Friday, July 17, 2009

hippychick's pantry is lookin' mighty fine!

even with the intense heat we've been having, there are farm goods still coming in keeping me busy eating, freezing, pickling and preserving. just yesterday my neighbor gifted me with a great supply of previously used canning jars. they will go to good use, that is for sure. not a single jar goes wasted in this house.

the pantry shelves are looking pretty darn full. i think i have put up more food this year than ever and that's a great place to be. with the pantry filling up at this steady rate, it is about getting creative with the shelf space available. here is how it plays out at present.
  • i keep one shelf for baking goods - all my various flours (buckwheat, whole wheat, white, pastry, semolina) and my sugars (brown and white) along with my self mixed bulk baking goods (for pancakes, scones and corn bread)
  • i have two shelves for pickled and preserved goods (tomatoes, peaches, okra, cucumbers, beans, prickly pear, etc.)
  • i keep one shelf for seeds, hard grain (amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat) peas, legumes, oats, popping corn and various types of rice
  • i had a full shelf for store bought canned goods but the need for such items is dwindling and the preserved peaches have moved in.
  • i keep a shelf for my homemade breadcrumbs and any chips or crackers that enter the house. this is a very small shelf but it works.
  • down at the bottom of the pantry closet i keep a few bottles of water in case of emergency, canning jars and shopping bags
  • as far as storing the pesto - i keep my ready supply (4-5 jars) in the fridge - the rest go to the freezer for good keep.
and all this despite the heat - pretty hard to believe. the slow the but steady goods still coming in include the following.
  • basil
  • summer squash - the first ever successfully grown in my texas garden
  • long red bean
  • sweet pepper - very small this year
  • red mild chili
  • okra - the queen of summer goods
  • cucumber - fighting hard
  • black eyed peas - a.k.a. cow peas
  • mint - struggling to stay cool in the hot
  • oregano - slowing down greatly
  • amaranth - growing taller by the minute
  • sweet potato vines going strong
  • eggplant - slow year but almost there
  • papaya tree - growing growing no sign of fruits yet
already i'm thinking about the fall garden and i'm thinking i better plant drought tough varieties because our lack of rain is no joke to tell. rain is just not happening in our parts. they will also need to be tough pest fighters too as this relentless heat keeps the bad bugs going strong - it is one of the daily chores now - stink bugs, squash vine borers, leaf jumpers, spider mites - the squishing of them and the spraying of them for control. but i digress, after much thought - this is what i've decided for part of the fall planting. you can find these goods at territorial seeds i anticipate adding a few more goods to the list most likely from native seeds.
  • Adelaide Carrots
  • All Season Daikon Radish
  • Apollo Broccoli
  • Fizz Kale
  • Green Deer Tongue Lettuce
  • Italienischer Lettuce
  • Javelin Parsnip
  • North Pole Lettuce
  • Touchstone Gold Beet
the sweet potatoes, okra and eggplant keep their place in the garden until late fall. the herbs always have a home in the garden. i think i may just need to invest in a load of off site organic compost as this heat is just eating up the goods i have made efforts to keep in. you can only challenge nature so far before you have to feed your greatest commodity - the soil. in that case you get what you give and then some.

time for me to head back out before the heat hits its high for the day. wishing you balmy days, morning rains and sunny afternoon skies.

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