It’s Plan and Simple

It’s Plan and Simple

*Rubbing my tired eyes* Some how this garden has taken a big turn on size. Once everything is planted, I will need to make a post to update everyone on how many plants we actually planted. But here is the thing, plant prep is one side of what we need to prepare, so is the garden beds but let’s talk about the other aspects. Today I am only touching base on two things. The one is really small and the other, y’all are coming on a planning journey with me!!!!


To start, we need to prepare some plant markers. I always try to use some typical plastic markers but its just not cutting it. By the time the plant grows, I am struggling to find the actual plant name. It gets lost in the plant and then we just guess which tomato it is. So this year, I literally 5 minutes ago found it, we will be using polymer clay and making our own plant markers. I will be baking these in the oven and then adding a protective layer to it so we can use them outside. Now Jeremy is going to make like 100 of the same plant, y’all I will have 100 plant markers of the same thing. I do not care how ridiculous that sounds, I need to know what everything is. When it gets to the point of harvesting, I will be struggling to keep track of what everything is. Now Im thinking of making a few extra so when I harvest, I can put one of the markers in the basket with the harvest so I can remember what we harvested. This will also make it easier when trying to plan what we produce with the harvest. Now fresh eating will be different, we will just pick and place in the fridge, so it won’t matter so much. But for harvest and preserving purposes, we need all the markers to keep us organized. 


The biggest thing we need to do is plan out what we are going to do with all of our harvest!!! Like I said, this man has started so many different plants but we need to get to figuring out how to use these. Big goal, is to eat fresh and right from the garden. Thats how we want to spend our summer, by eating fresh and spending less on groceries. So I am going to take the time to write down each plant that he has started and under each one we will make a list of what we can make with each item. The goal is to make different things that I haven’t done yet or items that I need to restock our pantry with. That is the big goal. But as I work on this, I know it will take me a decent chunk of time and I will be jumping around as I go! Let’s get started on the ideas and research. 


Tomatoes - Diced canned tomatoes, marinara sauce, enchilada sauce, ketchup, green tomato salsa, I would like to try making sun dried tomatoes, all pulps and skins from canning recipes will be freeze dried to make into powder. Then at a later time I can use to make tomato paste with the powder. Y’all I just found “Spicy Fermented salsa” as I was researching and ummmm yea, thats going to be added to the list too!!!! 



Hot Peppers - Hot Pepper Jelly, Hot sauce, dried for herbs, I want to hand dry some cayenne peppers this year, freezer and freeze dryer for later meals. 



Regular Peppers - eating as is, stir fry, stuffed peppers, snacking, freezer breakfast burritos, making smoked paprika and some in the freezer for later meals. 



Cucumber - Pickles, Eating as is, added to meals, chunky pickle daikon and cucumber, Vietnamese pickled vegetables, refrigerator cucumber kimchi pickles and possibly chow-chow. 



Watermelon / Cantaloupe / Melons - Juicing for mixed drinks. Pulp will be used in the freeze dryer to then make powders to add to drinks for flavoring. Eating as is as well!



Kale - Eaten as is or cooked into meals. 



Spinach / Lettuce / Chard - This will be eaten as is or cooked into meals! 



Herbs - These will be dehydrated to use for seasoning or medicinal use. Also will use fresh from the garden for other canning needs and for meals. 



Okra - Spicy Pickled Okra, Batter up and fry some! 



Flowers - Some for medicinal purposes. Some for cut to donate. Some to cut for our house. Some to sell. I would also like to press some! 



Squash - This, Im not gonna lie, I am not a big squash canned person. I typically prefer it to be eating as is but we may venture into freeze drying and dehydrating them. 



Zucchini - Zucchini jam, eating as is, Zucchini carrot ginger marmalade and sweet smokey zucchini salsa. Usually I make zucchini relish but once I make this, I typically don’t need to make it for like 5 or more years later. This is something we just don’t always eat but keep on hand for the day of hankering! Its freaking perfect on hot dogs and burgers. Now I’m hungry. 



Radishes - roasted and eating as is. These honestly do not last in our house. We eat them so fast its not even funny. 



Corn - pickled corn with red onion and cilantro, canning as is, eating as is, If Jeremy planted the right type - popcorn, pickled sweet corn, corn cob jelly, cream style corn - canned and corn relish - canned.



Carrots - Pickled carrots, carrot jam, eating, cooking as is, canning carrot soup, canning as is, fresh carrot salads, using for any broth needs, mixed with other vegetables to pickle them together and the green tops can be made into pesto! 



Beans - Will can some and dry some out for storing! Oh! Looking at some more recipes and I am noticing we could do some delicious salsas with beans in them too! 



Peas - Freeze and Can these as is! Jeremy would probably like some to use for stir fry. 



Onions - Leave as is. Also will use some to dehydrate and use for seasoning. 



Garlic - Leave as is. Also place some pieces in oil in the fridge. Will also do a chopped version in oil. Possibly dehydrate some for seasoning 



Luffa -  Eating when they are a smaller size but also dry them out. We have a lot on hand but I would like to make some more so I can give them away for gifts. 





*eating as is means, either raw or cooked on how the vegetable is. So example, zucchini, we will just cook it and eat as is. Add a few spices and we are set! 


Ok so in the past I did a lot of Pinterest recipes but Im not gonna lie, looking at this list, I am realizing I also do a lot of Ball recipes. So I like their book “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving” and you can use this link to find it!  But you can also find a ton of wonderful recipes on Pinterest by simply searching. I used a lot of the names I found on Pinterest under each category. For example: “Spicy Fermented Salsa” that is under Tomatoes is actually on Pinterest! These two are just two of my favorite resources to use when canning. 


Taking the time now to write this all out will really help when the craziness comes! I know I will be struggling to keep up but to have a game plan in place before we start, I really think this will help me save time and lower frustration. Also like I said last week, we possibly have a connection with the produce but we will see what comes of that. This is all in place because I do not want to go into the season not prepared. I know my back up plan is chop and just put in the freezer. But thats only going to get me so far. I have so much to work with so I needed to take the time to plan this all out before we get into the season. 


We will definitely update you all on what we accomplished as we go but for the time being, plans have been put into place and now we get to work on the homestead!!! It’s soon time for planting time so now to getting our butts in gear to get ready for that work!!! 

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