Thursday, August 20, 2009

squash and tomatoes and saving on groceries

Vicki left this comment on my last post: "Will all of your produce really last until next Summer? Amazing! I'd be curious to know what range your grocery bills fall in."

No, all my produce won't last until next summer. The only thing I canned in huge quantity was the tomatoes, because so many of our healthy winter recipes (not to mention chili; and Cliff's favorite, spaghetti) require tomatoes. Even Wal-mart's house brand of tomatoes are over eighty cents a can these days, and it's hard to find any without salt added. I'm still not sure these are enough to last through the winter; only time will tell.

There are forty or so quarts and pints of tomatoes here,

and several pints stuck here with various pickles and peaches.

If I shopped carefully and kept myself on a budget (which I don't, but should), I'm pretty confident we could get by for under $40 a week; we eat lots of bean-and-rice dishes in fall and winter, and of course this summer we've eaten so many various garden things. We have our own milk now, too; but I can't really say we're saving money, since we paid a fortune for the Jersey cow.

And then there's the butternut squash. This year has been my first experience raising these prolific demons. Oh, I love winter squash, but enough is enough. I'm not really sure how well, or how long, they will keep; in the past when I've bought butternut squash, I've had it last on a counter for a couple of months; I've also had it rot. We shall see. If it all decides to rot, there will be a whole lot of rotting going on!

I have squash in a closet...

Squash inside the door, behind my recliner...

squash on my front porch...

and squash where I've tossed it right outside my garden.

And they're still coming on; oh, the vines seem to be dying back a little in the center, but I read online that the squash will go ahead and ripen even after the vines die.

HELP!

If my peppers ever start producing like they should, I may make some green tomato relish later on. Other than that, I have no further plans for canning or freezing anything else. Of course, we know what Robert Burns said about best laid schemes... "The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men Gang aft agley".

7 comments:

Talk..to..Grams said...

Your canned goods looks beautifu!!Hugs Grams

Hyperblogal said...

Just a thought.... is there a community service agency near you that could use donations of food? We have several here in the hood... but I have no food to give.... they've refused the cats twice.

Amy said...

Crimeny, that's alot of squash.

I see you got some rain (the bench is wet). If you could send some storms down my way, that would be nice....

Flat Creek Farm said...

I'll come over to relieve you of some of that squash if you like! :) I'm just starting to can tomatoes this year. It's been a few years since I've canned and I've had to relearn it all!

Oh, and I had NO idea that you could get such deals on State Fair food during opening day! That may influence my visit time next year :) -Tammy

Anonymous said...

HI MOSIE WOW SEND ME THAT SQUASH THAT IS MY FAVORIATE AND EVERY YEAR I GO TO THE OPEN AIR MARKET HERE IN BUFFALO AND I BUY ALL MY FRESH VEGGIES AND I JUST LOVE THEM SO I HAVE TO SAY I LOVE WATCHING YOUR GARDEN GROW GOD BLESS YOU I AM SOOOOOOOOOOO JELOUS WA WA WA LOL YOU GOOOOOOOOOOOO GIRL I LOVE IT :0)

madcobug said...

That is a lot of squash. Your can goods look good. Helen

Lindie said...

When I used to have a big garden it felt so good to have the cabinets full of canned goods and the freezer too! That was a good idea about the food pantries though. I used to take my extra squash into the office and people just took what they wanted. I have 1 chili pepper plant and I have about 50 or 60 little peppers on it. I chop them up and flash freeze them on a pan and then put them in containers. Made chili with some this week, Along with some tomatoes!