Here is our lovely new pressure canner.
And then we grew stuff - tomatoes and green beans mostly. We had decided to plant roma tomatoes so that we could do tomato sauce. Well, as you might recall, our tomato situation was mixed. We planted one row of 12 plants in May, but we didn't have many cages, so we lost quite a bit to rot from being on the ground. But we still harvested about 500 tomatoes. In late June, we planted another 10 tomato plants. And then we proceeded to have the coolest summer ever. So we have only harvested a few tomatoes off the second batch, and who knows how many we will get before the frost. We used this squeeze/de-seed/de-skin contraption (It is a Back To Basics Food Strainer. It is AWESOME!) and put them in gallon bags, and then we stored them in our awesome friends' freezer. (Thanks Joy!)
We ended up with about 16 bags of tomato stuff, but it wasn't sauce yet. Because you have to boil the tomatoes and reduce them by 1/2 before canning it. It was a little disheartening to see half of our hard work just evaporating away . . . .
After boiling it down, we put it in quart jars and then put it in the pressure canner. We thought it would be complicated, but it really was easy to use. Each of us ended up with 6 jars. We may end up with a few more if the second batch of tomatoes ever turns red.
Some of our tomato sauce before we put it in the pressure canner
Then the green beans. We planted the beans early on, like back in the middle/end of May. Along with Peas. And they never really grew. So we tilled again, and tried the beans again. The second batch of green beans grew much better. I don't know how many green beans we've picked. We did a hot pack of the green beans, and then pressure canned them for 25 minutes. We have canned 14 jars (7 jars each) green and should have at least 6 more. So each of us will end up with 10 quarts.
Our green beans
It doesn't sound like we harvested much, and part of that is the boiling down that you have to do for tomato sauce, and part of it is that we are dividing the jars between our two families.
But the important thing about this year is not how much we are canning. It is that we are learning how to can.