Every little bit counts.

A while back I started following a challenge I saw on Instagram, the #everybitcountschallenge and I have found so many fantastic blogs and You Tube channels this way.   Seeing jars full of produce on shelves always did make me happy!   Some even have jars full of dried and freeze dried flowers.   Their shelves look like a florist shop in jars.  😍  It has given me so many new ideas! 

Jessica from Three Rivers Homestead started this challenge.  You can watch her recent update here at Preserving Food Everyday.   Jessica has seven children and a big garden so doing a little each day helps her keep up with the produce coming in and managing homeschooling as well.   Her videos are just lovely.  

I like to preserve in small batches as I have found myself in messes I might never get out of when I attempt too much at the same time!  There have been days though that more than one thing needs doing immediately or fruit will be lost.... on those days I will just keep going to get it done.   We each have our own circumstances and we soon figure out what works for us but overall I think consistency,  taking every opportunity and keeping at it really add up in a remarkable way! 



We are at the end of winter.  I have been able to grow quite a bit and have Spinach, Chard,  Silverbeet, Broccoli, Parsley, Celery and Beans all to harvest.  The main growing season though is Spring and Summer which I am getting ready for.  I also have eggs coming in every day.   Some of you are at the end of summer going into Autumn and are very busy with produce.   Growing is not our only source of food to preserve or put away though!  As Patera says (on Appalachia's Homestead with Patera) there is no shame in the game!  A good deal, a trade, foraging,  gleaning,  a farmers market... whatever,  it doesn't matter!  It all adds up.  It all gets you ahead.  And there are many reasons to want to be ahead right now.  My friend was telling me about the power prices in the UK and what they think it will cost to heat their home this winter.   The prices are completely daunting and happening at the same time as food prices are also really high.  This is also the case in much of Europe.  The Guardian had a headline last week "When food shortages bite.  What to eat and drink in the age of empty shelves."  Here the electricity prices are so high at the same time as the food.   Wherever you look the warnings are there but now even main stream media are saying something.   How good a well stocked pantry would be to fall back on in these times...  or in any time of illness,  job loss or financial emergency.   The ultimate difference is when we can take care of ourselves we can help others.   Because you were busy as a bee you are not worried you are prepared!


It does not matter how you preserve your food.   It can be purchased canned or dry goods.   You might can,  dehydrate,  freeze dry,  freeze,  pickle,  ferment or a bit of everything.   Sometimes the work will be in repackaging and portioning.   It all counts!


Sometimes we will be taking a step and getting the ball rolling ie I am harvesting celery.   Next I wash it,  let it dry between two clean tea towels...  then chop and dry in trays over the fire place.  Finally it is placed in jars to condition then last I will seal and vac seal the jars.  Not all steps will be complete in one day.  Steps count!  


I will meet you back here next Monday and I hope to have preserved something every day.   If you wish to join in you can in anyway that works for you.  Maybe weekends are your only time.    WHATEVER works for you is just fine!  I am just motivated by a challenge and it is fun to work along side friends.   xxx



Comments

  1. I love Jessica’s channel and wanted to join in too… initially I thought there’s not much point, it’s winter here in VIC and I don’t have much growing, but just a few days ago it occurred to me that I could can meat. I bought a pressure canner years ago and it’s been in storage (we were living overseas) I’ve unpacked it and all the bottles and I am feeling led to get busy with it! Pork is cheapest here at the moment so I will start with that. I’d like to buy a dehydrator (lent mine to a friend while I was overseas and it seems to have gone missing) so that’s on my “to buy” list. I’m glad there are other like minded people here in Oz who feel the need to prepare ourselves for what is to come. I will see how much I get done this week and look forward to seeing what you get put away! Joy xx

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    1. Dear Joy, I am in SA and it is the slow time for sure but like you say we still have options. I have been buying pork too as it is such a good deal compared to everything else and it is really good. The fire is going so I can dehydrate next to that for now but once the fire is no longer needed I will run my dehydrator again. I am up and running... I started yesterday. I had some left over yoghurt so I took that and made it into a big batch of fresh yoghurt. I am going to freeze small batches so I always have yoghurt starter. Today I put on another batch and I am making a big spaghetti sauce so that I can made a couple freezer meals plus dinners for the week. I also have my celery drying. I havent thought about tomorrow yet! Many thanks Joy, love Annabel.xxx

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    2. Joy, I can plain chicken and it is such a blessing. Chicken soup, stuffed bell peppers, chicken pot pie, chicken tacos or enchiladas in no time! Plus my husband eats chicken breast with his dinner each night. Forget to defrost? Open a jar!

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    3. This is also a great time to can our dry beans! They will be all ready to eat and they are so delicious! I canned black beans in Quarts for the chicken tortilla soup that we like in the winter. This will save time and money for every batch. Most beans are in pints but I also do a few half pints of pintos and black beans to add to nachos or salads.

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  2. Dear Annabel,
    I just love these special, encouraging posts. You are always very productive and accomplish much.
    I have been dehydrating spinach this week. Much of my past week went toward cooking and planning. This week will be another week of dehydrating herbs. I, also, need to get the beet greens and chives processed, plus the beets pickled and canned.
    We had a major grain elevator burn down last week in the U.S. That is over 100 farms, food retailers or grain suppliers that have burned down in the U.S. in the past nine months. Very suspicious.....
    I am so concerned about many of the elderly where we live. Utilities, groceries and gas are eating up their savings.
    Have a wonderful week.
    With much love,
    Glenda

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    1. Dear Glenda, Thank you! I saw about the grain plant during down. Yes at this point there are too many to be accidental... if yo also count the explosions in fertiliser, gas, fuel plants... as well it is just incredible. I am concerned about the elderly here too. If electricity uses up their budget then food is going to suffer. EVERYTHING going up at once means something has to give. I would encourage everyone to check on their elderly family and neighbours and ask if they are managing ok. I hope you have a great week too, I aim to be very busy! With much love Annabel.xxx

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    2. Glenda, I am also suspicious of the many food plants destroyed under weird circumstances. Praying you and yours will have all you need.
      Much love, Patti in Cali

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    3. Thank you, Patti. We have been stocking for years, so we are okay. I pray that you are well stocked, also.
      We have a good garden this year, but it will, probably, be our last big garden. My husband, at 75, is wearing out trying to do the heavy work. I am 73 and canning takes me so much longer than it used to take.
      I encourage everyone to grow what they can, even in pots, if necessary. Fresh food will be so important going forward.
      When governments try to shut down the food supply, there is only one goal; controlling the people into total submission. Sadly, much evil is afoot in today's world.
      May God bless you abundantly.

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    4. Hopefully the bill to raise all Social Security checks by $200 a month will pass and they will get the money out ASAP. We are retirees on SS and it sure would be a help.

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  3. Our summer here in the Ohio is going to be over soon, but we have been making sure that every single spot that we harvested something from is replanted right away. Because of that, we have autumn beans and peas and lettuce really popping up! A friend at Church knew that Dave had inadvertently sabotaged my garlic crop when he was putting in new block sides on one of our long veg beds by digging up all the dirt that help my garlic seedlings and piling it out of the way. So she gave me a gift bag today with a pint jar of honey from her bees and a paper bag with some beautiful garlic heads that I will break into individual cloves and plant on Sept 1 for next season! What a sweet surprise!!
    I canned 7 pints of salsa this week and remembered to save the tomato skins after blanching them in the process. Those tomato skins filled 3 dehydrator trays and after they dried I powdered them in my smoothie blender and now have them in a half pint jar (with plenty of room left over for more.) I vacuum sealed the jar and will keep doing this every time I blanch tomatoes!! LITTLE bits are still little BITS!! https://pin.it/3N5YdCk. In our faith, we have a Scripture that says: “ Out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” I think by doing little bits, we will have something great!

    Thanks for your encouragement!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

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    1. Dear Garden, Your garden is so beautiful and so productive!! What a nice gift of honey and garlic! The tomato skins are full of goodness. I confess I have never peeled a tomato! The salsa sounds beautiful. I think small things, things done daily, consistency... have great power! I love that! With love Annabel.xxx

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  4. This is a great post and shows that all those small activities add up to a lot. This week Bluey got a whole rump on a good special. This went through the mincer and into the freezer. Francis picked up another rump for his sister and minced it. He dropped it off to her as a surprise last night. It was most appreciated.
    I have been dealing with passionfruit. I've made cordial, icecream syrup and passionfruit butter/curd. I have lemons that will be made into cordial and curd in the next few days.
    In the garden I have been saving seeds for our next planting. I have bak choy, tatsoi, rocket, coriander and various types of lettuce seeds all drying off and waiting to be bagged up. I think this counts towards this challenge as it is for future foods. It is also part of the preserving of the harvest.
    It cost us $200 to fill the almost empty tanks of the Patrol(4WD) yesterday. Thank goodness we dont use the car too much and this fuel will last as a while. Francis has given my electric trike a service. I have been out on it a number of times of late. I think it will become my number one mode of transport.
    Looking forward to seeing what others are doing and learning new ideas during this challenge.

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    1. Dear Jane,
      I think Francis doing that for his sister was just wonderful.
      You put those Passionfruit to very good use. Delicious too!
      I need to quiz you on how you use Tatsoi as one of my collections of seedlings from the swap table is Tatsoi and it has grown so much.
      Fuel is daunting and another 20c a litre will be added soon to diesel thanks to the gov. I think the trike is excellent! I have managed something each day and excited to report on Monday! With love Annabel.xxx

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  5. Dear Annabel
    I did this last year and got so much put up. Yesterday (Sunday) I put 2 quarts of base for cream of zucchini soup in the freezer and 4 trays of basil in the dehydrator. I have planted more chard and have fall lettuce to plant. I found some zucchini seeds that have fruit that is ready to harvest on 49 days that I planted and am now harvesting them and hope to continue for a couple of more months. Today I will be freezing cauliflower and have some garlic to dehydrate. Blessings Cookie

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    1. Dear Cookie,
      I wish I knew of this challenge before last Spring, I love it! You have loads going on! All the zucchinis will be wonderful! Your freezer and shelves will be filling. Just fantastic! Thanks so much Cookie, with love Annabel.xxx

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  6. Just love this, we all need to build are homes. Lots to think about.
    Thank you for all you do Denise.

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    1. Thank you so much Denise! xxx

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  7. We are putting every bit that we can away for leaner times. Last week we canned pork stew instead of beef because the pork was 1.49 a pound. The vegetables are getting more and more expensive every week so we saved today's price in jars.

    I know that in general those of us who live this lifestyle don't do much eating out but we have found that in some cases it is less than cooking it at home when we can use a coupon or special deal. In the US you can download the McDonald's app and get a few crazy breakfast deals. There is always a BOGO breakfast sandwich coupon. The McChicken biscuit is $1.59 here so with that coupon we get two for that price. Sausage biscuits would be two for 1.49. On days that we have a bunch of errands to run this is less than eating many breakfast foods at home. We bring our own coffee. Every receipt here has a survey to take and get a free beverage. We use two receipts and get two large sweet teas without ice. They are very sweet so we take them home and brew some unsweet tea to add to the McD tea and make a whole gallon for just a couple tea bags.

    When I have an ingredient to use up I often do an internet search. I had a quart of plain yoghurt in the fridge so I checked and found a biscuit recipe. They were not our usual recipe but they were good and used up more than half of that yogurt. The rest will be used in a muffin recipe that I found.

    We have salvage grocery stores here and it helps to follow ours on Facebook because they often post great deals and new arrivals.

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    1. Dear Lana,
      Pork has been probably the best deal here also. So we have had pork once or twice a week lately.
      I think some treats and eating out are a lovely break. Especially on good deals as you say. I love to add yoghurt to muffins. Plain yoghurt is good for Naan bread too. And the tip to follow stores on Fb is a great one! I have found out about all kinds of specials and deals this way! Many thanks! With love Annabel.xxx

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  8. Thank you for a great post and reminding us that no matter how small it all adds up. Day 1 today, had olives languishing in brine in the shed , been there for months. Today I completed 8 jars of pickled olives! I have made a dent in them! Thanks Annabel!

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    1. Well done on the olives! xxx

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  9. Dear Annabel, this is a fantastic post. I am trying to follow as much as I can. Thank you for writing about Three Rivers Homestead, I think you and Jessica are amazing! Today I was working on tumeric, yesterday was eggs. I am trying to learn new skills and trying to use things up at the same time. It does feel good! Lots of love, Lily

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    1. Dear Lily, I am trying to learn new skills too. It is good fun as well! Good work on the tumeric and eggs! I have eggs coming in each day. I am dreaming of a freeze drier! I just watched Jessicas weekly report. I learn something every time! With love Annabel.xxx

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  10. This is a wonderful concept and a wonderful challenge. I harvested some coriander from the garden this week and as I don’t own a dehydrator, I have it drying between a couple of old sheets on top of the spare bed! This is a tip I got from Pricilla from Montana Haven, she grew up Amish and this was something she learned growing up! I’ve dried herbs quite successfully this way (as long as you have a spare space to lay them out)

    The concept of doing little things consistently is so applicable to all manner or tasks, gardening, cleaning etc. It really breaks work up into small manageable chunks.

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    1. Dear Cheryl,
      That is a great way to dry your herbs! I agree with you... the bit at a time makes everything much more manageable. It helps me in the garden so much. Thanks so much! With love Annabel.xxx

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  11. This past week I have fermented tomatoes; fermented capsicums with cucumbers and onions; made jars of red tomato chutney; jars of strawberry jam; and dehydrated ginger and calendula. Every day just one thing to preserve food, and the rest of the day tending the garden and homemaking. The shelves are filling with nutrition. :-)
    I enjoy Patera's channel. No nonsense! :-)

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    1. Dear Jenny, You have so much going on in your kitchen! The Strawberry jam would be beautiful. I love chutney! Everything sounds so good and your shelves will look wonderful with all those jewel colours! There is so much joy in it as well! Patera just cracks me up I have adopted so many things she says. Chloe had things said to her which were discouraging and I told her dont listen to those people they wont help you feed your babies!! You know where I got that! How true! Many thanks Jenny, with love Annabel.xxx

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