We put in a new, larger vegetable garden this year. My sister-in-law (Hi!) recently asked me if I felt it was worth it. Of course, I said, it was a lot of fun! But today as I was preparing lunch I realized that it was so much more than fun. It provided us with a whole lot of food. I am a big believer in buying local foods to help out our neighbors, friends, and boost the local economy (lord knows it needs all the help it can get). I helped out at a local organic vegetable farm this summer and was given produce in return. That produce, coupled with our own vegetable garden heaped some huge returns. Not only is it better for the local economy, it's cheaper and it tastes sooo much better.
Here's our first deep-freeze. This freezer is filled with sweet corn (we bought from 2 farms this year), a huge box of chopped sweet onions (farm help), green peppers (ours and farm), strawberries (local farm as well as from the grocery store during 99 cent time), blueberries (bought in bulk from Brennan's), pie cherries (local farm and Brennan's), zucchini (friend's farm), spinach (our garden), beets (our garden), and more at the bottom but I'm not lifting it all out to peek if I don't need to!
Here's our seond deep-freeze. The entire bottom is filled with bags upon bags of tomatoes from our own garden. We decided to can them all at once so I just bagged them as we picked them all summer. Hopefully soon we'll defrost and make stewed tomatoes, salsa, and sauce. The roma tomatoes on the top came from the farm I worked at. The right basket is filled with green beans and basil and the left basket is filled with bags of peppers - sweet, banana, cayenne, jalepenos. But we already canned most of our peppers...
Here is one of our sections of our canned veggies.
The second shelf is pickled jalepenos, sweet relish, and sweet dill pickles. The bottom shelf is giardiniare, kosher dill pickles, and green beans.
Here is another section. This one has peach jam, pickled beets (still from last year), dried onions, and a couple jars left from last year of this and that. The other picture is our green salsa - we did this a week or so ago. Used our own jalepenos, cilantro, onions, and some of our own tomatoes but bought tomatillos and green tomatoes from a local farmer.
So as I made lunch today and pulled out our own zucchini, corn, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and spinach I realized that doing the garden and working on the farm were definitely worth it.
Next time I'll post on how I get picky kids to eat all these veggies! :-)