Somehow, miraculously, the garden sprang back to life. The week of no sunshine, just overcast skies and rain has certainly worked it's magic. I even saw some baby green peppers growing! We netted over 5lbs of tomatoes in the past few days- mostly romas. I can't tell you how many went bad though, apparently some ants took over one plant. The chickens are enjoying those fruits, so that doesn't upset me as much as it would have in past years. With so much produce....it was salsa makin' time!
I canned 14 half pint jelly jars (8 oz) of salsa, plus three 3 pint jars. I'm exhausted because that quantity meant I had to pressure can two batches- so I was up until nearly midnight, after starting the salsa making process around 7pm! Thankfully Tim helped or I'd probably still be working on it. I literally had to claw my way out of bed inch by inch this morning.
While the salsa took care of most of the tomatoes, we do still have extras laying around, as well as extra peppers.
My thought is I'll prepare some pint jars of tomatoes and jalapenos. That way when winter rolls around, I already have half my work done for making the chili that Tim likes so much- and I don't have to go out and pay out the nose for expensive peppers. I may flash freeze some extra peppers as well for regular cooking purposes.
What appeals to me the most about canning is...well I guess it's the security. I feel like a squirrel sometimes, but it's nice to know we have food no matter what- even if it's salsa and tomatoes, you know? In this wonky economy, that's nothing to sneeze at! Not to mention you are extending the summer harvest, which is always more than you can eat, and using it in the winter. No buying greenhouse tomatoes for $2 a pound. No paying $3.50 for a single, small green pepper.
As the garden keeps producing, I'll keep canning! I recently found canning jars and rings for half what I usually pay at Dollar General. Hooray!