Have I ever mentioned that my parents have a gigantic garden? They can over 200 pints of tomatos each year and freeze huge quantities of peas, beans, corn, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, you name it. They also grow enough garlic and onions to last until the next spring and compost all of their non-meat food waste, even during the winter. Oh, and there are also some beets, zucchinis, squash, potatoes…I really can’t name everything they grow. Let’s just put it this way: they are fairly self-sufficient when it comes to vegetables. They purchase meat, dairy, oatmeal, etc. at their local Whole Foods (with reusable bags, of course!).
They do have a long way to go, as do the rest of us. My father refuses to understand that tap water is infinitely better than bottled water, and of course the tops of the canning jars are not reusable, but my new attempt at zero waste convinced them to use reusable containers for freezing their peaches this year. Hooray!
The best part about all the labor that goes into this? Farm-fresh veggies all year long! That means you can make things like peach-blueberry tarts even during the dead of winter. In this pumpkin-spiced, scarf-snuggling, tree-foliaging season, we might not miss the tastes of summer. We might welcome the fall with open, excited arms and dive into hearty soups, crusty breads, and apple pie-crisp-what-have-yous. But then BAM! Things look like this:
So really, spending your entire summer canning and freezing can be a good thing, mom!
In all seriousness, I’m really proud of all the gardening my parents do on top of their actual jobs, and I am so lucky to occasionally receive some of the bounty. Home-grown canned tomatoes make everything taste so much better than store-bought canned tomatoes…and they come in glass jars!
So here’s to a winter of fresh, local veggies!