A place I will document our journey in living off the land

Food Preservation April 5, 2013

Last year, I taught myself how to can. I did not do any pressure canning, but will be venturing into that this year. I did tomatoes, along with spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. I also pickled peppers, green beans and made lots of pickles, that did not last as long as I had hoped! I was able to get fruit from local orchards, so had some apricots, peaches and apples as well. I had a great time, and learned a lot! These are a few of the websites I referred to, and the pickle recipe I used, that everyone LOVED! I hope these are helpful!

Simply Canning:

Food In Jars:
the beloved pickle recipe:

This one is awesome not only for canning, but freezing as well.
Pick Your Own:

And of course, the USDA site:

There are a lot of others that I have saved on Pinterest, and will be going through them this year, as I need to put up probably 2-3x what I did last year. Here is my Pinterest board:


Tomato planting in mind.. March 17, 2013

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Last year, I failed my tomatoes. I did not stake them or cage them well enough, and they went WILD. I guess the tomatoes did well enough, they grew HUGE, but it was a pain to harvest and I lost a few due to being on the ground. We had a terrible grasshopper issue, and they LOVED red tomatoes. I ended up having to ripen tomatoes in the house, otherwise, I would lose them to the grasshoppers.

Ive been browsing Pinterest, and I came across a different way to give tomatoes support. And it will be what I try this year. Instead of using traditional cages, which a lot of tomatoes quickly outgrow anyway, you use stakes and string. Similar to what you would do for beans and peas. This blog has a great explanation of one way to do it:

I’m thinking I will try this AND try the “Florida Weave” method as well, to see which works best for us. My tomato plants were gorgeous last year, but so unruly they were unpleasant to deal with.

Here’s to hoping for another bountiful tomato harvest in 2013! I canned a lot of our tomatoes from last year and I LOVED not needing to buy any from the store, PLUS they taste so much better!