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Sustainable Gardening

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I really want tto put in the effort this year to accomodate our off season eating. So far I am planting:

Cucumbers for pickles and relish
Corn and we'll can some
String beans
Tomatoes for salsa, sauces, ketchup, soup etc
Pumpkin for pies

I feel like there is more but that's all that I can think of right now.

I think that we will add potatoes.

Are beets a good one?

Is there anything that I might be missing that would be really helpful to have canned this year?
post #2 of 10
Yes, beets are easy. If you can buy or find it at the library "The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food" is a great book. If your not familiar with companion planting you can read about it here. http://www.tinkersgardens.com/vegeta...onplanting.asp I love the method. Plant a radish at the base of your cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, and melons. Will keep the striped cucumber beetle away. Plant basil, nasturtiums and african marigolds around your tomatoes to keep the bugs away. You can plant your pumpkins in with your corn as well and that will keep critters away from your corn, if you have raccoons. They love corn.
post #3 of 10
Sounds good.

Need peppers or anything else for the salsa? Using onion starts is pretty easy, too (they just look like really short green onions this time of year).

Are you planning on any fruits at some point? With most of 'em you need to plan a year or 5 ahead of time because most take a little time to establish. I can only eat homemade/canned applesauce (not the store bought stuff, ugh), homemade jams and relish, etc. So those are also staples in my house. Oh, and apple pie filling or just apples cut up (and canned in a little water) for whatever random use I have.

I know some people swear by pickled beets. Never had them myself though.

I'm trying to think what else I've canned and what I'm planning on again this year...
I'm assuming you have a pressure canner since you mentioned string beans, so have you thought about soups or stocks? This year I'm attempting to grow as many of the veggies I need for vegetable stock (peppers, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, etc.) and for hubby's beef stews (potatoes, beans, maybe corn, carrots, celery, onions), and so on.

Oh, what does your pickle recipe call for? Grow your own dill so you don't have to try and track it down at the store or farmer's market.... That kind of thing.
post #4 of 10
How do you feel about freezing? We added broccoli and spinach to our list so we could freeze it.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh yes I have spinach and plan on freezing it. I have been freezing my veggies but I don't want to run into a loss if our power ever goes out and everything thaws.

We have raspberries, currants, and apples and yes I put those. I also plan on making soups too. I have a canning cook book with soup and salsa recipes that I hope are tasty. Is it safe to make my own soup recipes for canning?
post #6 of 10
Originally Posted by adoremybabe View Post
We have raspberries, currants, and apples and yes I put those. I also plan on making soups too. I have a canning cook book with soup and salsa recipes that I hope are tasty. Is it safe to make my own soup recipes for canning?
Most likely, yes. You just need to make sure you stick your stuff in the canner for the ingredient that takes the longest amount of time - typically meat. Like spaghetti sauce with meat in pints I process for either 60 or 90 minutes, I forget. I tend to err on the side of caution and process things for an extra 5-10 minutes or so anyway. And we're all still alive.

Which canning book do you have?
post #7 of 10
I highly recommend butternut squash for something over winter that doesn't need canning--we just ate the last one from last year's garden about two weeks ago! Woo-hoo! Yes, we did have to cut off part of it, but still! I think it's amazing!

And want to add my vote to growing your own dill--yum, and it reseeds it self. And I loved pickled beets when I was little. (I don't like them anymore. How weird is that? I thought it always went the other way around!)
post #8 of 10
Oh yes, I forgot the butternut squash. I have one left from last year. They are so yummy! I also recommend zucchini. You may get tired of eating it, but 2 plants will produce a ton. You can make mock apple pie with any excess ones as well.
post #9 of 10
We are growing all sorts of things this year.

I love to make tomato preserves so I have about 15 tomato plants growing.

We like to cut up summer squash and zucchini and freeze it, ready-to-cook. Same with spinach of course.

I'm growing pickling cucumbers as well to make our own bread and butter pickles.

We are also growing a LOT of black-eyed-peas and pole beans. In the fall we are hoping to harvest carrots and peas.
post #10 of 10
Yay! My mil and I have decided to have a small-ish garden this year for (mainly) canning. We both subscribe to CSA's so this is just for extra food. On our list so far are:


*to freeze

I haven't read through this thread but will come back to it..
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