The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

June freezing

Roasted summer squash

Homegrown cabbageAfter the internet, what I missed most during our power outage was the ability to pack food away for the winter.  With the freezer closed and halfway full, 30 hours without power wasn't a big deal, but there was no way I could introduce warm food without negatively impacting the old.  So I watched the summer squash achieve, then surpass, their optimal size, and as soon as the power came back on I was ready to freeze.

Roasted squash, cabbage for winter potstickers, and a few meals worth of green beans left the garden for cold storage.  I also dug into our fresh garlic to make nine cups of pesto for quick winter Bowl of basil with garliclunches.  While I was at it, I picked the second to last meal of broccoli --- these plants are buggy and ugly since they took so long to grow, but they still tasted great in cheese sauce for supper. 

While poking around, I discovered that we are overflowing with cucumbers for the first time ever.  Our farm is hard on cucurbits, and cucumbers are the worst, coming down with some kind of wilt disease every year just as they start to bear.  This year, I sprang for a wilt-resistant hybrid --- Diamant --- that is vigorous enough to (mostly) withstand our annual bane.  Since we don't like pickles, I'm suddenly serving Cucumbers and green beansfresh cucumbers with every lunch and dinner (and am seriously considering making the prolific vegetables part of a complete breakfast.)

Last year, the weather was against us and we only managed to pack away 13 gallons of food for the winter.  As a result, we bought grocery store produce for a couple of months this spring, and I vowed to do better.  With 6 gallons of vegetables, 7 cups of pesto, and 7 whole chickens already in the freezer before the end of June, we're starting to ponder what we'll do with the excess.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Excess is a good vegetable problem to have! Congrats on your bounty.
Comment by Emily on the Southern Prairie Thu Jun 24 12:56:50 2010
It's such a shock after last year! I had forgotten the garden was so bountiful.
Comment by anna Thu Jun 24 16:35:39 2010

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