Food preservation feels so right

As I mentioned earlier, the fam and I headed out to a local you-pick farm along with my sister and some friends this weekend to, as I so delicately put it on my Facebook profile, pick a crap-ton of vegetables. :)

The kids enjoyed the hayride, picking veggies, playing with their friends and eating fresh corn on the cob on the hayride as we made our way to our next vegetable stop.
Julian on the hayride 9/20/08 Ava having some fresh corn on the hayride 9/20/08 Julian munching on some corn on the hayride 9/20/08

We walked away with quite a bit of food – potatoes, carrots, onions, eggplant, green beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, basil, peppers, okra, cabbage and kohlrabi (which I didn’t even know what it was until Julie identified it) – though not nearly as much as some people on our hayride (cough, cough Melissa).

Here is our bounty:
The veggies we picked at the farm 9/20/08 Ava with the veggies 9/20/08

Not bad for $30, eh? It certainly made for a busy rest of the weekend.

On Saturday night, I blanched 25 ears of corn, then cut the kernels off 20 of them and had two bags full to freeze. Ava and Jody snapped all of our green beans in preparation for them to be frozen the following day. And I prepped a box full of potatoes for Jody to carry down to the basement.
Me gathering potatoes while Ava gets to work snapping beans 9/20/08 Ava, the green bean snapper extraordinare! 9/20/08

On Sunday, I blanched and froze two bags worth of green beans. I also made three quarts of spaghetti sauce, two of which I canned (but the whole thing was such a comedy of errors, I’m off canning for a week or so while I recover), and one of which I used for our dinner that night (along with fresh eggplant from the farm and corn on the cob). I also strung up around 10 onions (in old pantyhose) in the basement.

As I’ve been preparing, over the past month or so, what has definitely been the most food preservation I’ve ever done, it feels like such an accomplishment. I love knowing that I have bags of veggies, sauces, broths, etc. in the freezer that I did myself. I love seeing my cans of jam and sauce as well and knowing that I did that too. And knowing where pretty much all of those fruits and veggies came from since we picked them! It’s empowering to know that if push came to shove I don’t have to rely upon the grocery stores to feed my family. Yes, I’ll still be buying a lot of my food from the grocery store this winter, but knowing I have some reserves here at home is a good feeling. It just feels right. :)