The First Summer Harvest

Hi, HAPPY Summer!  I realize that I haven’t been as good about blogging lately as I normally am.  I have a lot on my plate and I thought I would share what I’ve been up to – just in case you’ve been wondering where I am.

My vegetable garden is incredible this year and canning season has started already – it’s about 3-4 weeks early this year.

Thursday afternoon, after work, I went down to check things out and discovered that many of the beets needed to be picked and turned into pickled beets.

the beets are out of controlRight click to enlarge image

Right click to enlarge image

Friday afternoon, I took off early and headed for the garden.  I picked about half of the row which resulted in filling a 20 gallon cooler and half of a 5 gallon bucket.

Saturday morning, I broke out the trust canners (and some other huge stock pots) and set about the task of cooking and slicing the beets

the trusty cannerRight click on image to enlarge it

Right click on image to enlarge it

After they were all sliced, the canner was just about 2/3 full of wonder beets!

sliced beetsRight click on the image to enlarge

Next, I dragged out the biggest stockpot that I own and make the brine.

the brine pot the brine

The result – 16 lovely quarts of pickled beets on a 90+ degree day on Saturday with no air conditioning (because we usually don’t need it here in Vermont)!

After that was done, it was time to pick the first of the cucumbers, blueberries, and the raspberries – on yes, and cut the rhubarb before it went by.

All in all, not a bad first harvest of the year 🙂

the harvest
For any of you who would like to make pickled beets (on a smaller scale of 4 pints), here is the recipe, and I swear they are the best pickled beets ever!

Spicy Pickled Beets

4 lbs beets

3 cups thinly sliced onions

2 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups water

1 tsp salt

2 cups sugar

1 tblsp mustard seed

1 tsp whole allspice

1 tsp whole cloves

3 sticks cinnamon, broken

Wash and drain beets. Leave 2″ of stems and tap roots. Cover with boiling water and cook until tender. Remove peel, trim ends, slice. Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes. Add beets and cook until hot throughout. Remove cinnamon sticks. Pack hot beets into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace, ladle hot pickling liquid over beats, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust 2-piece caps. Process 30 minutes for pints (40 minutes for quarts) in a boiling-water canner. Yield 4 pints.


4 thoughts on “The First Summer Harvest

  • Well you know Rox, you could always come to VT and have some blueberries yourself and I’m sure that whenever you get here there would be something to can at the rate the garden is going 🙂

  • Rox


    Your garden looks AWESOME!

    Everything down here is burned up; but your’s looks amazing. When I see what you’ve canned it makes me miss those days! I still have all the equipment, so one of these years I might just have to put it to good use again. I know you are just starting, so my mouth will be watering for months to come … 😆 !

    Eat a few blueberries for me 🙂

  • Hi Annie. Yes, the garden is pretty good sized but then I do a lot of canning, freezing and preserving. It’s so nice in the winter to go grab something that has taste (compared to what I can buy in the store).

    Come to Vermont, I have enough cucumbers for both of us I think. I picked 6 more last night and a gallon of blueberries. Sugar snap peas will be tonight or tomorrow as well as more raspberries. Peppers, zucchini and yellow squash could be the end of the week. Tomato plants are just loaded with little green globes.

  • Nancy, Your garden is amazing! It looks huge! No wonder you don’t have time to blog. I don’t even have even one cucumber yet here in Oregon. Thanks for sharing! Annie

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