End of Summer Regrets (or, Green Things I Failed to Do)

Reading about Life Domestic’s Little House on the Prairie-style adventures in canning peaches and the Lean Green Family’s overabundance of tomatoes filled me with a tinge of green regret.  After finishing Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I should have been all revved up to harvest local fruits and vegetables and preserve them all for the wintry months ahead. . . . Yet somehow it didn’t happen.


What did I miss out on this summer?

1. I didn’t plant a garden. We moved into our new house in late June, and after all the unpacking it was too late to get anything in the ground. Next year!

2. I didn’t go to U-Pick farms. There was really no reason we couldn’t have gone to a berry patch to pick some local blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. This is something I did pre-baby that I need to do now, especially since Audrey’s finally old enough to enjoy it.

3. I didn’t process my own fruit and tomatoes. If I’d had the foresight to do numbers one and two on this list, I would have canned, cooked, and frozen much of my summer harvest. (Not that I have ever canned before. But I am sure I would have done it . . . right?)

The good news is, I can still do some of these eco-friendly activities as the weather grows cooler.  I could plant a winter garden, which I’ve done before without much success.  (Okay, to be honest, I do not want to try this again.  I just have to accept the fact that I am not a gifted gardener.)   However, I can still take advantage of the fall harvest.  Yesterday both Proverbs 31 Living and Bring on the Lloyds dazzled me with their tales of finding free apples from Freecycle and turning them into applesauce, apple peel jelly, and potpourri.

At the very least, I vow to visit an organic farm for apple picking and jack-o-lantern hunting this year.  My daughter can frolic through the apple orchards and tumble through a pumpkin patch– and she’ll be able to chow down on applesauce and pumpkin bread all winter long.

Don’t forget to enter our Vegan Lunch Box giveaway!  Just a couple days left!


  1. I too felt like I fell short of my own summer fantasies for food preservation, but I did do few things this year that inspired me to do more next summer. We picked organic blueberries at a small farm here in town and found the whole experience to be really lovely. Roscoe pushed tiny toy tractors through the dirt while Jett and I tried get as many blueberries in our buckets as possible before Roscoe’s nap time.

    We also planted our tomatoes in the front yard this year, amidst our regular landscaping and found that they did much better up there with the abundant sunlight. It was easier than trying to get all my raised beds built in early spring and the tomato plants look rather lovely next to our mums!

    As for canning, it is my obsession! I really, really want to learn how to do it and get all the gear, but so far I haven’t found the time. Maybe next year we can get together for a harvest/canning event Rebecca!

  2. We used to can tomatoes growing up, yet somehow the process still seems extemely daunting! So yes, Joy, we should get together for a canning party. I need to overcome my fear!

  3. This was the first year that we canned, and I’ll definitely do it again. I liked that one post about pureeing and freezing basil–I need to do that before my basil dies.

  4. Add me to the list of those who fell short of my goal. As always my ideas exceeded my time and energy. BUT, I did do more than previous years so I think it’s better to focus on how much more you’re doing than you used to instead of how you didn’t do everything you hoped to do. I will NEVER do everything I hope to do because I think too much.=)

  5. Cathy, thanks for reminding me of Dorothy’s tip on Thrifty Green Thursday! I can only dream of having an overabundance of basil. I am going to start a garden next year, and basil will go in it for sure. Having “too much” of anything is my fondest wish!

    Eileen, you’re right! I do need to focus on what I’ve accomplished instead of what I’ve failed to do. I’ve been keeping a list of my latest green accomplishments, and already it’s quite impressive (if I do say so myself). I plan to turn it into a post one of these days!

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