Stocking Up for Winter

Curing shallots from the garden

The girls helped braid the half-dried tops into long strands for hanging. The shallots were spread on a table in the sun for a couple of days after picking, and now the bundles sway in the breeze. I had grand plans of building a root cellar this summer, but it didn’t happen. From what I’ve read, though, shallots and some types of onions don’t store as well as other vegetables. They don’t play well with potatoes, either. When I get the notion, I need to cut these little beauties down and chop them up for freezing.

The green beans have all been harvested and they’re safely stored in the freezer, too. I’d love to can them, but I don’t have a pressure canner. Some day I’ll make the investment, but for now I’ll settle for freezing my veggies and water bath canning my fruits, applesauce and jams.

Carrots are next on my produce agenda. We had a small little plot and it yielded a five-gallon bucket’s worth of carrots. That should be good for a few meals, anyhow. The potatoes and sweet potatoes will be ready soon, too (which may just prompt the root cellar). Farmguy has been hovering over those potatoes all summer and I know he wants them to last through the winter! Alas, my tomatoes are plentiful, but still green. Hot summer days have been in short supply this year. Hopefully they’ll ripen before the cold weather sets in — I hear there’s a Polar Vortex on the horizon for September. What?!

Do you garden? Do you preserve food? Do you have a root cellar? Inquiring minds want to know … especially about the root cellar. I just read a story of a family who turned an outside basement stairwell into their cellar storage. A nifty idea and worth investigating. There may still be time to get this accomplished before the potatoes are ready. I must move from dreaming to scheming mode — and don’t worry, I’ll take photos!

Tomorrow, a simple tutorial on how to freeze carrots (because they’re so much tastier than store-bought!). Didn’t grow carrots? Don’t worry — you can get some at a local farmer’s market or produce stand. And I promise that on Thanksgiving, pulling fresh, frozen veggies out of the freezer will give you a sense of satisfaction like no other. And sweet corn in January? Spectacular. 

For now, here’s are a couple of quick little tutorials on freezing green beans and freezing squash. And here’s a post about the time we made homestyle dill pickles. Last, but certainly not least, here’s how to make applesauce and freeze it.




Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.


  • comment-avatar
    Robyn August 19, 2014 (8:50 am)

    Putting up a garden is a lot of work. Good thing you have good help.

    I have a few tomatoes starting to turn and a couple peppers and cucumbers that are close to picking. The Brussels sprouts are a bust. Green worms found my plants and have worked them over. I pulled one stock up and keep hoping the other 3 will pull through. My zucchini plant has slowed down and I’m going to have a few buttercup squash this fall.

    Have you tried the oven-method of canning? I have never canned and my Mom is not a caner. I tried the oven method with some rhubarb-strawberry jam and it worked.

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko August 19, 2014 (12:11 pm)

      I have never heard of the oven method, Robyn, but I’m going to do some research! Sorry to heart about your Brussels Sprouts. My peppers are a bit of a bust, too. They just don’t like my soil. Well, off to Google oven canning!

  • comment-avatar
    rebekah August 19, 2014 (9:45 am)

    You have a sister that would be happy to let you borrow her pressure Canner!

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko August 19, 2014 (12:12 pm)

      If my tomatoes turn red I will accept your offer!

  • comment-avatar
    Tracy B August 20, 2014 (3:57 pm)

    I make apple and pear butter for the winter. I also dry herbs, tomatoes, apples and pears in my dehydrator. I store them in canning jars.

  • comment-avatar
    Sal August 21, 2014 (4:10 am)

    I know where there is a pressure canner you could borrow too.

  • comment-avatar
    Nancy August 29, 2014 (12:40 pm)

    Since we moved 2 years ago, we have not had a garden. I’m relying on our local farm market for the tomatoes and green peppers we need to make my Grandma’s Chili Sauce (which I rarely use to make chili, lol). They called yesterday & told me the tomatoes were finally ready but I was shocked at the price of their peppers. Guess next year I may try some container gardening for a few fresh veggies. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement to get the canning done!