Summer 2016

For many years I dreamt about building my own garden to live off. Summer 2016 is the year that I finally gave it a-go. It just so happened that my dad was in town to help me rebuild my deck – which left me with an unbelievable amount of leftover wood. Attempting to utilize the wood to the best of my ability (due to a limit on trash set by the city), I decided to build my very first raised garden bed.

The final result was a measly 4′ x 4′ roughly a foot tall. Its a start…

Since I got such a late start in the year I decided to start from hardened starter plants found at a local hardware store. I wandered home with a variety of plants: bell peppers, jalapeños, cabbage, mint, parsley, tomatoes, and okra.

Starter Garden_2016

As the (what seemed like) weeks drug on, the plants started to flower. My favorite part of the day was rushing home from work to count individual flowers on each plant that eventually turned into fruit. As the season progressed I would make it a ritual to count each tomato on the plants until I could no longer keep track. It then dawned on me that I had NO idea what to do with 6 plants worth of tomatoes let alone all of my other goodies that pop-up on the daily. (Fair warning – my single okra plant would continuously produce requiring daily attending.)

In a slight panic I start calling/texting my mom trying to come up with ideas on what to do with all of my newfound produce. She gave me the recommendation of contacting my cousins to inquire about canning (Thanks, Mom!).

After much back and forth, hundreds of questions later, I got on Amazon and ordered my first two canning books.

        

And so began my canning obsession adventure.

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