My tender bulbs are stored in a cool dark place, even though I have a love/hate relationship with them. They are harsh mistresses, beautiful but demanding. My tender annuals are potted and mostly adjusting to the indoors. I'm ashamed to admit that I still have some peonies and cinnamon ferns waiting to be planted, or at least heeled in for the winter. But I did manage to can the pears given to me by a co-worker. These are winter pears and very tasty. I think this is the second time in my life I canned anything and all six jars "pinged."
I had a little rant going in my head about how I buy "perfect" fruit in the store, but am pleased to receive "real" fruit from local orchardists. As I was leaving my local garden market last summer, they asked me if I wanted a bushel of peaches free. Because of a few blemishes, they were destined for the trash but she knew, and I knew, that they were perfectly fine if you just cut out the bruises. We had peach cobbler that evening and the rest are in my freezer. The pears weren't perfect, but we munched on them for several weeks as they ripened and I have six pints for this winter. What didn't feed my family, fed my compost. The same is true of the free apples I get. I wouldn't buy them in the store, as I search for only the most perfect specimens, but I am pleased to get a bushel from my brother every year. Of course, most of these are varieties that you can't find in the grocery store. Makes me want to go plant a few fruit trees.