The freeze dryer would have finished about 3 a.m. so I added another 5 hours to it last night before going to bed. I was able to stop it before 8 and get the food in jars, vacuum sealed, drain the oil, add fresh oil for the next load.
When I first got the freeze dryer, Vince used an old canner to make a vacuum chamber and it has worked so well for vacuum sealing jars.
From this load I ended up with two quarts of eggplant, five half pints of peppers and 8 half pints of pico.
I’m most happy about the peppers. I now have 30 half pints of bell peppers and each half pint probably has at least 3 bell peppers in it. That’s more than enough to last me a year. I can’t make stuffed peppers but for most everything else I want to do with bell peppers, that works. I doubt I get many more bell peppers. This heat has been rough on them.
The pico .. those 8 jars are all I have. I’d love to end up with 30 jars of that but . . slim chance.
The eggplant will go into caponata and that’s what Vince likes. I don’t like it but I make it for him. I’ve put up 14 quarts of eggplant and each jar will make enough for probably three servings of caponata.
My little garden has been great this year.
Paula Nordt says
The one time I tried a raised garden was a total flop. Combination of poor dirt selection (mostly that!) and a late start. I live about 15-20 minutes southwest of Houston, Texas. Between the bugs and heat and poor dirt, it just wasn’t worth it. I might give container gardening a try later on. I don’t own a freeze dryer, but I would like to learn how to can, plus would like some fresh produce. I’m so happy that you have a great garden this year!
Judy Laquidara says
Bugs are a problem everywhere but there are some non-toxic ways to control them. We had Japanese Beetles here, then June bugs, and the tomato hornworms have been relentless. It’s not stop work to keep the bugs picked of and the hornworms squished. Not everyone loves canning but I enjoy it a lot and love seeing jars of food on the shelves, not having to think about them spoiling in the freezer if the power goes off. I started gardening in the 80’s and it was a rare summer that I didn’t have a garden and only got the freeze dryer several years ago. It’s nice for some things but it uses a lot of electricity and it takes about 3 days to run and get what I got out today. One summer I canned 80 quarts of green beans – that would never happen with a freeze dryer (not that I would freeze dry the majority of my green beans anyway). So . . you plant a garden and learn to can. Your biggest obstacle will be finding canning jars so you know you can do this.