Saturday, August 22, 2009
Preserving the bounty...
You might be surprised to hear me say this, but I'll be the first to admit - canning, pickling, freezing, dehydrating - all the many ways we can work to preserve the bounty of our local seasonal food...well it's a major pain. All the jars kicking around the house for months on end, baskets of rims, then all the prep work - cutting, slicing, snapping - followed by a rush of packing hot jars and then waiting, waiting, waiting for the water to boil and the allotted hot water bath/pressure canner time. And finally, the nerve-racking will my jars "ping?" Please, please let my jars ping!!!!
And since my daytimer has me pretty well scheduled during all daylight hours in the fields, food preservation for this farmer usually entails a very, very late night.
BUT...Is there are more satisfying feeling than looking at a counter of jars full of healthy, chemical-free food, food that was grown in your region supporting your local farmers keeping your favorite open lands in production???? Especially come December and January and February when the abundance of summer - the tomatoes, the beans, the beets - are long gone?
If you haven't ever tried preserving your food, its not as hard as it appears, and especially as you find great recipes and perfect your techniques, the products you end up with are well, really, really good. Just takes a little time and planning. And it is something that is much more fun with some friends and family. Get a good book - or google - here is one of my favorite sites for quick and easy info on canning, pickling, freezing and the many ways to put food up - www.pickyourown.org
So this Sunday I plan to preserve some of the bounty. Especially since the batch of pickled Dilly Beans we did do this week is already about 1/4 gone! My husband has been eating about a pint of them a day! I do admit, they are addictive, kinda like potato chips only beany!
If you would like to stop by the market and put up some food for your family and friends, well we have lots of choices. And, on that note, we are offering a special promotion on all the veggies you need to make your own batch of dilly beans:
* FOR JUST $12 - 5 lbs of fresh beans (choose any of our 4+ varieties of beans, they are all great pickled!), one bunch of dill and 2 heads of garlic. We will also include a recipe, but basically, that's enough beans, dill and garlic for at least 8 pints. A bargain!
And what else of the summer bounty will be at market today, well, quite a bounty. Here is the brief (hah!) summary:
From Willowood Farm
- Potatoes - 7 flavors today plus baby new potato bags!
- Garlic - Probably 8 flavors today?
- Head Lettuce - loads of beautiful head lettuce!
- Kohlrabi - giant tender heads! Great raw in coleslaw, baked...
- Cabbage - three beautiful kinds! Great for coleslaw, sauerkrat (another fun and yummy home project!)
- Chickpeas (probably the last week they'll be available in fresh form)
- Summer Squash - loads of perfect summer squash!
- Beans, beans, beans - We have our favorite Dragon Langeries and gorgeous Golden Rocky yellow wax beans....
- Gourmet mixed Italian Onions
From our friends at Prairie Bottom
- Lots more beans! Golden Bacau wax bean, Green Romas, French Filets
- Beet Bottoms! Great for canning
- More onions
- More taters
- Dill bunches
- Carrot Bunches
- Fava Beans
And at Bayview Market only we will have a selection from Mikey at Whidbey Green Goods of Sungold tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, basil and yes, even more beans....
We hope to see you there!
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie