Saturday, March 20, 2010

Preserving the harvest

My new years resolution for 2008 was to try to eat something home grown every day. I decided to keep track of it on a list on the sidebar of this blog (the list is down at the left-side bottom of the page). I only kept the list updated for a month; However I have managed to stick to the eating part. It was hard in the beginning, and often the only home-grown ingredient in a meal would be a herb, but as our garden has grown so has the the amount of home-grown ingredients on our daily menu.
Last summer we replaced our second refrigerator with an energy star rated chest freezer. While we miss the extra fridge space, the old unit was a big energy hog and we really only used the refrigerator part for chilling beverages and for holding extra food when we had a party, and the freezer compartment did a poor job of keeping the food frozen. I'm thoroughly in love with the new freezer!

We filled the freezer by December. It was very nice to have our home-grown treats ready for meals. The freezer is emptying out now, so I thought it would be a good time to take stock of what is still in there and what items i think we ran out of too soon...I can plan our summer garden accordingly.

Here is a quick list of what we froze in 2009:

Greens (Rapini, Chard, and Mustard); Berries (Blueberries from our garden plus raspberries from the market) Grape Juice; Eggplant; Dried Tomatoes; Basil Pesto; Squash (from a Friends garden); Apple Sauce & Rhubarb Compote (fruit from friends gardens); Zucchini Cake & Bread; Plus lots of homemade soups and cooked dried beans. As I go through the 2010 freezing season I'll do my best to post about the methods and recipes.
Concord Grapes, their sweet juice is in our deep freeze!

Now is an excellent time to invest in energy saving appliances, there are incentives and rebates available; The Energy Trust of Oregon has a deal where they will send someone out to pick up your old refrigerator (for FREE) and then they will send you a check for $30! Yep, they PAID us to get rid of our old electricity hog, and they recycled it too. When I went shopping, I found an Energy Star rated freezer that qualified for a $50 rebate! Now we have a big energy efficient chest freezer to store our harvest in. Here is a link to information about the recycling and rebate program.

No comments: