The idea of canning 100 pounds of tomatoes into sauces, salsas and pastes seems like a lot of work. It is, however, a really pleasant task. The smell of fresh picked oregano, basil, garlic and other seasonings fills the house. Our hands are covered in oils from the rosemary we have been stripping into the sauce. The whole experience is a delight for the senses. On top of that, the house fills with a sense of abundance as the pantry slowly fills with another year's supply of healthful, organic food.
We've been doing this for several years now. At first it was a bit of an experiment. After a couple of years we realized there was no way we could ever go back to buying commercially processed foods again. Each jar of food we put up amounts to about $6 in cost savings (at least).
When all is said and done, it will take us about 3 days to put up a years worth of deliciousness. We'll get tired. Our backs will hurt some of the time. But mostly we will focus on the amazing bounty that comes from the Earth and how simple little things like stripping rosemary picked fresh from the garden can be such a delightful experience. Then we will rest and be able to enjoy the results of the effort for all of the next year.