingredients in the pasts sauce are from our garden – even the oregano, parsley and basil. We use the book Putting Food By (PFB) as our reference for safe canning, but I confess I really call it the Paranoid Food Book, since its author wrote the entire book about canning while constantly talking about how dangerous it is. Her favorite bit of advice seems to be to can a food exactly to her specifications and then throw it away….
As we harvest areas we replant for fall crops. Hopefully, we will harvest beans from these plants until the weather cools. Speaking of cooling weather, today will only be 73 degrees thanks to the second July polar vortex that is dropping cool Canadian air into our area.
Our onion harvest has met challenges. We laid them out on a table to dry and form their outer skin that protects them for storage. Who knew that sheep love onions? I didn’t, at least until I found them devouring the onions as if at a banquet. We saved just enough for the next few batches of pasta sauce.
The garden expansion project continues. We pulled a permit last week for the small tool shed I had proposed. My husband has held contractor licenses in several states and has done projects in some of the most rigorous jurisdictions, including Alexandria, VA. But, up until now he has never had to pull a permit for a tiny tool shed/agricultural building. It is sad that Hampshire County has such excessive reach into the life of its residents. He started the shed yesterday using a window and materials recycled from past jobs, and I look forward to sharing a picture of it when it is done.
I’m off to the kitchen.