Wanna come along?
I also thought I would share what I have done to get ready for my challenge so far.
1. I have bought a pressure canner. I have used a boiling water canning pot for years for salsa, pickles, pears, that kind of thing, but I thought I would branch out a bit and try some new things.
Note for my Canadian readers: The only pressure canner I could find around here was from Home Hardware (for more than I wanted to pay) but then after I bought it, and opened it, and washed it, I found one for $20.00 less at Canadian Tire...it isn't in their on-line catalogue but it was in the store.
2. I have pulled out a few books from my shelves...The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer, "the cook's garden" a compilation from Canadian Gardening Magazine, and I have purchased "Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning" to try out a few new things.
3. I have expanded my garden a little bit more and am trying a few new things I have never grown.
4. So far I have planted, among other things:
Peas...pea shoots will be in salads shortly.
Pak choy...almost ready to eat. I believe some time this week it will hit our plates.
The herb bed is coming along nicely...
as is the new strawberry patch.
I have also planted carrots, potatoes, leeks, radishes, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, peanuts, lettuce...not a lot of each as several are new trials, but enough to see how they do in my yard. I will be picking up my jalapeno seedlings from the market on Wednesday, and I get my tomato seedlings in just under two weeks.
5. I have already harvested my first cuttings of mint and oregano to dry for use in the winter. If you are just starting out, I would highly recommend herbs as a jumping off point. The flavours are fantastic. I can get pots of herbs at the farmer's market for $1.25 so you can start out with a very small investment. They are super easy to preserve ( I have just hung the mint and oregano in small bundles in my dining room. When fully dry, I crush them a bit and put them in glass jars and they last me through the winter). Chances are, you will get enough harvest to share with a friend or neighbour, so if space is limited, you could each grow a few different herbs and share your harvest. I have also pulled out an old screen with a wooden frame that I use for herbs that I have cut too short to bundle up.
6. I still have several jars of last year's home grown salsa in the pantry, as well as a couple bags of berries in the freezer. Hopefully they will last until the fresh berries start coming in...
For a few things it won't be too much longer!
Next month, on the 15th, I hope to share what we have been eating as well as what we are preserving.
Now, for all of you joining along: what are you growing? what are you eating? what are you preserving? what are you planning? Leave a comment with your link and if you would be so kind as to leave a link on your blog so other people can join the party. If you don't have a blog post to share, please leave a comment as well, with your details.