Harvest Panic Is Setting In - From The Witch's Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 249424

From The Witch's Kitchen

Harvest Panic Is Setting In 
Sep. 7, 2011 7:25 pm 
Updated: Oct. 14, 2011 6:03 pm


Up here the frost comes early and the harvest

seems to happen all at once.  There is so much

going on right now that I can scarcely find

time to turn around.  I was gifted

more apples than I even know what to do

with.  I've been making a batch of apple

butter in the slow cooker every day this week

and I still have two big boxes and a bag of

small tart apples to deal with.  I've also made

two large pots of applesauce.  Thankfully the

kids have been eating the apples fresh and

are helping to make a dent in my supply.  I

was also gifted a gallon of wild blueberries

that I cleaned and froze this morning, after

we'd eaten fresh ones on our morning

oatmeal.  Today I picked a box of tomatoes,

all of the rest of the onions, a few carrots for

the kids to eat and a bag of dill to freeze. 

Yesterday it was a bale or so of herbs to dry

and a few more zucchinis to add to my

growing pile.  The day before it was potatoes,

corn and carrots for dinner.  A few weeks ago

I blanched and froze 23 medium freezer bags

of string beans, several gallons of raspberries,

 and a bucket of black currants.  I still have

plants hung with tomatoes, more corn, about

20 pumpkins, pattypan squash, yellow

crookneck squash,

delicata squash, autumn beauty squash, more

zucchini (a blessed few), potatoes, carrots,

beets, and cucumbers in the garden. 



We're not expecting frost this week so I've

got time to get to it all.  Luckily the root

vegetables can handle lighter frosts and can

stay into the garden until at least the end of

September.  On top of this crazed harvest

panic my dishwasher decided to go on strike

and this week I started homeschool pre-

school with my four year old triplets in the

mornings.  I think I'm now certifiably insane.


I'm enjoying the applebutter, baked zucchini

everything and fresh vegetables immensley

but I'll be ready for it to end by the time I'm

done processing and storing it all.  Next week

I'm going to start making tomato sauce.  I'm

really looking forward to ripe pumpkins and

more importantly pumpkin pies.  The thing

I'll miss the most is all of the lovely fresh



When does your harvest panic set in and

what are you most looking forward to

around it's end?

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Sep. 7, 2011 7:30 pm
Great pics. You are a worker, girl. How did you become so accomplished at planning, harvesting, and canning? Not too many young ladies your age have such skills.
Sep. 7, 2011 7:46 pm
Thanks Mamaw! My mother and grandmother have been doing it since their childhood and I grew up with a big garden and freezing and drying and canning every fall. I admit that I freeze way more than I can but I've done some, it's something that I'm a little afraid of in the kitchen and need to work on. Maybe next year or the year after when I have a kid free house in the early fall. :O)
Sep. 7, 2011 8:58 pm
Yummy Sarah-May! I'm a newby to harvest recently blanched and frozen gifted green beans, yellow squash. I graduated to farm stand sweet corn last week, blanching and freezing zipper-type freezer bags in 300g quantities. I've also made and frozen similar size bags of organic tomato sauce with tomatoes from a neighbors garden, fresh garlic onion, basil and oregano. We're just two and my current freezer doesn't hold much since soon I'll need room for free range meat and poultry for the winter months. I've been buying very little grocery store meat since just a few month ago and hope to continue buying locally raised and butchered as budget permits. Fantastic work, you're amazing!
Sep. 7, 2011 9:10 pm
You are an inspiration! At least you will get to enjoy the fruits of your hard work all winter long. Take care!
Sep. 7, 2011 9:10 pm
great job, Sarah-May. Would you mind to hurry and finish your harvest so you can come help with mine? Maybe I should hurry mine along and help you since you have the young 'uns:D
Sep. 7, 2011 9:12 pm
BTW, still eating the last of the zuc bread, I had some today with left over apple pie filling. Made several quarts to hold over the winter, it was great with the apples, mmmmm
Sep. 7, 2011 10:29 pm
SArah-May, so impressed to see one so young doing all this canning and freezing. It was something that I also grew up with and have done all my life. It is so rewarding to be able to know that most of what you feed your family came from your own garden. I no longer can do this as I am living alone now and am not in good health but sure did enjoy it while I could!!
Sep. 8, 2011 1:02 am
Wow, Sarah-May, you are amazing! Your family is so blessed to have you. I think the "S" in your name is for Superwoman! Great blog and pix!
Sep. 8, 2011 3:36 am
When I saw your string bean pic I knew I wasn't alone. I have beans a plenty this year despite the groundhog's attempts to eat my garden. Frost won't come here for a while since we live on the shore in CT. I too have more work ahead when the rest of my peppers are harvested.Their colors now amazing. The pickles are done, B&B and Dill. I also made peppers jellies this season for the first time. YUM! I will miss the fresh herbs also. God blessed me with abundance this year! Best Wishes, Lightedway
Sep. 8, 2011 4:49 am
Amazing! I wanna be you when I grow up! You have the life I always dreamed I would live... thanks for sharing. Wish we were neighbors!
Sep. 8, 2011 6:16 am
Thanks Wendie, sounds like you're working on it just as hard as I am! We don't buy local meat but we do eat a great deal of wild meat, deer, geese, rabbit, and fish. My little brother has chickens and turkeys and we're usually given a few of those. We only buy pork, a little chicken and occasionally fish (when the wild caught stuff runs out or when we're craving salmon).
Sep. 8, 2011 6:17 am
Thanks Michelle! For once I'm ready for winter, as soon as I finish with the garden. I'm looking forward to the hardest outside work that needs to be done is shoveling snow and clearing off the skating rink on the river.
Sep. 8, 2011 6:18 am
Our panic began about three weeks ago. We are only two, but the process is only shortened by the number of cans/bags we need. We use the "extra" time to increase variety and try new things.
Sep. 8, 2011 6:19 am
Thanks RnG! I wish I could come and help you, it seems to go so much faster when you have an adult to talk to. Three almost four year olds and a five year old aren't always the most stimulating conversation. At least it's still warm out and I can throw them out the door to go play. Soon enough they'll be stuck in the house more often then not.
Sep. 8, 2011 6:21 am
Thanks Granny Gigi, it is very rewarding work, even if I do complain a little in he midst of it. Once it's over I feel great about having done it all so I keep on slugging away. It's something that I hope to teach my children so that in 20 or 30 years time when they are grown and finished their schooling they find time and space for at least some sort of garden space, even if it is pots of herbs and tomatoes in the city.
Sep. 8, 2011 6:22 am
Thanks MickDee, I sure don't feel like superwoman! I just feel tired and a little harried. When it's done I might agree with you :).
Sep. 8, 2011 6:25 am
Thanks LightedWay! The beans were insane this year! That was only about half of what I put away, it was just the final picking when the plants were done and I pulled them out to give my tomatoes and squash plants a little more space. I envy you your bumper crop of peppers. I can grow hot ones up here but sweet peppers are difficult as it's usally much drier than they like it. It was wet enough this july but after several failed attempts I didn't put any in this year.
Sep. 8, 2011 6:26 am
Thanks WFDM?, I sure don't feel like a grown up, only when I'm dragging my but out of bed at quarter after six to get my oldest off to school and my husband off to work do I really feel like an adult, most of the time I think I'm still about 15 :).
Sep. 8, 2011 6:28 am
Mike Harvey, I wish I had time to try new things, maybe when the kids are bigger and don't need so much of my time! Thanks for dropping in and sharing your harvest panic with me :).
Sep. 8, 2011 6:48 am
Wonder Women is what you and RNG are...here I start off with amall patch of 8 x 10 and I feel overwlemed! But then I also work outside the home so that is almost as challenging as handling your brood! Just this morning I finished a batch of canned salsa, first attempt and it turned out really good (recipe at www.canadianliving.com, search for "Peppy Salsa"), I have also harvest bags and bags of peppers (diff varieties) and have made peach/pepper jelly, pickled peppers (2 diff recipes courtesy of RNG!), chipotle peach jam, tomato-basil jam (OMG - to die for!) and now on to making my own rotel withe remainder of the toms and serrano peppers....whew... I too will be glad when October hits... :) chin up girl! plan your day to the minute and stay organized! best way to get things done :) oh, and thanks for the reminder of the dried herbs, I have some hanging for several weeks that need attention :)
Sep. 8, 2011 7:12 am
Sarah May - I love this blog - you are indeed resourceful and an inspiration. All I have canned this year is pickles. Here in Southern California people are planning their fall and winter gardens. The heat killed off most of my delicate herbs so more of those are going it. The peppers and tomatoes love the heat so they are coming on strong right now. Go get 'em girl! By doing - you are passing this tradition to your children. Certainly a better education than a regular pre-school could ever offer.
Sep. 8, 2011 7:20 am
Also, with your apples....RNG said she makes her own apple juice! ask her for the recipe and then your kids can have home made applejuice all winter! :)
Sep. 8, 2011 10:26 am
I love your blog! You've been quite an inspiration to me to try new new things. I can't believe how veggies, fruits and herbs that have come out of your garden. With the apples you could make pickles apples (there's a refrigerator recipe on AR I want to try out), apple pie, apple juice, apple jelly and there are a few pork recipe on AR that use apples (I've made at least 2 that I can recall) and hopefully the kids/hubby will eat the rest ;) No idea if I have a green thumb but next year I will try growing herbs and maybe a veggie or 2 if I can, since I live in an apt all I've got is a balcony, so container gardening it is for me.
Sep. 8, 2011 11:31 am
Panic started three weeks ago when I realized that school would start on Monday and there were 18 pounds of roma tomatoes in my kitchen:) I made sauce 18 pounds = 4 1/2 quarts which I added to the 8 quarts I already had frozen. I already had 10 pints jars of hot-packed tomatoes in the cupboard. Right now, the tomatoes are still going and the blessed green and wax beans have started producing again. Temps are great here right now so, this afternoon, I'm baking bread and making a lasagna for dinner (using my homemade sauce, of course:)
Sep. 8, 2011 12:56 pm
Thanks Gitano! I wish I'd planted more peppers this year, I love hot but the kids don't, I can't really blame them I didn't at their age either. Apple juice is a good idea, my grandma is making some with her apples this year. Now where on earth am I going to put all of this stuff! My freezer is filling up and we haven't even started hunting, and my pantry is always full, have to find some space in the basement.
Sep. 8, 2011 12:57 pm
Thanks Baking Nana! Wow, winter gardens are not happening up here, it's too cold for even holly to grow where I am. I'll be glad for the break, I enjoy gardening but I also enjoy not gardening for the winter. By spring I'll be super excited all over again :).
Sep. 8, 2011 12:59 pm
Thanks RMSR! I'm glad to be an inspiration, some of the things you've cooked set me to thinking too. I remember you posting about watermelon rinds on facebook and that set me to hmmming, I didn't get to them this summer but now that I know they can be eaten I will eventually! Apples with pork is a great idea. I'll have to freeze some in slices just to make chunky applesauce for pork or pancakes with. Thanks for the reminder on that one.
Sep. 8, 2011 1:03 pm
Oh my Mangel! My tomatoes have just started ripening en masse over the past week. Before now we've been able to keep up with eating them fresh, it helps that three out of four of my kids love fresh tomatoes. I wish the temps were so good here, I'm thankful that there's been no frost but it's been around 90 F here every day since Monday. I'm waiting patiently to bake bread and I may have to just give in and make some in the heat, I'll do it in the evening as it gets very cool, into the 40's at least, every night and cools the house nicely.
Sep. 8, 2011 5:31 pm
I'm jealous. How wonderful to have such a heap, Good for you!!!!
Sep. 8, 2011 8:31 pm
Thanks Raedwulf! If you lived close enough I'd give you some, I've been pawning off zucchini on other people since July ;).
Sep. 9, 2011 7:47 am
Wow, you've been busy! The end of the growing season comes way too early in Wisconsin--I miss my deep south one...sigh. Earlier this year, I canned preserves..peach, cherry, and blueberry. And I canned peach pie filling. All those were from the farmers market, though. For my own stuff, I made jars and jars of dill pickles with my own cucumbers, dill, and peppers. I made hot sauce recently my ghost chiles with more planned this weekend, both with ghost and with my serranos and jalapenoes. And I've canned several jars of fire-roasted salsa. My next batch of ripe tomatoes will be reserved for canned fire-roasted tomatoes, I think. And I've roasted pounds and pounds of cherry tomatoes. I have 4 eggplants waiting to be turned into oil-preserved eggplant. It's going to be a busy weekend, and I love every minute of it. Nothing beats the pleasure of pulling that jar out of the cupboard and knowing that it's made with my own vegetables. By the end of September, we'll probably be looking at frost and the end of my harvest for anything that won't fit into my small greenhouse. Then it's time to start planning for next year! Good job on your preserving--that's amazing!
Sep. 9, 2011 12:03 pm
Thanks Wisweetp, I sure have been busy and mostly still am, it's too hot to do much today so I'm going to pick tomatoes and deal with my slow cooker full of apple butter, that's all for me today :).
Sep. 9, 2011 2:24 pm
Jealous doesn't even begin to cover it. No room for such a garden at my apartment, so no "harvest panic". Next year I'm determined though.
Sep. 9, 2011 5:24 pm
I have to take a nap. I'm exhausted after reading all you have done.
Sep. 9, 2011 6:21 pm
You'll do it Amanda! One thing we have up here is space, we're on 5 and a half acres but there are fields on either side of us and a pasture across the road. Everyone around here has a garden and many of them much larger than mine.
Sep. 9, 2011 6:22 pm
I might join you Mamabutterfly. I picked about 30 gallons of tomatoes today as we're expecting frost by Tuesday and there's still so much to get to. I'll sleep after the frost comes.
Sep. 10, 2011 9:36 am
You are absolutely amazing
Sep. 10, 2011 7:31 pm
Thanks SaintCrazyLady :)
Sep. 12, 2011 8:13 am
You are utterly amazing Sarah-May! How lucky is your family? You will be serving up good and nutritious food all winter long! Great blog! Great photos!
Sep. 13, 2011 7:05 am
Thanks Candice :).
Sep. 21, 2011 9:51 am
Just this week I was about to buy some canned pumpkin for pies, etc. and noticed that the prices have really escalated this year. I may go to a local farm and purchase a couple but how do I prepare the pumpkin for recipes? Thanks.
Oct. 14, 2011 6:03 pm
Sorry I'm getting back to you so late Yorkiefan. I cut mine in half and scoop out the seeds and guts then bake them cut side down with a little water in the pan at 350 until they are soft. Then I let them cool and remove the tough skin and puree the flesh.
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I'm a self/family taught cook. I love to try new recipes and experiment with exotic ingredients and spices. I have 4 young children and I've been married for 6 years.
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