I am trying to become more self sufficient. Although I will never be fully independent like any homestead – livestock bylaws prevent chickens or goats (not that my husband would allow a goat – he would freak)- and our downtown backyard size, active boys and a dog it limits our options – so gardens it is …
Recently events have made the ability to provide for ones family more paramount. I have decided to start using non GMO Heirloom verities. I can then save seeds from year to year – sealed up in the fridge. Garden experts say, heirloom seeds properly dried and sealed seeds can last 3-5 years. Nothing like having your own seed bank to fall back on.. for now or when times are tough – your able to feed your family. Well rounded Heirloom seed banks are avail online some specifically designed for short season growing climates too.
I gear my garden/ landscaping specifically for preserving. I grow only what I know we will eat – and for canning or freezing. We have prolific chives, raspberries, (new) blackberries, Rhubarb , strawberries and a 2 mini blueberry / dwarf cherry (not yet prod.) I also plant plenty of garlic, beans, carrots, winter squash, potatoes and peppers and tomatoes.
There is choice food and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man devours all he has.Psalms 21:20
Example: 7 Roma plants gave me enough tomatoes to can a winters worth of sauce, stewed tomatoes and purée. I still have lots on the vine turning red for bruschetta. 7 plants cost me less then .50 cents to plant from seed. But a jar of sauce costs roughly $3 plus tax each in stores! The answer is so economically clear to me.
Nothing like French bread with bruschetta…winter tomatoes here are bland and taste like cardboard – so opening a jar is much tastier. Even better if its off your own pantry shelf – that captured the peak of freshness of a tomatoes grown I’m your garden or picked right of farm… that is satisfying.
This recipe comes from Healthy Canning – who suggest to serve this with fresh herbs , cheese, a nice olive oil, and wine. You will never need to buy that store bought jar again!
Bruschetta in a jar – C/o Healthy Canning
9 cups tomato washed, cored, chopped.
5 cloves garlic (washed, peeled and minced)
1 cup dry white wine (choose a wine you would drink). 1 cup white wine vinegar (5% or higher)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar (OR few drops liquid stevia)
2 tablespoons basil (dried)
2 tablespoons oregano (dried)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Wash tomatoes. Core but leave unpeeled. Chop into 3 cm (1 inch) pieces. Set aside.
- Combine everything from the garlic down to and including the balsamic vinegar in a large pot. Set aside.
- Bring the pot mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer and gently simmer for 5 minutes to heat garlic thoroughly.
- Meanwhile, pack tomato into the heated jars you are using, leaving 2 cm (1/2 inch) headspace.
- Now ladle the simmered sauce into heated jars, leaving 2 cm (1/2 inch) headspace.
- Debubble, adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims. Put lids on.
- Process in a water bath or steam canner. Process jars for 20 minutes; increase time as needed for your altitude.