Monday, August 12, 2013

Plugging Along

For those of you that follow everyday I left you on Saturday with me having buckets of peaches and beans to deal with. And in true Hickery Holler fashion they are now safely tucked away in my pantry and freezer for a proverbial rainy/snowy day. Those pints of canned peaches my grandchildren will line up and fight you for if they weren't busy right now eating fresh ones off the tree.  

And a few hours in my rocking chair made short work of those red beans too. We were able to pull up most of the red bean plants after picking and feed to the goats making room for a fall crop of something. They were shelled, washed and then blanched and are cooling in the picture above. 

I let them sit in my giant colander and drain after running cold water over them to cool them off. 

Then they go on baking sheets and go in the freezer to freeze, they could also go into jars if I was so inclined. 

Once frozen they go into vacuum bags.

Ready to vacuum in a pot size portion perfect for our family.

And another 7 bags ready for the freezer. Already frozen, bagged and labeled with date and contents.

And we can't forget O Wise One's Sunday contribution to the food stores. Here lately every Sunday afternoon he can be found on one pond/river/creek bank somewhere around with fishing rod in hand. That's his day off unwinding ritual. That it provided weekly contributions of meat to the freezer is a plus. I quilt and he fishes or hunts : ) 

On this day it is bass and perch fillets.

Some Sundays it is catfish or if he is fishing in the river maybe carp or drum

Those fillets will taste great breaded and fried or even oven fried or grilled. 

Our contributions in the last couple days.........

7 quarts canned purple hull peas
3 bags frozen broccoli
7 quarts frozen red beans
3 bags of frozen bass/perch fillets
2 quarts frozen blackberries
14 quarts canned sliced peaches
14 pints canned sliced peaches

And with our eye always to next year (Good Lord willin!) there are 4 trays of seeds drying. These are seeds for Louisiana Red Beans and Purple Hull Peas. They are spread on old baking sheets and I set them out on the picnic table every afternoon in the warm sunshine to dry a little more. They come in at night to protect them from the dew and go out again the next afternoon. Once good and dry they will be stored in the cool dark pantry until next spring and the cycle continues again. Plant/harvest/preserve. Year after year, season after season. 

These age old practices make it possible for us to garden with practically no seed expense other than those new varieties we want to splurge and try.

And we usually sell a little produce through the year to defray the costs of any luxury seeds and soil amendments or straw mulches purchased. 

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. Gosh those canned peaches look mighty fine :)

  2. I would like to get a food saver, would you let me know what brand you use? I want to get a good one, not some cheap junk, as we freeze a lot of fish and fruit. Your blogs are always so interesting, bring back a lot of memories of sitting on the porch, snapping beans, cleaning corn, etc for Mother when I was a child.

    Judy Douglass

    1. I have one of the larger foodsavers. However when this one breaks eventually we will not be purchasing a foodsaver. We originally bought our first one from Walmart. After about 6 months it broke and we called the manufacturer. They did send us a replacement machine saying that they had experienced problems with this model made exclusively for Walmart. Even though they did replace the machine this one works when it takes a mind to! Not sure what we will buy next.

    2. Im kind of shocked to hear this.. I've owned 3 FoodSaver vacuum machines and never had a problem with any of them. The first was the original one and I accidentally left it behind in a move, the second I still love but its very large so I bought a smaller one I can keep out in my kitchen which is quite small too.

      There are some professional grade vacuum sealers but Im not familiar enough with them to offer any info. You can always look on You Tube for recommendations.

  3. Those peaches look delicious. When our children were growing up each year we canned enough pears and peaches to last until the next year. We don't grow peaches in our cold climate. Hopefully, the organic peaches this year from our grocer will be reasonable enough to purchase and can.

    I use our Food Saver vacuum sealer all the time. We are getting ready to chop 32 peppers and vacuum seal them in soup/stir-fry portions tomorrow to go into the freezer. Our garden, this year, has been very prolific in peppers :).

    Your pictures and descriptions are always wonderful. Thank you for sharing them.

  4. Sounds great! I froze peaches with hopes of making freezer jam on a not so busy week. I love to eat them right out of the freezer bag somewhere between frozen and thawed :)

  5. Gorgeous peaches! You inspire me every day with your posts.

  6. you've been busy me to, got peaches, apples & peas looking at me lol!

  7. Your blog is wonderful. My husband I are enjoying it so much. It is amazing what we can learn from you. Everyone of our neighbors on this road have large gardens. I was so happy to think about that when you were posting how your husband saw so many at the food bank in town. But my daughter and her husband...and my son and his not garden! Both families have children. They just can not provide the time to garden. They harvest from us here. We do not mind a bit. The grandkids come and help us ....and learn. There is always something new to learn. I must say we are learning from you and the Wise One. Thank you so much and may God bless you both and your garden.


    1. My oldest daughter lives in town and does have a small garden on her city lot. But with 2 babies in diapers and a small lot we help her out also. We plant extra things that take up large amounts of space like corn, watermelons, beans and such and send her to can and even help her with her canning and babysit for her while she does it.
      My grandchildren also help in my gardens.

  8. Why did you pull up the beans? Do they not keep producing for awhile? Just wondering. beautiful peaches!!!

    1. We plant in succession. These beans were planted in May. They have been picked no less than 4 times. Although they would continue to bloom and bear there are 2 rows of beans planted in July that are just starting to bear and a small row that are not bearing yet in another garden for seeds. These are pulled up to make way for fall crops of english peas, lettuce, turnips, broccoli and cabbage for fall.

  9. Ah those canned peaches! Take me back to my childhood at my Grandmother's... her garden, her peaches canned & then cream from the cow poured over them! Thanks again for sharing all with us!

  10. I wish you could can and sell some of your energy.. You simply amaze me at the amount of work you do in a day & still blog.. I put up a bushel of tomatoes yesterday (salsa & rotel) & thought I was gonna die.. haha
    You're an amazing woman & Im so glad I found your blog!


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