Back when we first purchased the Ballard Homestead, 10 short months ago, we had dreams of gardening, preserving our own food and living off the land. Those dreams led to investing in a used pressure canner and canning supplies. Then we read books and listened to podcasts about gardening, canning and preserving food. Finally, we planted and watered and weeded and watched and God brought up from little seeds so many beautiful vegetables. SO MANY beautiful vegetables! All that thinking and dreaming, planning and working has led us to this point and we are now at the canning phase of homestead life. The task of preserving our harvest from the garden of our dreams is underway and the Homestead garden is producing faster than we can keep up.
It all started with the cucumbers. The first thing we canned was pickle relish. Large yellow overripe cucumbers are the main ingredient for relish! There were plenty of perfect “pickle” cucumbers too but that relish is GREAT on fried green tomatoes.
One thing we did not plant but we are harvesting from is a large Fig tree on the homestead! How it started…
The 3 little figs
How it’s going…
More and more figs are ripening every day. There are so many ways to preserve figs -from dehydrating to canning preserves, even fermenting, although we have not tried that yet. We’ve eaten a lot of fresh figs and quite a few roasted figs with cinnamon and fresh rosemary. We didn’t realize we would love figs this much. It’s a good thing ‘cause there are a LOT of those little cuties!
We have harvested and canned, frozen or dehydrated green beans, corn, onions, potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes and pumpkins. Our basement shelves are filling up quickly.
A “Fall Garden” is in the works, with cabbage, broccoli, spinach, turnips, another round of carrots, more corn and a little more lettuce. We should be eating good this winter.
Besides canning, we have a few other projects going on. One new “job” is learning how to run Kades Coffee truck. You may be surprised how much there is to learn about making coffee, I know we were. Josh and Adri are great trainers! We should be ready to sell coffee unsupervised very soon.
Family celebrations with the Carolina Crew are always fun. Aunt Karolyn and Hannah had birthdays and we were happy to celebrate with them.
We also celebrated our 36th anniversary this month. The Vintage House in Hickory was a beautiful restaurant to celebrate a special occasion.
36 years of adventures together and looking forward to many more happy years.
Speaking of adventures, we took Old Glory for a short trip down the road to make sure her tires and brakes are still in good shape. We hope to do some traveling this winter so we will do a little preventive maintenance on O.G. this fall.
And finally our one disappointing crop. The cute little watermelons looked perfect from the outside but didn’t quite meet our expectations when we taste tested them.
Fall is coming and the leaves on our dogwoods are starting to change color. We are looking forward to cooler days and more good food coming from our Homestead garden!
You thought you’d get away from this post without a Leila picture? As always, can’t wait to go see this little pumpkin soon ; )