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.
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".