It’s Prep Time

Everything is really starting to come in now.  I have been processing vegetables every single day, and we have also been giving a lot away.  This year was a trial run to see how much we would get based on how much we planted.  Now we can predict what we need next year based on how much we produced this year and how much we want.

  
Chopped and shredded squash and zucchini. 

  
Now it’s crunch time to make sure we save everything we need to get us through the winter.  Since we have never really done this before, plan for the entire year, it’s going to be on a trial and error basis.  Last year we canned and froze everything we could, but we didn’t get much and we had eaten everything we had saved by the end of January.  This year is a lot different.  We can actually save what we need plus have leftovers to give away (which we will be selling next year).

It’s all a bit overwhelming, so as I do I made a list of what I think we need to tide us over.

So far this is what the list looks like:

15 loaves zucchini bread (we have 3)
20 bags zucchini/squash mix. (we have 13)
12 quart jars pickles (we have 6)
6 pint jars jalapeno jelly (we have 2)
25 chickens (we have 3)
50 small bags chopped jalapenos (2-3 in each bag)
25 bags stuffed peppers
20 bags sliced eggplant
12 bags dehydrated beans
60 jars tomatoes- stewed, sauce, paste, Cajun mix, etc

Out of the fall crop i have just started I want this:

15 bags brussel sprouts
15 bags broccoli
25 bags spinach
15 bags cauliflower
20 cabbages (if i can figure out how to store them well)
1-2 deer

I think we may go fishing and get some fish to freeze as well.  Our goal is to only purchase things we cannot make ourselves at the moment, like flour, sugar, spices, and dairy goods.  Everything else we need is going to come from our farm, either grown or hunted.  By the end of fall I want out grocery bills to be down to about 150 per month.  We really only need this crop to bring us up to next spring when i can start planing the spring crops.  I keep thinking this isn’t enough food, but really we just need it to go to about next may/ june.  After next year I will re-figure the numbers depending on how far the stored vegetables go.  We are also adding in a lot more next year.  I like the amount of squash we are getting for us, but i think I would like about twice as much so we have a lot to sell.  Same with the zucchini.  The amount of cucumbers we have is perfect.  I want more pepper plants too.  i’ll revisit these numbers at the end of this season too, once we have gotten all the vegetables we will get.  We haven’t even been able to start harvesting at least half of the plants yet.   haven’t even

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