Tag Archives: preserving

How to freeze green beans

The beans are ripe for the picking, and starting last week there’s about a xerox box or two full of beans ready to pick.

The green beans we grow are heirloom green beans. My dad and I love to try different heirloom vegetables in the garden (we’ve done about 25-30 heirloom tomato varieties!) and green beans are one we’ve had lots of success with each year. He planted a few varieties at my grandma’s house, and one row he built up to be almost 8 feet high. The vibes grow up and up and up so it’s a real space-saver. The tops of the vines have tons of beans, too.




In my opinion the green beans are best straight off the vine raw, that’s not really easy for me to do with all of them. Mary and I like to pickle them, we’ve dehydrated them, and I like to cook them in the crockpot, but perhaps the most versatile thing to do with them is to freeze them to use all year long.

While the process for freezing the beans is by no means difficult, it unfortunately isn’t as easy as just throwing them in the freezer. Freezing beans is a 6 step process, and luckily each step takes only a short amount of time.


You’ll need…
A bunch of green beans. A sauce pot. Salt (kosher is better). A colander or two. A few big bowls for ice baths and temporarily storing the beans. Ice. Freezer bags. A straw.

1. Wash. This is easy. Just rinse the beans in cool water, being careful to rub off any cobwebs or dirt.
2. Pop and Pinch. Pinch of the stems, being mindful to leave as much of the bean intact as possible. You can also pop the bean into 1-2 inch pieces, though some people like to leave their beans whole.
3. Boil. Fill a sauce pot with water and add a generous amount of salt, about 1-2 tablespoons per quart of water. The beans won’t be in the water long enough to absorb too much of the flavor but what is absorbed will aid in preserving the flavor and nutrients. Once the water is boiling add your beans and let them boil for 2 minutes. The beans should turn bright green and should taste cooked but should still be quite firm. Do NOT overlook them.
4. Ice Bath. Drain the beans and immediately dump them into an ice bath, stirring gently with a wooden spoon or your hands to ensure that they cool quickly.
5. Drain and Dry. Once the beans are completely cooled drain the water and pat the beans dry with a paper towel.
6. Bag. Once the beans are dry you can portion them into freezer bags. I usually do a mix of gallon-sized and sandwich-sized bags, and occasionally a few snack-sized bags. Lay the bags flat and sort of shake them so the beans are all flat and spread evenly. Of course you don’t want to fill the bags too full. I zip the bags almost all the way closed then stick a straw in the end and suck the air out. While still sucking, pull the straw out and quickly zip the rest of the bag. This isn’t the best way to get all the air out but it does keep the bags flatter and easier to store.



Two pickle recipes plus canning instructions

I’ve been asked a few times for the pickle recipe Mary and I use. Let me make it clear first that Mary is the Pickle Master, not me. I’m like the jester… Just there for jokes. Just kidding. I’m kind of her sidekick. I just do what she tells me. I’m good at following directions, but not organizing the task and managing time. She okayed me sharing the recipe we typically use. And I’ll also share the ones we tried yesterday, for pickle sticks and fridge pickles.

The first recipe goes into the most detail, in case you’re not too familiar with canning. The first recipe is also the on Mary has been using for a few years and most people love these pickles. We’ve done pickled cucumbers, green beans, peppers… you name it. The other recipes we only tried yesterday and haven’t tasted the pickles after they’ve sat but dang they smelled good and the brine was delicious.

Mary’s Famous Pickles
These pickles are dill flavored and quite garlicky with a tad bit of spice. Not a lot of spice, because even my mom loves them. So will you.

4 cups water
4 cups white vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup pickling salt
2 to 3 garlic cloves pealed (per jar)
3 or 4 onion chunks (per jar)
3 small sprigs of fresh dill -OR- 1 teaspoon dried dill (per jar)
~1/2 teaspoon mustard seed (per jar)
~1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (per jar)
~1/2 teaspoon pickle crisp -OR- 1 grape leaf (per jar)

Wash jars, lids, and rings and then boil or steam 4-6 quart jars I your water bath or steam canner for 10 minutes. While your jars are sanitizing, combine vinegar, water, and pickling salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Once jars are sanitized, put the remaining ingredients in each jar. Note that nearly everything is approximate; if you love garlic or onion, add more. Pack the jars tightly with cucumber spears or chips.

Once the brine has boiled ten minutes, use a funnel in the mouth of the jar and pour the brine into each jar until it’s about 1/2 inch from the top. Use a chopstick or something similar to gently like down into each jar to release air bubbles. Then use a clean, wet cloth to wipe the rim of the jar. Place a clean kid on top, then screw a ring on until it’s what I call finger-tight; not too tight.

Put all the packed and lidded/ringed jars in your steam or water bath canner, and process for 15 minutes. Once they’re finished, lift them out and let them cool on the counter. You’ll know it’s a success when you hear the telltale pops of the kids sealing. Let the jars store at least 2 weeks before you go HAM on them.


Pickle Sticks
While I haven’t yet tasted the finished, processed pickles from this I did drink 3/4 of a cup of the brine It’s so delicious, and I think these are going to be awesome. The brine tastes kind of nutty and almost cinnamon-y sweet, sort of like bread and butter pickles.

9 cups sugar
5 1/2 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
8 tablespoons pickling salt
4 tablespoons celery seed
4 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 tablespoon mustard seed

Sanitize 8 pint jars. While that’s happening, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for about 5 minutes. Pack the jars while your mixture is boiling.

Once the mixture has boiled about 5 minutes, use a funnel to pour the brine over the pickles in the jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Clean the rims, then lid them. Let them process for 10-15 minutes.

We also made fridge pickles and relish yesterday, but I’ll wait to share those until we taste the product. Do you have a favorite pickle recipe? Please share it with me! We always like to try new things.

Pickling day! Plus a little about my Mary

That’s right! Between my own garden, my grandma’s and my parents’ it’s time to start pickling cucumbers. My friend Mary taught me how to pickle a few years ago, probably with the intent of teaching me so I’ll go out on my own.

But I won’t go out on my own. I puppy dog her, and it won’t stop anytime soon. OK, MARY??!

I’ll say all this before the pickling because otherwise she won’t read it and neither will you because it’s not nearly as exciting as the pickling. Well it is to me, but maybe not to you.

Mary and I met at work. She’s a librarian, I’m a librarian. While I was in school for my masters she gave me advice on projects. When we got smooshed together in the information services department and stuck on the desk 10% of our working hours we meshed really well. We didn’t really have a choice… So we realized how alike we are in weird quirky ways (like watching shitty reality tv, eating, reading the quirky stuff, etc.) and we just clicked. Or maybe I [desperately] didn’t give her a chance not to be my friend. My best friend. Is this creepy yet?

Anyway, yesterday we pickled cucumbers and garlic. So good! I have 5 or 6 pickling cucumber plants, and my parents and grandma have a few, too. I harvested a nice sized box of cucumbers and a few onions from our gardens and set out to Mary’s house.


We started by washing the cucumbers and onions, then we stuck the boys with the slicing job. Both Nate and Steve work in the food industry so they’re always good helpers :-). They cut the cucumbers longways and sometimes in half if they were big, scraping the mushy seedy part out on the bigger spears. They took some of the skinnier cucumbers and sliced them chip-style so we’d be able to make both types of pickles.






While Nate and Steve chopped Mary and I washed jars, found kids and rings to match, the set the jars in the steam canner to boil. We also started boiling the brine, a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water.


Mary also bought a big bag of peeled garlic which we planned to pickle. This stuff is like crack! The guys chopped the woody ends off and we had the cucumber chunks, chips, and garlic in separate bowls, plus a smaller bowl with a little bit of garlic and the onion slivers.




Once the jars and brine were boiling we got started adding the spices to the jars. We put some dill (fresh is always best, but we only had fried this time), mustard seed, red pepper flakes, and pickling salt, then we add some chopped onion and a few garlic cloves (although we forgot that part on our first batch this time). We’ve added grape leaves in the past to keep the pickles crunchy, but this time I think we used something called pickle crisp along with the seasonings.



Next we packed the jars with the sliced cucumbers. This part can be surprisingly tricky; it’s like a puzzle. You want to use slices that fit well with each other so that they’re packed tight. When the jars get nearly full we break chunks off and top them off. Next, we poured the brine in to about half an inch from the top of the jar.




After the jars are packed we wiped the rims with a clean cloth, the. Set the lid on top and put a ring on, just finger tight. We put the jars onto the rack of the steam canner, then put the lid on and let it boil for about 15 minutes.





Once the steam canner has boiled at least 15 minutes we pop her open and gently lift the jars out, letting them rest, cool, and *pop* on a kitchen towel on the counter.


And onto the next batch….

This weekend Mary and I did two batches of pickles (spears and chips), and one batch of pickled garlic. Yum! Our results look amazing… And I can’t wait to eat them. But not so fast! They need to sit and get really pickly, at least 4-6 weeks if I remember correctly.


I always have such a good time and learn so much when I pickle with Mary. When I’m going through it Mary is always there. When I think I’m going through it but really I’m just being sensitive or over analytic Mary shakes me sane. She’s a good no-nonsense friend, but don’t let the no-nonsense fool you, she’s one who actually cares. At work when we have to talk on the phone I often quickly and loudly tell her I love her before she can hang up, for three reasons: (1) because it makes her laugh awkwardly, (2) it makes others around either of us laugh too, and (3) because I mean it.




Figuring out what to plant

How do I know what to plant in my garden? It seems like each summer at the end of gardening season I have several thoughts that I swear I’ll remember next season. What did I plant that for? Why didn’t I plant that? Who knew caring for this plant would be so time-consuming? I think back to my first years with my own garden and wonder why I planted some things. Luckily, this trial and error process is a good thing, I’ve come to realize.


A few questions I try to ask myself when planning my garden:

  1. Will I use the produce? I try to ask myself if we will eat or use the harvest immediately or at all. My stepson asked last year to plant carrots and corn, which I wouldn’t have chosen myself, but I thought of ways I’d use the produce and have decided to grow them again this year. Win!
  2. Will I know what to do with the produce? I typically keep my herbs in pots because in the past my garden space has been more limited. I got a dill plant at the beginning of the season last year but we didn’t use it at all and it outgrew the pot and just died. Now I know a few things: we likely won’t use it early in the season, it doesn’t work well for us in a pot, and it went to seed quickly. Knowing those things will help us this year.
  3. Is it possible to preserve the produce of I don’t use all of it? I experience to more and more with preserving each year. I’ve received a few preserving books as gifts from my awesome mom and so I have new ideas and things to try. Some years some plants produce a bumper crop and it’s hard to figure out what to do with the produce. I try now to think ahead about how I will preserve the produce of each thing I plant of that happens.
  4. Will I use the preserves? After determining if I can preserve extra produce I try to ask myself if I will use preserves in that way. I have long been tempted to make mint or mint jalapeño jelly but I just don’t foresee us using it, so I never have. On the other side of that coin, however, if it’s something I want to try and I have the extra produce, why not? I might find we really like it.
  5. Will it grow in my garden? I was dead set on trying to grow artichokes last year. I craved them at the end of my pregnancy with Atticus as well as after and I still love them now. I know they aren’t easy to grow in Indiana, but I really wanted it to work last year, so I tried. And I failed. Lesson learned. But again, no harm done. Will it work in my garden? Probably not without some serious accommodations made for the plant. Will I try it again? Not any time soon, I don’t think… But you never know.
  6. How easy will it be to take care of? One word: artichoke. I wanted it to work so much, but seriously… I learned that the plant can take up lots of room, is a perennial that would need to be covered and protected in the winter in my plant hardiness zone (which is 6a), and can take a few years to produce. Is it worth it? Oh, God, how I would live to have fresh artichokes… but no, it isn’t worth it at this time.
  7. Is it appealing to me or my family in at least one way? My dad (gardener extraordinaire) often tells me I should just plant flowers in some parts of my garden, and it used to baffle me. Why plant something that doesn’t give me something? But I’m realizing he might be onto something… My parents have lots of different flowers on their property and I get totally jealous. So this year I think we will put some focus into flowers! After all they do give something: they give my parents happiness, and they surely will us, too. My mom often walks me around the yard at different times in the year and tells me about how she plants different things, what they’re called, and what memories they invoke for her. I want that in my life!
  8. Have I tried growing it before, and if so how did it go? Artichoke. Okay, okay… I’ll give another example this time. I do peas sometimes, but they never do much. They take up quite a bit of space in my raised bed, which is what I primarily use with spring plants, and they only produce a handful of pods a few times before they’re done. However, Trent loves to pick and immediately eat the fresh peas, and they’re fairly easy to take care of, especially the varieties that don’t need support to grow. Will I grow them again? Yes. Because Trent loves them it’s worth it to me, but I plant to do them differently this year. Nate has finished putting up the new perimeter garden bed and we just need to get compost and topsoil mix for it. With the extra space the peas will be worthwhile.

I used to get frustrated with my garden all the time. When things don’t work, when I don’t use all the harvest, when I want to do something particular but don’t ever get to it… all of those things frustrate me. However, I’m learning that gardening is about more than just the produce. I have fun working on my garden with my family, and we love watching the plants grow and produce. Nate and I enjoy talking about and planning for the garden. We love figuring out what we will use in different ways, and we love experimenting with different things since I love canning and preserving and he loves cooking. When we fail it’s ok: it teaches us what works and what doesn’t and what to do differently. Plus, working together as a family outside makes it all worthwhile.


Making My Own Fruit Leather

Well Saturday I ended up doing something I’d never done before… I made my own fruit roll ups!

In anticipation of planting time (it’s almost here! I think we might plant some stuff this weekend, in fact!) my library has purchased some new gardening, homesteading, and food preservation books. I picked up two of them last week, and got out several of the books from my personal library for Nate and I to peruse as we consider what to plant and how we’ll use our harvest. I love this part of the year! Anyway, I digress as usual…



One of the books I got from the library was called DIY Pantry, and as I was flipping through it I saw a recipe for fruit roll ups. I scanned it, and noticed I had everything it called for, including 2 cups of fruit. At the end of the season last year I made raspberry jam and ended up with 2 cups of fresh raspberries that I knew we wouldn’t use. I froze them and have had them in the deep freezer ever since. I see them every now and again and wondered how I should use them… enter the DIY Pantry book!

blender copy

First I mixed all the ingredients together in my blender. The ingredients included 2 cups of fresh or frozen fruit, honey, yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Then I thinly spread the mixture on my parchment paper-lined dehydrator trays. My innovative husband cross-cut holes in the paper so the dehydrator’s motor could sit down properly between the trays.

dehydrator layers copy

I left the dehydrator running for about 5 hours. The recipe suggests 4-8 hours, and I typically check my dehydrator right at the low-end of the time frame given, though I almost always end up having to keep the dehydrator on a bit longer. At 5 hours the fruit mixture wasn’t wet anymore and was just slightly tacky. I removed the sheets and tried to figure out how to cut them into sheets and roll them. While I was pondering I ate one whole sheet.

One. Whole. Sheet. It was so delicious.


I ended up cutting the sheets into triangular rolls, basically just like slices of pizza. I tried rolling the papers up, but they didn’t stick because I took too long to “ponder” and the fruit leather cooled too much. Oh well. I just put all the slices into a sandwich baggie, and have been having them as snacks or for part of my lunch at work. I’ve had a few friends try and they all love it more than I thought anyone would.

Score one more for the dehydrator! Looks like I have another way to use fruit this summer in addition to canning jam. This was so easy and cheap, too. I’ll be reviewing The DIY Pantry by Kresha Faber after I try a few more of her recipes. So far I’m pretty sold on buying a copy for my personal library.

8 Things I Can’t Wait to Plant……. And Harvest

I still can’t wait for gardening season. The time for planting spring stuff in Indiana is almost here. My spring stuff always seems to do better then my summer stuff, probably because I’m more energized and dedicated at the start of the season. With hardly any obstacles, who wouldn’t be? But with droughts and super hot temperatures like we’ve had the past few years, I just end up failing.

Not this year, though! I’ve got plans for using and storing my harvest. Here’s what I’m looking forward to growing.

Heirloom Tomatoes. My dad grows them every year and always has tons of volunteers that he starts in his basement. By tons I mean around 100. Though the summer section of my garden met its demise due to poor planning, I did get lots of tomatoes from my parents’ garden. I used my tomatoes and green beans to do plenty of canning with my preserving pal, Mary. There’s nothing like us in the kitchen during canning season! Heirloom tomatoes in particular are a favorite of my family because you can do different things with the different varieties, and everyone has a favorite. Each batch of salsa Mary and I made turned out deliciously different. With my tomatoes this year I plan to:

  • Eat them fresh (duh, so good)
  • Make sun dried tomatoes to have fresh, in olive oil, and frozen
  • Can salsa, diced and whole tomatoes, tomato juice, and maybe try spaghetti sauce


Peppers. All kinds! Green bell peppers, jalapeños, banana peppers. None of our peppers made it last year. Maybe I’ll talk about the incident later. Ahem. Anyway, I hope to do some green, some mild, some sweet, and some hot. This is how we’d like to use them:

  • Eat them fresh (always.)
  • Make stuffed green peppers and freeze some singly for lunches
  • Can some for pickled peppers, and use some in the salsa
  • Dry some for seasonings

Kale. I grew kale for a few years but haven’t for last two seasons. It tends to do well in the spring and fall, and growing it is fairly easy and very rewarding, as long as you have the patience to deal with cabbage worms. Kale is overlooked a lot, at least by me, but is delicious and super healthy; in fact, it is considered one of huge top ten leafy greens by WebMD. This is how I’ll be using my kale:

  • Eat it fresh (yes, you’re gonna see this from me each time.). Kale is delicious with a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Throw it in the juicer. I don’t juice often, but when I do, adding kale isn’t unusual for me. It. Is. So. Delicious. Also healthy.
  • I might try making kale chips. I’ve heard both awesome and horrible things. We will see.


Mesclun mix. So easy to grow, and again, so rewarding. I literally take a salad for lunch every day in late spring, once my salad greens have come up. There is nothing like a home grown salad, especially with radishes and onions from the garden. That’s pretty much all I’ll do with the mesclun mix, though.

Onions. We mostly just grow green onions to use in salads, on baked potatoes, on tacos, etc. we just pop a few in the ground every week so ewe have a staggered crop each for harvest all the time. I let them get kinda fat and then eat them whole and raw in my salads.

Heirloom Green Beans. I love them! While I don’t grow them on my property (the downfalls of living on a quarter of an acre in a neighborhood) we do grow them at my grandma’s and I pick a couple times a week. The heirlooms are bush and pole varieties. This year I plan to:

  • Eat them while picking. Fresh. So amazing and filling.
  • Make and can green bean pickles
  • Blanche and freeze them


Peas. Peas never do super-well for me, but they never do poorly either. We mostly just eat them fresh in salads, and the kids like them fresh, plus Trent loves checking for pea pods, so they’re worth planting for us.


Herbs. I love herbs, and plan to plant several kinds. I love rosemary, cilantro, spearmint, lemon balm, and dill. I hope to dry some herbs and look into other uses.

A really great website for gardening and produce questions and tips, check the Old Farmer’s Almanac’s gardening section.

I’m hoping to possibly plant potatoes, garlic, and squash for the first time this year. What are your garden staples? What are you planning to try for the first time? Come on, garden season!

Dehydrating Strawberries & Bananas

I hate letting stuff go to waste. Especially food. I hate letting it go to waste more than I hate letting it go to waist. HA! Get it? Ugh, it’s true, though.

Anyway, we eat lots of strawberries and bananas in this house. We go through them like crazy on and off… Sometimes Trent will polish a package of strawberries in a day and other times a package nearly goes to waste. Same with bananas. Actually, if I’m being honest, most of our produce either goes quickly or hardly at all and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. But, no worries 🙂

For Christmas my mother got me a dehydrator. I’ve used it quite a bit in the past few months and I love it! I tend to use it on produce that isn’t being used as quickly as I think it should, but I can’t wait until garden season so I can use fresh homegrown produce in it.


I had a package of strawberries that wasn’t going anywhere and an overripe banana so I decided to throw them in the dehydrator yesterday.

First I washed and took the tops off the the strawberries, then sliced the fruit. I slice strawberries into about 1/4 inch slices and bananas into 1/8-1/4 inch slices. The thinner the fruit is sliced the faster it dries. I have kind of found the thickness I like, but for guidelines try the Backpacking Chef website.


As I slice the fruit I lay the pieces onto the drying trays. It’s important to keep all the trays in the dehydrator, even if you don’t put food on all the sheets. Using less sheets doesn’t allow the appliance to work properly.


Once all the fruit is spread on the sheets and everything is stacked up I attach the lid, insert the drying motor, attach the clips that keep everything closed and together, and switch the dehydrator on. Strawberries and bananas at to the thickness I cut them to need to dry for about 12-14 hours. I check mine after a few hours and then again around 10 hours. And of course every time I walk past the dehydrator I take a whiff. The whole house smells fruity and fresh, but up close is even better.


The fruit is done when it is firm and not pliable but not crispy. It should have a good taste with no burnt flavor. It will look slightly shriveled. I let it rest on the trays for a few hours before packaging. Depending on when I plan to use it I either package in a sandwich bag or in a jar.


I usually just use dried bananas and strawberries alone as a snack, but they also go well with nuts and even some mini chocolate morsel thingies. Yum.

Sweet Potato Chips

I’m so exhausted from the PLA Conference this week that I didn’t have much on the docket for today, other than cuddling with my boys and making sweet potato chips.

I don’t buy sweet potatoes often, but I’ve been trying to eat a little healthier lately so I bought two not long ago. I keep forgetting I have them and decided to make both into chips so I can eat them whenever I want, instead of having to bake or mash them. I’ve made regular potato chips but not sweet potato chips so I’ve been eager to see how these taste. Turns out: They. Are. Amazing.


To make these sweet potato chips I used a Simple Slicer and Microwave Potato Chip Maker, both from Pampered a Chef.

First I washed and peeled the sweet potatoes. You don’t have to peel them, but I like them that way.


Next, I used the Simple Slicer to slice the sweet potatoes. The top piece has spokes to hold the produce on for easier and safer slicing, but I have to admit I just hold the potato with my hands. Keep in mind that doing it that way is not suggested.


Ideally you should use the sliding mechanism and the produce holder to slide the potato safely across the blade, set at thickness setting 1. Again, I do things in a way that will likely make me lose a finger one day. Anyway, next I slid the potato up and down to make thin slices.


Once I have several slices I lay them flat and without touching other pieces on the Microwave Chip trays, then stack the two trays on top of a each other.


Put the two stacked trays in the microwave, then heat for about 3 minutes. I do between 3-5 minutes, depending on how even my slices are. I check after 3 minutes and heat at 30 second increments after. Please note, my microwave is filthy. Don’t judge.


You want to make sure hung chips are crispy, not raw, but not burned. See the three differences below:


Sometimes I let the chips sit on the tray for about a minute after cooking to let them harden a little more. Luckily I have two sets of trays so while one set of chips on the trays is heating I can slice and prepare a second set, and let the set cool at the same time. It’s all about rhythm, baby.

When they’re finished, try not to eat them all at once. It won’t hurt you, in fact they’re quite healthy. But you’ll be sorry later when you don’t have them to snack on.


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Gardening Season

My favorite time of year is just around the corner… gardening season! It sure seemed to be moving into a more garden-friendly season yesterday, but today is dang chilly. Anyway, I love the end of spring and beginning of summer because my garden has begun and I’m not tired of it yet. I can see the harvest on the horizon and I’m still way into it.

I need to sit down and figure out what we plan to grow this season. Last season we had a setback when we accidentally weed-treated the garden. Oops. This year we plan to use the compost we’ve been collecting and, well, composting, to nurture our garden. I may even *gasp* test the soil! Maybe.

The past few years my dad has cultivated a variety of heirloom tomato volunteers from previous years. My pal Mary and I love making salsa (she’s the pro, actually. I’m just the canning hand) and last year’s heirloom tomatoes made delicious and gorgeous salsa. So tomatoes are a must for this year’s garden. I always like to do a mesclun mix and onions also. Last year I had peas that did decently, so I might do them again, and my carrots were actually fabulous, so I’ll do them as well. I’d like to do a few varieties of peppers as well for drying and pickling, and possibly some garlic, which I’ve not done previously. I’d also like to do potatoes, which I understand are super easy, but I’ve never done them before.

I’ll definitely do some herbs; we use lots of mint, rosemary, basil, and cilantro, and I’d like to try sage this year so we can possibly make our own sausage. Now that I have a dehydrator I can more quickly and easily process some of the herbs, too.

Can’t wait! What are you looking most forward to planting and harvesting?