After many years of waiting and bad crops with my currant bushes I managed to get enough off of them to bother making something from them. I plant these bushes 4 years ago and in every year since I have been fighting the birds, the weather and just bad timing trying to get more than a handful of currants.
This year I finally did it. I actually have to thank the fact that I am working from home for this. It has really allowed me to monitor my various fruiting shrubs much better than I have in years past. Let me tell I am just a bit surprised by this since the weather this year has been atrocious for my garden. For most of the spring it hovered at or below 32 degrees and it rain/sleeted. Then flipping a complete 180 it jumped up to 90+ degrees for weeks on end with no rain which has turned portions of my garden to something like concrete.
and the hail don't even get me started on the hail.
But I and my garden persevered and push through all the bad weather to finally produce something I can enjoy eating.
As I right this the the currants and the sugar is cooking together on the stove top and I really hope it turns out. Being able to produce my own food is part of how I am trying to live a greener life. The more I can grow at my house the less I have to buy which is better for the environment as well as being better for my wallet.
For this particular foray in jam making I am using a simple recipe I found at the The Spruce Eats.
What I liked about this recipe is that it also gives the amounts in grams and ml which makes it much easier to adjust to the amount of currants I have,
and here at the Green Living Library stuff that is simple to use and change is gold to us.
That's all for now
To kick off my series about growing your own food I am going to start with the way I am most familiar.
Growing a garden in an average urban back/front yard.
Growing your own food on an urban lot comes with its challenges as well as benefits. You obviously lack space that you would get on a larger piece of land but what you gain is easy access to water and immediate proximity to your garden. This walkout your back door kind of access makes it really convenient to do everything. From planting and maintaining to harvesting your produce, having your garden just 10 steps from your door makes it really easy to garden.
Summer is of course gardening season and if you manage to get a bountiful harvest despite all the things that would set you back you need someway to save all of this produce. To that end I will be presenting you the definitive guide to preserving all sorts of food from the garden.
There is no way that I could cover all the things that could and should be done to safely preserve food. The knowledge of how to do this fills bookshelves in stores and your local library and all I will attempt to do here is give you a basic overview of the 4 most common types of food preservation.
A Brief History
The Mason jar the humble container used for canning and preserving food is capable of being used for so much more than just canning. They were created by a fellow named John Landis Mason back in the 1858 and were among the first types of jars used to preserve food. There were earlier examples of canning food in jars to preserve it but with the advent of the screw on ring and lid really caused the practice to take off.
While I do try to stick to the useful articles on this website offering insights on how to do things to improve your lifestyle in a green way every now and then I do veer off into the philosophical. What I want to talk about a bit in this one is Green Living and how it impacts your health and of course the health of the planet. To do this in a somewhat organized way I will try to break out just a couple of topics to take a closer look at or we could be here all day.
So you find yourself with a whole bunch of bananas that you got on sale at the local grocery store and you know that despite how much you love them you won't be able to finish them all before they go bad. You have a couple options you can freeze them which works good if you are saving them for bars, smoothies or banana bread. The other option of course is to dehydrate them. The easiest way to do this is with a home dehydrator. They are very cost effective and can be used to dehydrate many of things produced from your garden. That of course is assuming you have a garden if you are interested in starting one there are many resources at your disposal including many pages dedicated to to the topic on this site.
Hello my name is Josh Larson and I am the creator of the Green Living Library. Here on the blog you will find updates to content found in the Green Living Library as well as stories from those living the sustainable life already.