There’s something very magical about producing your own food. I’m not the best at keeping records, but I do try. So here’s a peek at what we managed to produce in the 2020 season. Granted, the ‘season’ is not yet over. We’re still contending with foodstuffs grown last year. Our food and farming season will not begin anew until the spring!
79 gallons of apple, pear, huckleberry, aronia berry, and elderberry syrups, juices, and sauces
13 gallons of pickled carrots, onions, beets, greens, and cucumbers
Pressure Canned Foods:
39 gallons of canned squash
12 gallons of canned pork
Home butchered/cured/ground/smoked meats:
150lbs+ of bacon
7 butchered roosters (and another 15 running around still that need to go!)
Fats & Oils:
20+ gallons of rendered lard
100+lbs of raw fat for future processing
Fruit and vegetables from the garden:
200lbs of potatoes
75lbs of tomatoes
3 apples (haha! it was our orchard’s first year trying to produce, all of our other apples were wild foraged)
10lbs of cauliflower
5 tiny hot peppers
50lbs+ leafy greens
50lbs+ squash (most of our canning squash we traded for from a friend)
20lbs sweet corn
5lbs sunchokes3lbs of yams
100lbs of beets + greens
Wild Foraged Fruit and vegetables:
close to 1 ton of apples
6-7 gallons of huckleberries
20lbs of elderberries
20lbs of aronia berries (technically not foraged, we harvested these from a friend as part of a trade)
400lbs of pears
It was a cold, tough summer in 2020. We still had nights close to freezing in July. In total we had roughly 60 days of ‘warm’ growing season. The heat-loving plants struggled terribly, but the cold lovers did wonderfully. The peas, beans, peppers, corn, and squash limped along and produced a few morsels of food. The potatoes, kale, orach, cauliflower, beets, and carrots did decently. The apples and pears had a good season on the South side of the mountain, but the North side fruit trees didn’t have a single fruit on them this year. This year we installed 6 different varieties of raspberry in many different places. We have 3 varieties of asparagus growing, but each year I split them to the brink in order to multiply them, so we haven’t had a chance to eat any yet.
With enough colonies spread around the greenhouses, this year I started spreading asparagus to outdoor areas as well. I have high hopes for it! My sunchokes are the same story; instead of eating the harvest, I spread and proliferate them in many different areas. These food systems need time to establish before we can enjoy a fat harvest from them!
Here’s to hoping 2021 will be a little warmer in the summer! We still buy salt, onions, yams, and popcorn, but are otherwise nearly sustained on what we produced in the last year. Woohoo!
So what are the final 2020 tallies?
143 gallons of food preserved
300+ pounds of meat
20 gallons of oil (potentially twice that if we render the rest of the fat)
520+ pounds of food grown
2,500~ pounds of wild fruit foraged