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2012 "Homestead" Goals... Putting up

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: 2012 "Homestead" Goals... Putting up

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 "Homestead" Goals... Putting up

Last week I shared our goals for the garden this year.  "Putting up" may sound like it should be attached to that set of goals, but in fact for us, it's different.  Our garden has yet to give much to put up at all, and while it is a goal to put up and use up all my harvest this year (as opposed to other years), today I'm talking about other places we can gather food to put up.

Last year I had some very deliberate, though unwritten goals about gathering our food from local (and semi local) orchards and fields.  However between weather (moldy strawberries in our area due to rain) Lyme Disease, and early pregnancy, we only really got over to the blueberry picking.  This year I reset my goals for gathering and canning!

We'd like to pick and can/put up the following:

We found a semi-local organic strawberry patch for pick your own.  This past year they weren't able to open due to the excessive rain and mold.  Hopefully this year we can go as we like to use these for jam and smoothies through the year.

We also have a local organic source for picking our own blueberries.  I'd like to have several gallons of berries, at least, to freeze for smoothies, muffins and pancakes through the year.

We've picked these over the last few years, but don't haven't tried organic yet as there isn't one close to us.  We freeze the sweet ones for smoothies.  This past year we picked up some pre-pitted sour cherries to can for pie (they are still waiting in the freezer for the canning part) while we were in Michigan.  This next year we're hoping to drive the hour + to pick our own sweet and sour cherries from an organic farm.  I'd like enough sour cherries to put up 12 or more quarts for pie and enough sweet ones for smoothies all year.

We've never really done this before (though we got a peck to try out canning this past summer) and I'm excited about finding an organic pick your own source and about having these fruits around for eating throughout the year.  I'd love 30-40 quarts or more put up, but we'll see how the summer goes.   

These are available to us on the property of My Beloved's office and here on our street.  We often get between 1-2 gallons worth for making jam.  I usually combine them with some strawberries and cherries for what I call "Cherry Berry Jam".  I'm hoping to get at least this many!

For the past few years we've picked up 5 bushels of apples to can for pie filling and applesauce in the fall.  It gets us through the whole year of applesauce and the kids love it!  This past year our fall was crazy and I wasted about a bushel of them... my goal is to waste nothing this year.  Even if it means getting fewer apples to start with!

There may be more I'm not thinking of now, but these are my main goals for what we put up this year.

Do you gather from local orchards and such to put up??  I'd love to know what you do!


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