Monday, July 28, 2008

Harvest Season

Why wait until fall? Let's celebrate the harvest season now. Locally grown produce is highlighted in the following account of my harvest to date.

Already harvested
I can't keep up with the green beans. I am filling the freezer with parboiled tender beans but I had a lot of big tough beans. Yesterday I decided to make soup stock with the beans. I added the squash clubs, tomatoes and cabbage given to me by my father-in-law, some aging celery and carrots from the fridge, an onion, and garlic. Steve suggested I throw in some beef so in went two neck bones from the beef we purchased last winter. I ended up having to use two large soup pots. I cooked it down overnight and this morning removed the solids and am now boiling down the stock to freeze for soup base next winter.

Last week, my son, his girlfriend and I picked 15 pounds of blueberries. I flash froze them and now they are in the freezer waiting for me to make blueberry pancakes, blueberry cobbler and add to my breakfast yogurt.

My father-in-law gave me 6 green peppers from his garden. We don't eat a lot of green peppers, except as flavoring. So these have been chopped, flash frozen and put in little baggies for future use.

My squash and zucchini plants didn't make it. They just withered away. But don't fear, I have a bounty of zucchini from family and friends. They are piled up in the fridge and I suppose I will make zucchini bread, which my husband likes so much.

Going back to the spring crops, I have enough chopped rhubarb frozen for two pies and several bags of spinach.

Soon to be harvested
Early this spring, there was a garden blogger challenge to plant something new in our vegetable gardens. I didn't respond, but it did give me the courage to plant five 12-foot rows of sweet corn. The silks are turning brown and soon I will be awash in fresh corn.

For some reason, I planted 12 Roma tomato plants. Oh, I remember, I was going to make sauce. Other green tomatoes waiting to be harvested in include pink brandywine, volunteer cherry tomatoes and a heirloom green striped tomato. The last tomato was from seeds I saved last year, another first for this new vegetable gardener.

I have 6 cucumber vines and have harvested four cukes already. When these start coming on fast, I want to make bread-and-butter pickles again. My family loved them last year.

I'm hoping the red peppers mature with the Roma tomatoes so I can add them to the sauce.

I have six red potato plants in tubs. I'm adding soil and waiting for new potatoes. Aren't they suppose to ripen with green beans so I can make my mother's German potato salad?

The blackberries are starting to ripen and within the week I should either freeze them or make jam. I'm also checking on the grapes. There are large clumps but still a solid shade of green. I planted red raspberries this spring and one is forming berries. I suspect all that I will harvest will be eaten as they are picked.

I think that is it. I should be busy this next month or so, but will enjoy the fruits (literally) of my labor all winter long.

1 comment:

Jordana said...

Your garden sounds very productive. I'm a wee bit envious of your harvest, although I admit that I cannot keep up with the few things I have going in my garden these days.

I'm also somewhat comforted to know that I'm not the only one whose zucchini wilted away to nothingness.