Preserving Summer: The Benefits of Canning and Preserving Produce

FREE chapter of Canal House Cooking, Vol. 4 below!

The bursting flavors of summer fruits and vegetables can be made to last all year by canning and preserving them. Canning can brighten your pantry throughout the year, extending the life of perishable produce and utilizing those fruit and vege ‘gluts’ that can sometimes occur when growing food at home.

Quince Jelly Recipe, Apricot BBQ Sauce Recipe, Mandarin Marmalade Recipe

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Cress, Straw and Other Things

Well the cress is doing really well, but the alfalfa is taking a while to sprout. Might have to try that one again. With today’s heat, many of my seedlings were looking really worse for wear, so I went out in the middle of the day (bad timing i know) and mulched the garden. I didn’t really want to do it just yet because everything is still so small, but I didn’t have much of a choice today.

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Summer Fruit Harvest

Our backyard is completely filled with fruit this summer.

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In Love with Loquats

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Spring Legume Harvest

We picked a heap of our peas and broad beans today. The peas have gone crazy lately and the yield is rather impressive for only 2 to 3 rows of peas (and overall I only sowed about 15-20 seeds!!)! Only a few of the broad beans were ready – the plants are loaded but most of the pods are still a little too small to pick. We had some of the peas tonight for dinner – which were so delicious that we didn’t even bother shelling them, and cooked them whole. We plan to freeze some of these, too, to eat while we’re waiting for the next crop.

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Tips and Jobs for the Springtime Vege Patch

A cats-eye view of the vege patch.

A couple of days ago I extended the vege patch to double its original size. You can see part of the change in this picture (the bare-soiled part on the left of the picture being about 1/4 of the newly cleared space). This mainly involved some weeding and raking up of fallen leaves and branches from the eucalypt canopy above. It looks a bit bare at the moment, but I’m waiting for the seeds in our small greenhouse to germinate and provide us with seedlings. It’s still a bit cold here, too, so I’m waiting for a touch more sunshine to warm the soil before I start planting those seeds which do best planted directly into the ground (e.g. silverbeet). Jackie French has said that the ground is warm enough to plant in to in Spring when you can sit on it with bare buttocks without any discomfort. I don’t want to blind the neighbours so haven’t personally given this a go, but I can tell by walking around with bare feet that it’s still too cold here to plant some things.

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Early September Garden Photos

Spring is truly amazing. Trees which have looked dead for months suddenly burst with blossoms and tiny fluorescent green or red leaf buds. The peas in the vegetable patch have grown 1.5 to 2 metres tall within the past few weeks, and the broad beans are covered in flowers. It’s that time of year when gardening is easy; life abounds. All of the hard work of previous seasons starts to pay off, with well-mulched and fertilized fruit trees bearing the flowers of future harvests, and the vegetable patch brimming with lettuce, turnips and parsley. In the next few weeks we will begin to establish our summer garden – with tomato, capsicum and squash seedlings soon to flourish in our small greenhouse.

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Citrus Harvest


How to Make Liquid Fertilizer with Chook Manure – Early August Gardening


It’s only August and the garden is already blooming with colour and life. Although most of the seeds in the vegetable patch have taken a while to germinate in the wintry weather, they’re getting there, with a good sprinkling of blood and bone followed by a big dose of our homemade liquid fertilizer, last weekend, about to give them a big boost.

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