Hoarders: Produce Edition

I definitely subscribe to the “less is more” theory when it comes to acquired stuff… except for fabric and kitchen appliances that is! ;)  I’ve gotten very good with simplifying, streamlining, and purging useless objects from my life.  That’s not to say I live in a home with naked walls, or have tossed every childhood memento, but I have really lightened my load over the past five years.  You never realize how much stuff you have til you move it… and after all my travels and house hopping in college, I became very tired of moving stuff!

Unfortunately, if you were to step inside my home right now, you would think I was well on my way to being on an episode of Hoarders followed by a veggie themed Intervention!  Thankfully, the crate climbing and fermentation side-stepping only lasts a few short weeks!

I’ve reached the point in this bountiful season where I’m canning on a daily basis; the star of the jar is usually tomatoes.  This past weekend, Canning Palooza took place in my kitchen!  For two days I did nothing but blanch, boil, slice, chop, and simmer the essence of Summer; filling  jars that will be savored when the trees are barren and the garden is dormant has consumed my every spare moment.

I started out with approximately 100 lbs of tomatoes; I am proud to say I am now 60 lbs lighter!  Unfortunately, that will all change once I step back in the garden.  We’ve had rain for the past several days, so I know there will be a cornucopia of ripe vegetables ready for the picking!

Here are several images of my produce packed kitchen.  I apologize for the sub-par photography, most of the pictures were taken in the middle of the night, so I was forced to use the dreaded flash.

 L-R Top crate is full of Green Zebra and Amish Paste tomatoes.  The bin underneath is packed with Pattypan squash.  The bottom front tub has Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, and Hillbilly tomatoes; next are boxes, bowls, and trays of Cream Sausage tomatoes.  Another tray of Amish Paste and Hillbilly tomatoes.  Two gallons of lacto-fermentation pickles and several jars of tomato butter setting their seals.  Then it’s a bin of Cherokee Purple and Hillbilly tomatoes and finally a wash basket of Hillbilly tomatoes.

The counter holds a plethora of Summer squash in the form of Pattypan and Patisson Strie.  I also have some just-cut celery hanging out next to the canner.

And on top the freezer is a huge bowl of Purple Tomatillos, Chinese 5 Color peppers, and several jars of dehydrated tomatoes!

And now I present you with the first images of Canning Palooza 2011:

As you can see, my piano has become the canning catch-all.  It is packed full of various tomato sauces, stewed tomatoes, carrots, beets, tomato butter, and jams of raspberry, cherry-vanilla, apricot, and tomato.  The ledge above the piano holds another gallon of fermenting pickles (these are dill) and a quart of pickles with Chinese 5 color peppers!

On the bench I have several bags of dehydrated tomatoes.  The piano is the last step in my canning work-flow.  Everything has been wiped and labeled, it just needs put into one of two canning closets.

AND I’m happy to report that the piano is empty once again… at least until I wipe and label last night’s canned salsas! ;)

So please forgive me and my scattered postings.  Between getting the Fall gardens in, and keeping up with preserving Summer’s harvest, I’m one busy, sleep deprived, little bee!  I have so many tasty things to share, but the time to do it is scarce!  So until next time, Happy Harvesting and Canning!!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Hoarders: Produce Edition

  1. I’m in awe. I just stumbled your post too. This is fantastic.

  2. Mmmmm, all those beautiful tomatoes. I would definitely be right there with you, as I am a tomato addict when I have the garden space. I always end up with at least 6 varieties: a couple cherry/grape, a couple slicers, a couple paste and usually a couple others that beg to come home from the greenhouse.

    • I have a hard time deciding on what varieties to grow! Every year I sit down with my seed catalogs spread out and compare varieties. I try to use up all my seeds before buying new ones, but it just never works out that way! haha

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