Show us part of your harvest!
Show us some of your harvest this year in this thread. No mater how small, it matters. It’s much, much better to be 5% ready to grow your own food than not at all.
Example: Above are just some of our pickled, canned homegrown jalapenos. We also made cheese-stuffed ones that are in the freezer, and there are more on the way. Lots of seed saved for next year.
Below are some of the greens we grew this year: oak leaf lettuce, black-seeded Simpson, basil, “drunken woman” red leaf lettuce (or “red sails” – not sure which the red one is in the pic.) Not shown: dragon’s tongue kale, broad-leaf parsley, red romaine. We’ve learned that greens have to be loose leaf in the South to foil insects. We saved an incredible amount of money on salad ingredients this year! And, again, we’re saving seed.
Here’s part of our first really good asparagus harvest, done up as a stir fry.
Our quest for a spinach we could grow in USDA Zone 8a is over. We discovered that sweet potato leaves cook up just like spinach, plus you get sweet potatoes. Below is a spinach pie made with our homegrown, cooked, chopped sweet potato leaves out of the freezer.
Also in the above photo are some of the phenomenal yield we had from our muscadine grapes. This basket full became a couple of grape hull pies. We also have concord grapes and those became jelly.
No pics but was also harvested blackberries, rosemary, lots of dried basil (lots of seed, too), bell peppers (still producing), Jerusalem artichokes, a few apples (the trees are still saplings), and many herbs.
There were some disappointments this year. Squirrels got most of our strawberries and we will be moving them away from the woods like we did to get the lettuces away from the rabbits. Frost killed our mulberries (great in pies with other dried berries), blueberries, and brown turkey figs, but a neighbor let us have their honey figs. We put up lots of fig jam and dried the rest. We had to go to a sheltered blueberry farm that had not been frost-killed instead of our yard to pick those this year. We have dehydrated blueberries from last year, though.
PS – Our tomatoes did not do well this year, so we bought some and canned those. I just used some of this batch of sauce in some stuffed garden-grown bell peppers.
If you have no growing space you can still do things like shop at a flea market fruit and vegetable vendor (half the price of a supermarket) or at a farmer’s market and preserve your own food. Our state farmer’s markets sell produce for 1/4 the price of a supermarket but you have to buy large quantities…almost too much to can before it goes bad, and it’s 8 miles away whereas our flea market is less than a mile from home and I can buy sane quantities. That’s also where we got Kirby cucumbers to make pickles and relish.
So how did your garden do this year?
Season is not over yet here. Deer got into the garden, so many things were killed or delayed this year.
Successes were : garlic and onions, smaller crop of garlic as I had to buy new seed garlic, but it grew very well, very large. Inchelium Red was variety, I have been cooking with it and have the largest and best set aside for seed, double what was planted last year. Onions were started here from seed, set out, and a good harvest, now I am seeing which of the 2 varieties store the best, New York Early and Newburg were the varieties. ( Deer dont eat garlic and onions ! ) Most of the tomato plants regrew from the eaten stubs, and I have been eating them and am overdue in needing to can them !
This is a realy good berry area, and we harvested alot of raspberries and strawberries in the spring. Blackberries also, and have berries in the freezer.
This has been a canning week, 12 quarts of apple juice canned. 9 pints of lentil soup earlier this week. And, tonight, 14 pints of gypsy soup are still in the pressure canner. That was alot of chopping this afternoon, fresh tomatoes, garlic and onions from my garden went into this. The tomatoes are overdue on needing to get canned, I hope I can get to it before I have losses. Last month I juiced some of the muscat grapes and started some wine. The persimmons are still to come, in about a month I think. There are fresh apples in the refrigerator and alot of apples given away. I spend alot of time making hard cheese which is one of my most calorie dense yields.
Including fruit preserves, resishes & salsas, hot sauce, goat milk soap, and carrot cake made from our carrots, eggs, and cultured goat buttermilk.
Deer left your onions and garlic alone? Insects got ours. I had no idea that cutworms would kill onions and potatoes so we had to replant. These will get collars like I do for tomato plants.
Wow, Bytesmiths quite a haul put to good use. I've heard of farm to table, but not living room to table 😉
Wish I were nearby, I'd grab some of those squash.
Our pepper plants are producing beautifully. We've been putting them in salads, making stuffed peppers, and cooking things that need them as an ingredient, like western omelets. But we're not going to be able to eat all the fresh green bell peppers in time. Peppers are okay pickled, and eh dried, but retain most of their nutrition and taste when you freeze them. So today I froze some. Above, I'm cutting them up, dicing them. Note the seeds I am saving on the left in the bowl.
Next step is to put them in boiling water for one minute, to kill bacteria. This is called blanching. It makes the food last longer in the freezer.
I drained the blanched peppers on a spatter screen above a saucepan. Then they cooled a while.
Then I put the finished product in pre-labeled Ziploc bags, air squeezed out, 1/2 cup per each since that's what I use most in recipes. These snack-sized bags will go in a gallon freezer bag so they don't get lost in the freezer. I'll do this a few more times in the next couple of weeks. And so, I may not have to buy any bell peppers at all this winter, just like last year.