Friday, September 3, 2010

Donner Party Dead

Here's a pic of why I haven't been posting on the topic of homestead gardening, and in turn preserving the harvest. This years garden bounty has been poor, pathetic & pitiful.
In short if we only had what we grew this season to survive on then we'd be dead.
Donner party dead.

Nursery Stock Roma Paste Tomatoes Summer 2010
Last year I started my canning tomatoes from seed, San Marzano an Italian paste variety. They were to say the least all that and a whole lot more until the blight hit.
The quantity of this year's crop is nothing compared to 2008 plum tomatoes. While the average size of the plum tomatoes are slightly smaller than previous years, the number of plums per plant this growing season is drastically less.

Total of home canned home grown tomatoes to date is drum roll please ... 5 quarts from 19 plants.
5 quarts of stewed tomatoes preserved over two canning sessions.
Did I mention late blight showed up last week in the sunniest corner of my garden ?
I am needless to say down hearted after all the composting & bio char I did in the past two years.

Neighbor's 100 year old Maple a.k.a. Sunblocker pic taken @ 1 p.m.
Apparently there is no substitute, no magic soil formula to replace the required 6 hours of sunshine each day that my city garden lacks.

Plan B - call around to both the barter buddy network & outside sources to score a good rate on canning tomatoes. Prices range from $12 a bushel for U Picks to $25 from a faux Amish furniture store. Green bell peppers range from $10 to $14 half bushel. Also need a small handful of hot peppers and garlic. Lots & lots of garlic.
Goal is to can up at least 30 quarts of stewed tomatoes, 25 pints of salsa (can you ever really have too much salsa on the pantry shelf), and if the price is right 30 quarts of sauce. I have been blessed this season with an abundance of Rosemary, Basil, & Thyme.

Would be too much to ask for a gleaning opp on canning tomatoes preferably plum type.

~~ pelenaka ~~
who has been knocked down a peg by Mother Nature