At the peak of our 100 Acre Wood homesteading days, we grew the basic ingredients of most of our meals. It was a wonderful feeling to look at your family’s dinner plate and know you grew that meal. That kind of self sufficiency was just not possible in the last few years.
Oh how I have missed skipping entire aisles at the grocery store because my pantry was already full of those homegrown items. I hated facing the aisle of canned tomato sauce searching the sauce that was just sauce without the added salt or sugar, and even then didn’t taste like what I used to have in my mason jars. I’ve missed the taste and satisfaction of homegrown.
But we all do the best we can. For the last couple of years that has meant shopping from farmers I trust in season, and making do at the grocery out of season. Moving here meant starting over with my homesteading plans, and with finding farmers I trust nearby.
Thankfully, we have a wonderful farmers market here. Main Street Wadsworth Farmers Market is large enough to offer a nice variety, but small enough that choosing a vendor is not overwhelming. I was able to talk to the farmers, and found several whose growing practices align with mine. We ate well and at a reasonable cost this summer.
With the last farmers market earlier this month came a realization that I would soon be completely dependent on the grocery store again. I also realized with the oldest off to school and the rest of us fairly settled into our new home and routines, there was time to can if I had something to can.
I texted one of my favorite farms from the market. I knew it was late in the season, but figured it was worth a try. It paid off. They told me to come pick all the beans and tomatoes we wanted for free!
It was a beautiful fall day. I had not been to the garden part of their farm before. Their neat beautiful rows gave me garden envy. My gardens never looked this neat at the end of the season (or the beginning for that matter.) The tomatoes were about done, but we did get a bag full to make some fresh sauce and soup. There were still a lot of beans. The whole family worked on cleaning them. We washed up the mason jars and tattler lids (that hadn’t seen the light of day for some time.) We ended up canning 32 quarts.
Now my pantry has exactly one shelf of (almost) homegrown goodness for the winter. Not exactly worthy of grocery aisle skipping, but a start. We can only can what we can.