Gardening Preserving/Canning

Putting up Food

The time for putting up food has arrived. We spent Saturday afternoon in the kitchen doing just that. From here till at least the end of September we’ll be preserving all the garden bounty that we’ve worked so hard for.

A few weeks ago Blind Pig reader Granny Sue started sharing the meals her and her husband had eaten that day at the end of her blog posts. I really like the new part of Granny Sue’s blog because it’s interesting to see what other folks eat on a daily basis.

Granny Sue’s new feature gave me an idea. I almost always post about food on Mondays. From now till the garden is done I’ll share what we put up that week. The notes will serve as a record of sorts for us and hopefully you’ll find it interesting to see what we manage to preserve in the course of a summer.

I’ll go back a week July 4 to help us catch up.

July 4

  • harvested a little over 60 heads of garlic and set them to dry
  • harvested a few onions-about 15-20 and set them to dry—the onions were on the small side, but they had overwintered from last year and I figured that was as big as they were going to get
  • made a run of pickled beets

July 11

If you’ve been putting up food please leave a comment and tell us about it.


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  • Reply
    July 14, 2020 at 11:17 am

    I did a trial run (just 1 pint) of canning green beans. A first for me. I need lots more bushes for the fall!☺️

    • Reply
      July 14, 2020 at 2:13 pm

      Trish-Yay!!! Now you’ll be canning like crazy 🙂

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    July 13, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Welll, the Peach Truck came to Michigan last week, so I’ve been sharing peaches, making pie, and freezing sliced peaches. Does that count? Darned if I can grow anything.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    The Tennessee weather where I live has been a bit off this year. So far 35 quarts of green bean have been put up along with 9 pints of mixed greens, 5 pints of corn, 12 pints of potatoes, 7 half pints of wild blackberry jelly, 5 pints of zucchini relish, and 9 half pints of strawberry rhubarb jelly. For some reason my tomatoes and peppers took a little longer to come in so I had to buy the peppers for my relish. I’m thinking it may be where we had so much rain at the beginning of this year and it put me a little behind getting plants in the ground. My beets and radishes did not do very well either.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    Blueberries, blackberries and zucchini are the only things we’ve put up so far. I’ve eaten asparagus, squash, tomatoes and cucumbers. I also had a blueberry cobbler and a couple of blackberry cobblers. I’ve been running birds, rabbits turkeys and deer out of the blueberries, apple trees and the garden.

  • Reply
    Pam Moore
    July 13, 2020 at 10:57 am

    Living in Florida, we don’t plant our gardens until September and October. In the summer I have Malabar spinach and cowpeas growing, which we eat fresh.

    But as soon as hurricane season starts I start canning all of the meat I have in the freezer. If we lose electricity for several days I will still have canned meat and vegetables to serve.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 13, 2020 at 10:33 am

    I’ve had the best garden so far I think I’ve ever had. It’s the first one in a long time that I’ve been able and had time to work it properly. Earlier this year I finished fencing it all in. So far the critters have left it alone. I’ve pinched off a few Japanese beetles from my beans and one tomato worm. The wind blew over most of the corn I replanted but I stood it back and packed a little dirt around it and it seems to be doing just fine.
    My onions started to fall over so I began pulling and preparing them for storage them as they did. Best onions I’ve ever grown. I got four big heads of cabbage out of six I planted. Of the other two one lived but didn’t grow. The other one made a fine big plant but didn’t form a head. The other six cabbages I thought I planted were not cabbages at all. I had them under a cloche with the cabbage and through the fabric they looked just like cabbage but they were really cauliflower. I have never grown cauliflower and it was too late to learn. They formed heads but some kind of worm ruined them all.
    The beans I trained up on a fence wire trellis have became a Great Wall of Beans. They are just now starting to produce. The beans I planted on the perimeter fence are not growing as well as their interior kin but are still better than previous years. The soil around my garden as very poor for growing anything. I dug holes and filled them with compost to plant things that climb. These beans are fine, just not great. The cucumbers and Bill Burnett Chinese Okra climbing along the fence are flourishing. I have been getting plenty of cukes to eat to and some to give away and they have just begun to produce. The Chinese Okra have not produced yet but if you can judge by the vines I’ll have enough to feed half the county. I noticed that they bloom late in the evening and by late morning the flowers have wilted or fallen off already. They make a pretty flower though, while they last.
    One reason I think my garden did better is the fact that after I hoed it the first time I put down a layer of composted wood chips between most of the rows. Now I can get in the garden to take care of things without sinking up to my ankles in mud. I’m hoping the wood chips will continue to decompose and make for an even better garden next year. I guess the main reason my garden is as good as it is, is because the Good Lord has provided me with the strength to get out there and work in it. I am by no means healthy but I have had many more “good days” this year than any other year in the past two decades.

    • Reply
      Wanda Devers
      July 14, 2020 at 10:41 am

      Our corn has been blown over twice. I’m going to suggest to my son propping it back up! I told my husband we were going to have to put up wire fencing for the corn like we do for beans!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 13, 2020 at 10:24 am

    Tipper, I don’t know how you do all the things you do! You work full time, you post daily, you manage all the cyber mechanics of the blog, you grow a garden and can/freeze the bounty, you take care of your mother, your house is always spotless, you are a musician in the band that performs regularly (except when were having a major virus) with covid you order and pick up groceries for your family, your mother, and me, you feed your family with with all home cook/grown food and the list goes on.
    You are Wonder Woman and I love you so much and I admire you so much!
    Thank you for being who you are! Thank you for marrying my son and having my grandchildren!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    July 13, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Made a few jars of nectarine jam — and some orange marmalade from tiny bitter oranges from my neighbor’s indoor Japanese orange tree.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    July 13, 2020 at 9:49 am

    Either I planted a little late or we are behind (in terms of ripening), here in Haywood County, because my beans, tomatoes, and corn are not in yet. The tomato vines are covered but tomatoes are still green, the beans are blooming, but the corn is still growing. I have had loads of spinach, lettuce and onions. My rhubarb looks great, too. I froze onions last week and canned potatoes. I don’t have a good root cellar now, so I have to can my potatoes. I got 14 quarts, plus about 15- 20 pounds to eat on. I pickled six pints of beets and froze raspberries to make jam from as soon as I get time. I put a few blueberries in the freezer and am waiting on my blackberries to ripen, but the birds got all of my cherries. I have some Yellow Transparent apples ready, but the grandchildren have been eating them as soon as they ripen. I love this time of year. I love hearing what others have been putting up, and, like Jim – I love the memories it all brings back.

  • Reply
    Emily from Austin
    July 13, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Tipper and Family,
    I love seeing pictures and reading your accounts
    of both your gardening and your putting up food.
    Is special preparation needed for freezing zucchini,
    or do you just shred it and pack it bags?

    • Reply
      July 13, 2020 at 10:16 am

      Emily-I just shred my zucchini and put it in freezer bags. Freezing zucchini and squash definitely changes the texture of both-they get mushy. I use zucchini in breads and soups so the texture doesn’t matter 🙂

  • Reply
    July 13, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Tipper, do you drain the shredded zucchini before freezing? Thanks!

    • Reply
      July 13, 2020 at 10:16 am

      Nan-I never drain mine, but I suppose you could. I mostly use my frozen zucchini for breads and cakes.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2020 at 8:34 am

    The only thing I have put up is pickles. The grandkids eat the zucchini as fast as it comes in and as long as I am willing to fry it for them. My zucchini was just peeking out of the ground when we had the hard freeze in mid-May and only a few plants survived. It looks like the green beans will be ready in a day or so. I am excited to have the best crop in years but dread picking them when we are expecting close to 100 degrees the rest of the week. I planted 32 tomato plants to make sure I have plenty to can for my soup and chili this winter. I can’t wait to take my salt shaker out to the garden and eat the first ripe tomato right there on the spot. Everything is running two to three weeks late this year.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 13, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Been canning beans and making blackberry jelly here. Also drying apples, onions and garlic as well as freezing bags of corn.

    I have lost track of the net result of carryover beans and new canning minus give away. It is somewhere beyond 30 pints plus 4 quarts. I think we are done with beans. Probably sometime this week will start canning tomatoes and either freezing or drying field peas. A busy time.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    July 13, 2020 at 7:37 am

    Getting in cucumbers but tomato’s show blossom end rot on each one so far. I added bone meal to increase Ca++ ( calcium) to no avail. But my flowers ( all 40 or so pots) are gorgeous beyond belief! Good luck to all the gardeners, canners, preservers, and dehydrators out there!!!!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 13, 2020 at 6:42 am

    Tipper–I greatly enjoy putting up food because it not only provides for the future, the work is recognition of something accomplished; an exercise in looking to the future; an endeavor which provides a quiet, deep sense of satisfaction; and for me at least, a poignant reminder of similar efforts in times past with loved ones who are gone.

    Living alone, I no longer do much canning and increasingly, I’m turning to drying. Last week I dehydrated four gallons of blueberries, two gallons of figs, and a big batch (perhaps a peck) of squash. I’ll be drying tomatoes this week as they start to come in abundantly, and I’ll be freezing crowder peas.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Joe Chumlea
    July 13, 2020 at 6:26 am

    What kind of garlic did you plant? How do you store it so it doesn’t dry out? Here in Knoxville we can probably grow the same things you grow In Brasstown. Girlfriend & I love cooking with garlic.

    • Reply
      July 13, 2020 at 10:25 am

      Joe-I don’t know the variety of garlic. I got a start of it years ago from my Great Aunt Susie. She said she’d been growing it for years. We have good luck storing our garlic in a cabinet, but if you don’t the link below shares some various options for preserving garlic.

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes Moreno
    July 13, 2020 at 6:23 am

    I have put up yellow squash and okra so far. This year has been an odd one for the garden. Every thing seems to be taking forever to set. I am in a race against the Texas heat. Once it get over a 100 nothing likes to set but peppers.

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