It is that time of year we all look forward to, harvesting or buying Summer and Autumn produce.
And it is also the time when new work and school commitments set in, establishing new routines for the week.
What to do when you see the zucchini’s growing by the minute, the herbs need harvesting and the fruit trees are laden, only weeks away until they are ripe? Or you are at the Farmer’s Market and see beautiful fresh produce, knowing it won’t be available next week because it is the end of the growing season.
It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything ?
Take a deep breath and remember that theory I go by…a big problem is only a series of smaller problems or hurdles combined.
Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do.
The more you do the more becomes possible because you have already done so much, bit by bit the job gets done.
Ten things you can do:
- Before work or school, when you are having your 5 minute walk around the garden, pick a small bunch of herbs. As soon as you are inside take a cake cooling rack, lay the herbs in a single layer and leave them on the kitchen table to dry. Total of ten minutes maximum, gentle moments during your morning.
- At the dinner table start a conversation, What are everyone’s favourite jams, chutney, pickles and relish? After dinner get a family member to write the list and put it on the fridge. It is pointless making things when no one will even eat it. Everyone becomes invested. The list becomes a guide and a plan is formed, the outcome is your pantry is stocked with everyone’s favourite preserves.
- At washing up time after dinner get a family member to collect all the empty jars and matching lids, even if they sit on the kitchen bench until the weekend when you plan to make your preserves, the jars are there and remind you of your plans.
- Have a no tv before work/school rule. Studies show that children who don’t watch tv in the morning before school are more focused in the classroom. We noticed when we implemented the no tv rule with Lil she became even more focused (so did we) and weather permitting we have time together outside in the garden. This time could be used helping thin fruit on the branches your child could reach or picking fruit.
- Make a list when your fruit trees need harvesting and keep it on the fridge. A quick glance can help you feel more organised and on top of your planning.
- After dinner one night get your recipes out and write a shopping list of the ingredients you will need to buy on shopping day for your preserving. This could be an after work/school project for another family member.
- I can’t emphasis enough how important I feel it is to have every family member involved in what is age/stage appropriate for them. You spend a lot of time with an older family member? What were their favourite recipes? How can they be involved? Is it washing the fruit, reading the recipe out to you as you are making the preserve, keeping you company in the kitchen?
- Making preserves doesn’t have to be an all day affair that everyone doesn’t look forward to or you feel is a burden. Make small batches that fit into your routine/lifestyle. You will find more tips in my free ebook Preserving the Harvest.
- Just because you tried a zucchini pickle recipe last year doesn’t mean you have to use the same recipe this year. Think about the sugar content in a recipe, are you happy with that amount in your food when you wouldn’t consume that much in another recipe? Find an alternative. Just by googling a recipe you can learn so much.
- Keep your preserving recipes in one place, a blank note book, a folder, a file on your computer. You don’t use these recipes everyday, so when it comes to that time of the year when you need them, having them all together in one place makes the job already easier.
Remember, what we put energy into expands. Little by little, step by step, breaking things down into doable jobs gets things done. Happy Preserving!
Sending Light and Love, Jude x
Preserving at harvest time.
February 19, 2020