The way I see it, there is exactly one way to keep the yummy freshness of summertime around for the rest of the year: Canning and Freezing!
Last year, we did some canning, but did not have much freezer space. Some things just don’t can well, so freezing is better. So this year, the goal is to freeze, can and otherwise preserve as many fruits and veggies as possible.
Things we have frozen:
2 gallons of local, organic strawberries (from Volmer Farms & Cane Creek Farms)
2 gallons (plus some used already) of local, organic blueberries (from Cane Creek Farms)
1 gallon of peach juice (cubes) local peaches (mostly from a NC research station)
1 gallon sliced local, organic raw okra (Cane Creek Farms)
1 gallon peeled, cubed local sweet potato (from an NC research station)
1 quart local tomatillos (Lyon Farms)
1 gallon (minus some used) of local, organic roasted sweet corn (Cane Creek Farms and Earth Fare)
10 cups (1 cup portions frozen in individual bags) shredded squash & zucchini, local, organic (Cane Creek Farms)
Things we have canned:
2 quarts + 2 pints (plus more already gone) Kosher dill pickles from local, organic cucumbers (Cane Creek Farms)
6 quarts pickles okra, local, organic: Garlic (4) and Hot (2) (Cane Creek Farms)
1/2 pint pickled jalapenos (from the Love Chapel Hill Community Garden)
2 half pints strawberry jam, local, organic (Volmer Farms)
5 pints (plus 3 that went to other homes) peach preserves, local (NC research station/Earth Fare)
4 half pints muscadine grape jelly, local (Lyon Farms)
2 half pints plain apple sauce; 9 half pints + 2 pints of cinnamon apple sauce, local (Random NC research facilities)
13+ quarts Crushed Tomatoes, local, organic (Cane Creek Farms)
5 half pints tomato juice, local, organic (Cane Creek Farms)
Other Things we have saved:
3 quarts, local, organic cherry tomatoes (Cane Creek Farms, plus some from Lyon Farms- not organic) “Oven-dried” dehydrated- became about a pint and a half once dried; put some in oil and other in the freezer.
Today I broke out the first of the frozen strawberries for my smoothies over the fall/winter. Over the fall, I will also get some pumpkin to roast, puree and preserve and use into the winter, but from here on out, we’ll see how far all of this saved produce gets us. Hoping and praying that there will be tomato product to last us into the spring of next year!
Good-bye summer, hello fall- let the yummy local life continue!