It’s a messy, sweaty, steamy and sometimes sticky work; but the fruits of our labors are certianly worth the hours of labor.

With summer winding down, canning efforts have increased so that our cupboards will be stocked for fall and winter.  Here on the urban homestead we try not to purchase any canned food products – except for canned organic tomato paste (maybe this year I’ll make our own but we’ll see how well the second crop of tomatoes does first).   Yeah, really.  No other canned food products and our pantry is proof of that.  If you walked into our kitchen and opened the cabinets, you would not find any store bought canned goods.

Yesterday was busy day on the urban homestead.    While the guys were out working in the garden and taking a few trips to get supplies (more on what they are working on later), we gals were putting up more jam and pickled squash.

These are the days we live for – days where work is productive and purposeful.

Jelly (or pindo) palm fruited for the first time this year.  When the stalk was full of creamy white blossoms the bees were having a nectar field day.

Jelly palm fruits harvested and ready to make – guess what? Jelly!

Jelly palm fruit jelly.

Actually, having never tasted a jelly palm fruit before, we were pleasantly surprised at the taste – a delicate mixture of apricot and orange flavors.  The fruits made a scrumptious, tropical jelly (Jelly Palm Jelly Recipe).  It was soooo good in fact that there was a little leftover in the pot and everyone couldn’t resist sticking fingers in to get a good lickin’.

Summer squash

Zucchinis in pickling mixture waiting to be canned

I am having to make sure we have plenty of these pickles on hand (even asked Justin to plant a second succession of squash)   Why?  Jordanne has an obsession for these pickled treats, especially when having a grilled cheese sandwich.    If you aren’t a fan of summer squash then these pickles will convert you – trust me!  Just ask Jordanne….

Did a bit of experimenting with the summer squash pickle recipe and used tromboncino (trombetta) squash.  This is an Italian summer squash that is versatile as a summer AND winter squash (shown here, Jordanne’s hugging one)  Yeah, told you she’s a squash convert.  hehe

Next, some lemon syrup (thanks to Freedom Gardener DuaneD for sharing his surplus)

All stocked up!  The entire kitchen cabinets are filled to the brim with the homestead’s harvest.


  1. Andrea says:

    Your final picture is like a scene from my childhood. We’d spend summer and fall days in my grandma’s summer kitchen, canning, drying and freezing produce, and the end result would look like your pantry. Just beautiful.

  2. Cindie K. says:

    Please write a cookbook!!!!!!

  3. Mavis says:

    Better than money in the bank!

  4. Susan says:

    I’ve never canned or pickled anything yet (it’s on my list of skills to learn) but those squash pickles sound intriguing. I’ll have to try them.

    You could pole-vault with that squash in yesterday’s picture!!

  5. LaVonne says:

    Thought you’d enjoy this – Immigrants grow piece of home in garden plots. This urban farm is a couple of miles from me. Yay, more food security for the inner city!

  6. Carl says:


    Wow that is so inspiring! I really need to learn how to can. Palm fruit?? never heard of it looks so delicious. I went vegan this year and really enjoy eating new and exciting fruit and veggies.

    20x30ft Organic garden in Anaheim

  7. Greenie says:

    I’m new around here. Love the blog. Inspiring! I’ve fallen in love with canning this year. I never knew how to make jam or preserve anything before. I thought it was a complicated process – but once I realized how easy it was, I wanted to can EVERYTHING! I’m intrigued by the lemon syrup. What do you use it for? I saw a recipe in my Ball Home Preserving book for lemonade concentrate that I want to try – is the lemon syrup similar? Care to share a recipe?

  8. DuaneD says:

    I agree with Cindie K.

    I have a place on my shelf for your new cookbook!


  9. Veronica says:

    I’ve been lurking through your old blogs and such for a couple weeks now. I hve to say, you’ve turned me onto and inspired me to completely delve myself into researching becoming self-sufficient. My fiance and I rent a little apartment in a town in Ohio, but hope to someday move to our own land and completely homestead off the grid. Your cupboards are beautiful! I hope that some day mine will look just like that! Thank you so much for inspiring me.

  10. Michelle says:

    This looks absolutely beautiful…very inspiring!

  11. Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings says:

    That jelly looks so good!

    I love, love, love the last picture of your cupboard!

  12. Djuna says:

    Eeek – will those jars be ok in an earthquake? (and I echo the comments – beautiful and satisfying sight to behold!)

  13. @}-,'--- says:

    I am so insprired but I know nothing about any of this. Would you please do a series of blog posts that would guide the beginner urban homesteader?

  14. Maureen says:

    Ditto (sort of) on Greenie’s question….what is lemon syrup and what do you use it on???

  15. CE says:

    Some readers might like to read a magazine called “Countryside”. Check out your library or go online to view a bit of what they have and order a trial subsctiption. ( No I do not work for them). It is written by people who read the magazine and are doing things at home to be more self sufficient. Some have animals or gardens. Some are working on energy projects etc. None are “experts” but they have real life experience on what has and has not worked for them. It is a fun read. Many live on small lots and dream of more space but live as then can right now. We can all do something to improve our self sufficiency and to shrink our carbon footprint a bit.

  16. mary says:

    What great photos! Are those pickled eggs second shelf in the last photo?

    This is my very first year to can anything. We have already tried three kinds of pickles, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce… and tomorrow we attempt a mixed berry jam!

    I wouldn’t have come this far without the regular instruction and inspiration of the PTF.

    AMEN to the joy of productive and purposeful work!

  17. Mary Hysong says:

    Ooohh envy you those cabinets, mine aren’t half that big ;-( But the ones I do have are very full of home canned goods, tho much of it was fruit on sale at the store and not homegrown. Next year will be much better!

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