Heirlooms, Canning, and Misty Mornings

There’s just something about misty mornings, especially an unexpected one in the middle of October. Up here in the Northern Bruce Peninsula, we’ve been sitting around twenty degrees for the past week now, and looking ahead, for another week to come.

Inasmuch as this is atypical and raises further question in my mind, I can’t help but enjoy the serenity of the water hanging in the air, and the smell of everything so fresh with rainfall.

But given the time of year, I know I better start plucking the ripe tomatoes and begin preparing them for storage.

Today’s Harvest | October 8th 2021

This is the first real growing season we’ve had here on our homestead, and I decided to strictly grow heirlooms (with few exceptions to plants gifted). Being fascinated by their appearance, and – most importantly – taste, I couldn’t get my hands on seeds quick enough.

After chatting in detail with a friend who also grows her fair share of heirlooms, she passed along seed suppliers that would have everything I would be looking for, and then some.

So as soon as my seeds came, and the date came in which one should typically start certain vegetables indoors (in my case, peppers, and tomatoes), I prepared my seed trays and placed them in what I thought would be the warmest and brightest area of our home. Which, just so happened to be next to our wood stove and in front of our only southeast-facing window.

Unfortunately, this came with some hiccoughs. Though the wood stove provided ample warmth to get them started, the heat was too inconsistent and with only a short window of direct sunlight. So, as you can predict – most of my seedlings died off (not for lack of trying, and believe me, I tried everything).

Thankfully, I had some seeds left over that I started outside once the weather was warm enough to do so. But as you can imagine, they were all way behind schedule and are only now starting to ripen, with heavy fruits hanging heavy on their limbs.

But the question now remains, how am I to preserve them?

In the past, I’ve frozen tomatoes whole and in sauces and salsa, along with dehydrating, but having never canned anything before – I’m itching to learn. Plus, on top of that, I’ve never actually preserved fruits of my own labour, and never in the quantity we will soon have.

This little fella caught my eye … can you see him?

After some research, I found I had even more questions than answers. So, now I’m off to continue my reading and equip ourselves with everything we need in order to get started. So, stay tuned!

Have any tips or tricks? I’d love to hear them. Share in the comments below!

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