The Weekly Digs #123

by Becky

Short and sweet update this week because I need to get back to canning 🙂


We were under a heat advisory all this week! I couldn’t spend a ton of time in the garden because of the heat. I did, however, get quite a bit of canning and dehydrating done. All the prep work is indoors for the preserving. I still do the actual canning outside which helps keep it nice and cool in the house.

With this first big harvest of tomatoes, I made pizza sauce. I did 15 pint jars of that. Once I finished (I worked on it over a couple of days) I went outside and had lots more tomatoes that were ready to harvest. I had mixed feelings of excitement and overwhelm!

I’ll probably do some spaghetti sauce next because it’s such a large amount of tomatoes that I just harvest all at once.

I also did some pressure canning. Yesterday I made 7 quarts of white chicken chili (recipe from THIS book). I could have canned a few more jars because I doubled the recipe but instead I cooked the extra for dinner. It was tasty but I think I’ll do a little less cumin next time.

I made 7 quart jars of canned chicken bone broth today… and counting. I’m waiting for my  canner to get back down to zero pressure as I write this so I can do another batch. I wanted to get a bunch of the carcasses from our butchering last week made into broth so we would have more freezer space.

In the Garden

We’ve been slowly working on weeding, adding hay, and fertilizing all our berry plants. They need some attention for sure!

We harvested over 100 pounds of tomatoes this week. 

Other harvest items include sweet red peppers, cucumbers, summer squash, arugula, and basil/ other herbs.

My sister Amy and I got a row cleared and she helped me plant my fall carrots. We covered it with burlap and I’ve been watering about 2-3 times a day to keep the soil moist and the soil temperature lower. I really hope they will still germinate in the hot temperatures here.

Carrot row

The only really big bummer from this week is that my watermelon isn’t going to make it. I think the cucumber beetles in combination with the heat did the plants in with wilt. I have several medium size watermelons that I will probably still harvest and eat, even though they aren’t that sweet yet. If they are really yucky I’ll feed them to the pigs or chickens so they won’t go to waste.

I planted some cantaloupes about 3 weeks ago that will mature (I hope) before we get a frost that will be a good alternative to the watermelons.

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Kaleigh August 1, 2021 - 8:47 pm

Where do you get your recipe for the pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce? We attempted a spaghetti sauce recipe and it is not very good so I need a good recommendation 😆

theseasonalhomestead August 15, 2021 - 12:36 am

The spaghetti sauce comes from “The Amish Canning Cookbook”. Here is a link: I can the spaghetti sauce without meat, (there is a specific recipe to do it this way). It’s a good one. The pizza sauce comes from a book called “Brown Eggs and Jam Jars”. Linked here: I noticed for some reason the book went way up in price, it shouldn’t be that much. The used ones on Amazon are a better deal. 🙂 I really like the pizza sauce and do many jars of it every year.

Katie C. August 2, 2021 - 11:58 am

I’m not in your league quantity wise but I canned 14 quarts and 8 pints of tomatoes in juice. 85 minutes seems like a lot of WB processing time but that’s what the Ball book calls for so I go with the flow. I’ll do Ball’s Zesty salsa another weekend. I’m waiting for my jalapeños to get bigger. Unfortunately, I’ll have to buy tomatoes for that at the farmers market. I almost forgot, I froze several quarts of sauce a couple weeks ago.

We are over loaded with summer squash and zucchini. That has to go in the freezer since there are no safe recipes except for relishes. I’ll blanch yellow squash slices and grate up zucchini in two cup measures to freeze.

I also need to make jalapeño jelly for my crazy sister but that’s down the road.

Happy gardening!

theseasonalhomestead August 15, 2021 - 12:38 am

That’s awesome Katie! Sounds like you’ve been busy!

Beety August 9, 2021 - 12:25 am

Becky, I’m new to your channel/blog…where are you located ( just the state/zone) I’d like to know so I can see if we have similar weather patterns, I am fairly new to gardening ( this is my second year). We are buying 9 acres and will be planting a new orchard next spring ( or should I plant it in the fall?). So much to learn!

theseasonalhomestead August 15, 2021 - 12:41 am

I am in Arkansas, zone 6b. Congratulations, that’s great! I’ve always heard that fall is the best time to plant trees. But I planted all of my orchard in the spring because that is when they sell the bare root plants online.

Wendy Hall August 23, 2021 - 6:57 pm

Seriously Becky you are such a hard worker! You are that Proverbs 31 woman!!!!

theseasonalhomestead September 5, 2021 - 3:49 am

Thank you Wendy! I appreciate your kind words 🙂


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