Monday, September 16, 2013

Sustainable? Probably not, but......

Last Saturday I drove down to Dawes Arboretum in Newark, Ohio for the 2nd annual Sustainable Landscapes Symposium.  Amazingly the room was packed, standing room only!  I placed myself against the window just in case subject material was dry, birdwatching was an option.  (always have a diversion so I don't wake myself up snoring!)  I gazed over the room at my demographic...... mostly the grey hair fashionistas sporting the latest garden togs; flannel, rubber clogs and jeans!  MY PEOPLE!  
Topics covered:  Backyard Berries, Edible Landscaping, Gardening for Pollinators, Native Plants for Gardens.  Riveting stuff!  

Diversion view for bird watching!

This guy showed up at the plant sale! 

On the three hour drive home I wondered just how "sustainable" am I?  
This morning I started to take inventory and I am certainly not at the head of the class but I am getting there! 

Before I kill myself running up and down the cellar stairs 1,000 times I snapped an image of what has been cranked out of the kitchen since Sept.  Mostly from my garden.  And because I can never find my "last year's" canning notes I decided to list them here.  Forever preserved in the fruit cellar of the internet.

 14 jars catsup, 10 BBQ sauce, 16 qts. tomatoes, 6 pts. tomatoes, 13 jars salsa, 24 jars chili sauce, 12 jars marinara sauce, 7 jars spiced cabbage, 8 jars pickled hot peppers.

Now out to the freezer......

8 loaves zucchini bread, bags of shredded zucchini, 6 bags or 106 stuffed hot peppers, 14 jars of pesto, 6 jars roasted tomato spread, 12 qts. marinara sauce.  Still loads of pork from the happy pig, chickens, a gallon of maple syrup from last Spring.  There are braids of onions drying and bowls of garlic.  We are on our third gallon of cold pickles too!  We take them to every summer party!  

And the garden is not done!  Today is devoted to the eggplant, grilled caponata packed in jars will fill a corner of the freezer.  Still canning up dilly beans, pickled cauliflower, applesauce and peaches.  
We drank all the bourbon in the boozy cherries so time to start a batch of boozy peaches for Christmas.
Oh and those yummy cherries are going to top a German Chocolate Cake for a family gathering!  

As I walk around the gardens I take stock that there is a good 75#'s of potatoes waiting to be dug.  Butternut squash, Acorn squash, Swiss chard is stunning, banner year for peppers.  OH and all those hot peppers came off three plants!  Tomatoes are still producing, as are the green and lilac peppers.  Carrots are going to winter in the ground as will the parsley and other hearty herbs.  I have jars of dried basil too.  The leeks will winter over too.  

We have eaten loads of berries; blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, a handful of currants and baskets of rhubarb for juice.  

Yesterday I planted a crop of fall lettuce, kale, radishes, romaine, beets and carrots.  Today, peas will be tossed in the ground just to see how much cold they can tolerate.  

Oh and we must not forget the girls!  Eggs and contributions to the compost pile!

Yup, we are living large on our half acre! 


  1. that is really a labor of love.
    I still have my check list from my first few years here on the farm. I love to read it over and see what we were eating back then.

  2. All I can think to say is, Damn, you got it going on! I said that three times to myself while I read this! Go girl!!

  3. Just sat down........ caponata is done! Off to the freezer in the morning.
    I look at this and then remember, oh yeah the kids moved out! Honestly I bet we eat most of it, although why I made 24 jars of chili sauce escapes me!
    Now I can go to the studio and not think of all the veggies waning in the garden :)

    Sure do like having stuff on the shelves and the wood pile full when the snow flies.

    and can I say you guys make me laugh because you are such slackers! NOT! I read your blogs and think whoa!

  4. The sight of a row of glass bottles of good things from the garden is breath taking! I like the sound of "boozy cherries" and "boozy peaches"!

  5. Hi Peter! Starting my peaches today! Should be ready for Christmas cheer :)