Now is the time of the greatest portion of the harvest. Tomatoes are ripe which can be made into stewed tomatoes, canned tomatoes, salsa, tomato sauce, and wimpie sauce. Apples are ripening which can be made into applesauce, canned apple rings, and schnitz(dried apples). Pears are ripening which can be canned in quarters, made into pear sauce or dried. Peppers can be made into pickled peppers as well as being a big part of salsa. Peppers can be frozen to be used in chili .
Break open a canning, cook book and see what looks interesting. Then go to your local grower or a farmer’s market and see what is available. The only way to find out if you are able to preserve food for the winter is to try. I taught a woman how to make salsa last year. When we were finished, she kept repeating,”I can make salsa!”
She has taken courses in college and traveled but she was still overjoyed that she could make salsa and can it for the winter. I have many rambunctious boys in my home so I hide my jars of canned food in cabinets, but many women display their hard work on a decorated shelf in the kitchen. Our usefulness to others increases our value to others and our own self-esteem. Preserve the plenty!!!
Officially canning season begins on August 15, but there is much to harvest right now. Strawberries are finished unless they are everbearing, but the harvest continues. Cherries, black raspberries, red raspberries are being harvested right now. Blackberries and blueberries are ripening as well.
When picking berries always use a hard container such as a bowl or plastic container. Summer is a great time to reuse and recycle. When you go berry picking use an clean, used yogurt container or cottage cheese container. Give the little ones one of these free containers and hold the bucket yourself. You can take a clean bucket and pour the smaller containers into the larger container until you have enough.
If a friend offers you free food for the picking, you should take advantage of their offer within 24 hours. Your friend is trying to preserve the bounty God has provided and share the blessing. If a person has a bounty of strawberries for instance and has a day when she cannot get out to the patch and pick, she calls you to pick. If you do not get there that same day, some of the berries will rot and be wasted. Did you know that?
If you go to a friend’s house to pick, you will be getting the freshest produce that you did not have to plant or weed around. You didn’t have to feed the plants or water them. At times pruning is involved to produce that food, and you did not have to do that. Please, if someone offers for you to come pick some food, drop everything and go. Try to process the food or eat it that day. Life is busy. If you pick berries and you do not have time to process them that day, you can wash them, put them in the freezer bags and into the freezer. If you lived elsewhere in the world, you would go because you would appreciate what a blessing free, usually organic, food is to you and your family. Americans tend to take food for granted, but not us we appreciate every blessing and delve into every good opportunity!