Tis the season for apples….
My grandparents had a farm when I was growing up. The backyard was lined with trees; apple, cherry, pear, and even blueberry bushes. Maybe my grandparents farm helped grow my love for apples. I have memories as a child, although vague, of picking fruit from the trees. Most of my memories are of eating the blueberries from the bushes. My grandma learned never to send me out to pick the berries for the pie, because they always went to my mouth!
This year we took our children to the Happy Apple Farm. It was the first time there, and we were all excited to pick some apples. We picked a lot so we could make some apple sauce, can some baking apples, and enjoy the crisp taste of a fresh apple as well.
One of the things our family has learned to do this year is canning. We wanted to learn so we could become more sustainable with our food. We don’t have an apple tree at home, but fortunately we do have a small garden that has provided so much for us. Our first year of canning has produced; strawberry jam, apricot preserves, apricot ginger jam, peach vanilla jam, honey spiced apricots, peaches in a light syrup, baking apples, apple butter and salsa! It’s been a productive and fun season. Best of all my kids have loved it too!
Over the past few years, we have worked hard in our backyard to make our garden a fruitful place. This year we had our most successful year, and our tomato plants are still bursting with tomatoes. I am sad to report that our zucchini did not survive this year. Early on in the season we had a hail storm that destroyed it, and I wasn’t able to get any started from seed in time. But we did have some great squash, kale, onions, beets, eggplant, romaine lettuce, and bush beans. It’s refreshing to eat a meal where most of the things on our table were grown from our garden. My hope is that next year our garden will do even better. Every year we learn a little more, and grow a little more, and become a little more confident in our gardening abilities.