I took a good look at our canned and dried food pantry yesterday and was overcome with thankfulness for the blessing of abundance. I know lots of “serious canners” have LOTS and LOTS of canned goods in their pantries, so this would seem small, but for us, this is more than enough for our family and some of our friends to enjoy the bounty of summer!
Up until this summer, the only canning I had done was making jams and jellies for our family’s needs, and to give as gifts for friends. I LOVE to give baskets of homemade jams and goodies to friends at Christmas. This summer I decided to learn more about canning and dehydrating.I did a lot of researching and reading up on canning and dehydrating foods, and then put that learning into practice. Baby steps…
Because we have a small raised bed garden in our back yard and the fact that I bought a pressure canner (with birthday gift cards), I can now preserve a lot of what I grow in more ways than I was able to before. So… it is now September, and we are blessed to have “more than enough”. While I am absolutely in no way a “doomsday prepper”, it does feel good to know that we have canned goods in storage. It’s very convenient to pull a jar of home grown food off the shelf when we need something quick like salsa, veggies, jam, etc. (haven’t purchased jam in about 5 years!). Canning some of our own home-grown food also saves us money, as we don’t have to purchase as much “stuff” at the store. Plus I LOVE to be able to give away a lot of the canned goods I “prepared with love” to our friends. For me, it’s a matter of being frugal and wise with what God has provided… and being able to bless others, as well. Now THAT’s a win-win situation.
Besides having produce and fruit available all summer to eat just by going out to our little backyard garden and gathering it, I was also able to preserve from our garden (by canning OR dehydrating): strawberries, blueberries, green beans, tomatoes, onions, pickles, garlic, basil, flat leaf parsley, thyme, oregano, peppermint, sage, parsley, zucchini, coriander, rosemary, carrots, peppers. I was also able to preserve (by canning or dehydrating, or freezing) fruit that I picked at local U-Pick Farms or that I was given by friends ): apples, peaches, blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries, more blueberries, asian pears, etc.
I feel very fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the country (the great Pacific Northwest) with a great summer climate and adequate rainfall where I can grow, pick, and preserve the bounty God has provided. I realize that it is all a gift… others might not be as fortunate, due to life circumstances or geographical location, and I thank God for this blessing. I worked really hard this summer processing our garden’s abundance (even after giving away a lot of it to family and neighbors), and now as a result, for the next year or so my family and friends can enjoy the “fruits of my labors” by simply opening a jar! I am so filled with thankfulness for God’s provision and blessing… my heart is full…and now my pantry is full, also. For all of it… I AM GRATEFUL!