As much as we’d like to think we can control all the aspects of our gardens – heirloom varieties, organic seeds, natural pest control, cold frames, etc, we can not control the weather. It has been a long, cold spring once again this year and the garden is reflecting its struggle in the lack of output. Although frustration is high on many garden fronts this year, don’t fret. The garden always seems to rebound when we least expect it.
Keep at it!
Take the time now while the harvest is lean to prepare for the busy season. Erradicate weeds and pests by spending 5 minutes a day in the garden. Get your canning kitchen together by sorting chipped jars, bent/rusted rings out of the mix. Dedicate a shelf or a rolling cart to all the supplies you will need for preservation – undate your pectin supply, vinegars, dried herbs and chile peppers, lemon juice, and recipes. Purchase new canning lids, marking pens, and check your freezer container supply. Clean out the freezer and resort your canning pantry to evaluate what you will need to can more of this year. Check for any jars that have spoiled and dispose of them properly. Thoroughly clean all shelving, your canners, jars, rings, and canning utensils.
Keep your eyes on the weather, watch for cool evenings and protect crops as needed. Cabbage moths are out in force so keep your eyes open for damage on brassicas or cover them with old panty hose to keep the moths out.
We are finally entering canning season. After months of eating tomatoes, salsas, jams, and jellies from the pantry it’s nearly time to start restocking. Conquer your fear of the pressure canner, learn to pickle using a traditional crock, or just make a truly great jam this year. This year UFS will be teaching PRIVATE canning classes only through the summer. Interested in a canning, pressure canning, or pickling class? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the list. Once there are enough interested participants we’ll get the event scheduled and can spend a few hours learning a skill you can use and share throughout your life.