Done and done!

The final, final, final interior proof of Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude was completed and approved today. Now it moves on to the “wrapping” process of designing the back cover.

After that was done, we weeded the gardens, picked produce, watered, and then decided to organize our canned goods shelves — these are the shelves of items we have canned ourselves from our own produce, etc.

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From the top left corner: cider vinegar, maple syrup, cider, jellies, jams and canned juices from our grapes and blackberries. Then pickles, dilly beans, sauerkraut, pickled squash, pickled swiss chard, maple syrup for Christmas gifts (shhhh!!!!), honey, dried tomatoes, dried mushrooms, dried peppers. The a row of tomato puree then herbs. The bottom row? Dried kale and cabbage, and our dried beans.

More will be added to the shelves as we finish the harvest this year: hot sauce, salsa, more dried beans, dried garlic and onions, and then finally some dried vegetables (carrots, celery, beets, zucchini and green beans) for soups.

Phew — what a wonderful day!

Today in farming

Today dawned warm and humid, again. As we had sat on the deck last night watching the bats hunt, even in the twilight we could see the tomatoes needed to be picked.

So bright and early this morning we headed to the garden. An hour later, we had picked four 5-gallon pails (almost) full of sauce tomatoes. Then we washed, sliced, pureed, reduced, then canned sauce. In the end, we canned more than four gallons of dark red, thick tomato sauce. Then we froze twenty packages of plum tomatoes to use in casseroles and flat breads this winter. The house now smells of tomato sauce, steam still fills every room, we are tired, but happy. The harvest did not go to waste, and will be so appreciated this winter when Vermont is cold and snowy.

Tomorrow, we plan to clean the pantry, then spend some time enjoying the beauty of Vermont. I’m sure we will need to pick some squash, peppers and cucumbers, but those will become dinner for family tomorrow night.