Monday, July 2, 2012

Preserving Summer's Bounty

Hi there friends!  Are you suffering in a heat wave too?  

Whew, it has been record-breaking hot here. 

This past week I have been a busy bee with my garden and preserving.  With the heat I've been watering a couple times a day... struggling to keep my plants from being in a state of perpetual wilt.  Suddenly my tomato bushes were producing tons of gorgeous, red fruit and my drain boards were filling up.

Each day was a series of watering, picking, weeding, freezing, canning and cleaning a huge mess in the kitchen!

 I've felt such an appreciation for women in days of the past... their summers must have been exhausting keeping up with their gardens and preserving summer's bounty for the coming winter months. 

Still, there is something so rewarding about the entire process. 

Gardening, cooking, baking, preserving... it's relaxing to me.  Even a little therapeutic, if that's the right word.

When I work (sweat) in the garden, the girls keep cool in a little kiddie pool in the shade.  They splash around and squeal and then we change clothes and swing for a little bit.  

(My baby turns one next week.  How is that possible?!)

 My mom has a beautiful garden, about three times the size of mine.  I visited it this week and took a photo of some of her pretty zinnias (which I've also been enjoying at my kitchen sink). 

As busy as a garden can keep a person, is there anything as delicious as home grown vegetables?  Or as satisfying as preserving some of your hard work to enjoy later? 

 Now that I'm a little caught up though, I've got to get busy painting our upstairs office!  

Also, thank you so much for all your sweet comments about Jillian's room renovation.  Each comment was so thoughtful and it meant a lot.

Hope you have a wonderful week and 4th of July!

(I'll be wishing for summer showers...)


  1. I jut love the whole process too. I was so upset this year when a blight took out all of my cukes and squash. I have never seen such a bounty of blossoms. I knew it was going to be a bumper crop year. Sigh
    So I am making a trip to Raleigh to the wholesale farmers market to buy some cukes for pickling and also some squash. I love to put up tomatoes, the problem is we eat most that we grow in our small garden. :-D

    Love your squatty little jam jars. So cute! Happy 4th!

  2. You have been so busy! I do love the canning and preserving process and homegrown is just the best! My poor garden this year is really sparse. We had a very wet, but cool start to the summer, so I am replanting again today:(. I may have to look for farms to buy from to get my canning done. Some years,that is the way it goes.

    Your girls are so sweet. My kids have been doing the same thing. Lots of swimming!

    Your pictures are always:).


  3. I think it's the simple beauty in the jars full, all lined up, that makes canning so wonderful.
    It IS hard work, but there is beauty in that.

  4. I have such respect for Women of the past as well, and as you said it is very Rewarding and a sense of accomplishment that we provide Natures bounty to our own families! Gardening is something I truly cherish and something that I can instill in my own Children. Wishing you a lovely week! Xo, Ashley

  5. I envy you those tomatoes. They spell summer for me for sure. Ironing is therapy for me and I need to get to it. Thanks for the visit.

  6. Oh yum!! Great job canning, I am very impressed. My mom used to make preserves, but that is something I have never done on my own. I did buy a bunch of Ball jars for the party we had, so I have a ton of those. I had it in the back of my mine, that I might do some preserving soon. I get to get going. Wish we lived closer and could do it together!!

  7. I love canning. Your jars look like jewels inn the sun. J

  8. Your family is fortunate to be able to enjoy the hard work of your hands in the months to come. Looks like it will be a treat when you pull a jar off the shelf! Your girls are so adorable!!
    Mary Alice

  9. Everything looks delish! I wish I had the time to can fresh produce. Of course I'd have to plant a vegetable garden first! Your hard work is paying off.

  10. I feel the same way you do about growing and preserving your own food. Your garden is doing well. It was cooler today...we are south of Charlotte, NC and it was about 105 yesterday, but today it was only high nineties.

  11. I have been doing the same thing. I have zuchinni galore and have been shredding and freezing it for future bread making. I will be making and canning bread and butter pickles tomorrow. Our tomatoes are slowly getting ripe and ready to be picked and preserved. We are picking lettuce everyday for sandwiches and salads. Oh so yummy.

    Happy birthday to your little one.

  12. Great pictures! It looks like you'll be enjoying those tomatoes for a long time. I agree about being impressed with the women who came before us. The amount of work that they did was amazing!

    Your kids are so cute. Happy Birthday to your little one!

    Happy 4th.

  13. Here in western Oregon it has been cool and gray. Hardly feels like summer yet. I never really count on warm weather until after the 4th. Love reading this post, as it reminds me of my childhood. My great-grandparents had a farm, and I grew up with canning jars of goodness. I have a very fond memory of making jam with my Grandma on 7/7/77--I just loved writing all those 7's on the labels! Your post is inspiring me--I'd love to have a garden and preserve our own food. Too late for this year, but next year...

  14. Your garden looks amazing! Your little ones are so precious! I wish I had a garden this year. The only canning I have ever done was jelly and jalapenos. I really want to do more. Happy 4th!

  15. I am so impressed with all the deliciousness you are preserving! Darling baby!!! Happy Fourth.

  16. Love all the work you've done. My grandmother back in Indiana cans a lot, but out here in Arizona I just can't seem to get motivated to start a garden...the soil is terrible..and there's a lack of rain. Where did you learn to preserve?

  17. Wow what a great harvest you have been getting! We have really been having to deal with the heat and triple digits here in Tennessee. We have been watering our garden as well. Your moms flowers are beautiful.

  18. It's been extremely hot and dry here in northern IL, too. Your jars of canned goods look so pretty - and delicious! Just saw the post for your daughter's bedroom too...what a beautiful girl's room. Especially love that bed.

  19. Dear Andrea,
    How did I miss you had a blog?! Your photos are beautiful, your house amazing and I'm adding you to my 'blog's to read' list right now! :)

    Lovin it in NE

  20. I love canning, and I've done it since I was a girl. Not this year, though, and I will miss it this winter.
    We also freeze corn, we like it best when it isn't so ripe. (it doesn't turn dark after it's cooked)


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