Setting Food Aside: What We Preserved This Year

“How great soever our abundance may be, however well filled our cellars and granaries, we must still ask for daily bread, for we must feel assured that all substance is nothing, unless so far as the lord, by pouring out His blessing, make it fruitful during its whole progress. For even that which is in our hand is not ours except in so far as He every hour portions it out and permits us to use it.”

— John Calvin

November is here again. This autumn was one of spectacular color and beauty! The leaves were more beautiful than I’ve seen them in a number of years (at least they were here in Missouri). As we settle into this new and chillier time of year, I’d like to give you an inside look at what all we preserved from our summer garden.

Our goal this year was to grow enough paste tomatoes to supply our family with a years worth of tomato sauce. We accomplished that goal and are so very grateful to the Lord for the abundance! While we met this particular goal, we’re still not able to grow everything we need to feed our family, so you’ll see a few items that were outsourced.

I am humbled to know that all the hard work and long hours we put into this food over the summer months will continue to feed our family throughout the bleak winter. Every jar holds a memory for me. I’ve written an entire blog post explaining why this years tomato sauce is so special to me (read it here!). All of this food tells a story and I enjoy reliving each of them as I utilize the harvest months later.

Anyway, enough chit chat. Let’s take a look at my pantry!


Freezing is one of the easiest methods of food preservation. It also keeps fruits and vegetables as close to their fresh-form as possible. I’ve noticed that certain foods just don’t maintain an appetizing texture or flavor when canned, so I choose the freezer for this kind of produce (carrots, for example). I like to freeze diced tomatoes after I discovered they do not can well. Plus, the tomatoes can finish thawing in a soup or stew. Just run a bit of hot water over the bag to loosen them up enough to removed them from the bag. The sweet corn we preserved this year came from my grandpas farm. We receive enough from friends and family, so we chose not to grow our own. As you can see, the freezer is a fantastic way to preserve food from the garden. Just makes sure you have plenty of freezer space and maybe even a back-up power source just in case (no one wants to lose all that hard work!)

-Sweet corn: 10 quartz
-Pop corn: 2 quarts
-Diced tomatoes: 3 quarts


Canning was our main method of food preservation this year. I’ve gathered a substantial supply of pint-sized jars, lids, and rings over the past few years in preparation for the garden abundance. My husband even completed a canning shelf project just in the knick of time for this years canned goods. Tomato sauce was our focus for canning this year since we use it quite frequently in cooking. Every tomato that we preserved grew in our 50×50 foot garden. Our goal was to grow enough tomatoes to supply our family with a years worth of tomato sauce. I’m proud to say that we accomplished that goal!

-Tomato Sauce: 36 pints

-Diced tomatoes: 4 quarts and 6 pints


I added a whole bunch of new herbs to the beds around my kitchen door this year. Read all about the plans I have for my Herb Garden right here! I must say that while I did establish a lot more herbs in these beds, I did not take full advantage of harvesting them as I should have. The summer simply slipped away from me as two boys under two years old, 40+ tomato plants, and a home to tend took higher priority than harvesting my herbs. Perhaps next year I will do better in this regard! A few of the herbs that I did harvest included:


“In many ways, the act of preserving food is an act of humility and trust. We freeze and can and dry and pickle our green beans because we believe god has a future for us. winter will come and we will need them.”

— Hannah Anderson, Humble Roots

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