The first round of harvesting the garden has begun and I can not explain how excited I am. Now I plan to explain everything we have been fortunate enough to harvest but right now we are in the deep throws of the summer garden. So many tomatoes!!!! I just picked a good 20 tomatoes on Tuesday and then Wednesday I picked abut 30 or more! All different varieties but we have to say this has been our best tomato year yet! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and let’s start from the beginning!
We started off with planting Garlic last year in November. May was our harvest month. We pulled all the garlic and found some varying sizes! For our first year ever with growing garlic I have to say that I am really proud of how it went. So proud that we plan to plant a lot this next year! I would say we may have had 3 total spots that were planted not actually flourish. To which was not a bad outcome at all!
In April we attended a Lavender class held at our friends homestead, The Seed That Sprouted. She hosted High Country Lavender to teach us all about Lavender. From planting to trimming to harvesting, everything you can imagine. I learned in that class that I have never planted Lavender correctly! Haha! Oh well, that was the point of the class. But from that class I have planted two lavender plants. One is looking great. It is still pretty small but the other is looking pretty sad. I am praying for a miracle but its still looking a little questionable!
Also in April and May we planted the entire garden! So fast forward and since doing that we have harvested beans, potatoes, blueberries, blackberries, cucumbers, radishes, beets, herbs, tomatoes and peppers. The berries all went straight to our bellies. I think honestly one round of each may have gotten into the house. It was such a great mid day snack while you were working outside and the kids just loved coming up and eating whatever they wanted! Next year we will be working on keeping that minimized just a tad bit more so we can actually can some items!
As for everything else that we harvested, we have done the following:
Beets: Canned plain
Radishes: pickled and canned
Beans: Trimmed, snapped in smaller sizes and canned. One batch was sent through the freeze dryer!
Potatoes: One batch was sent in the freeze dryer. The majority is still sitting in my house. Haha
Herbs: Lots of Dehydration and fresh use
Peppers: Still sitting in the house and needs to be attended too soon!
Cucumbers: Bread and butter pickles, dill pickles, and cucumber salsa. All canned.
Tomatoes: Diced into the cucumber salsa, and ketchup! All canned.
Coming up we have some corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers and continued herbs. The goal with these items are as follows:
Corn: Canning and possibly a little freeze dryer
Cucumbers: I need to come up with some new ideas!
Tomatoes: Pasta sauce, ketchup, and paste.
Hot peppers: Hot sauce!!!!
Now the biggest thing I have found is that even though we have planted a ton of tomatoes and hot peppers, I sadly think we will have to make some market runs to finish these goals. We are truly blessed with all the tomatoes but to actually get a years worth of items, we will need to support some other small farmers! Now for the hot peppers, we have a lot that are growing but we have had a massive amount of animals issues in the garden. This has lead to not all of our hot peppers to grow. The one I was absolutely hoping for were some Anaheim Peppers. We may have one plant at most that has grown but I don’t know for sure just yet. So we will supplement in with some market finds. Last year we roasted the Anaheims on the smoker and then proceeded to make hot sauce with it and this is my absolute favorite smokey warm “hot sauce.” For myself this sauce is not too hot. Just a very nice warming sensation in your chest.
So we are for now in the swing of the summer garden but shortly we will update as the fall garden is about to start! Hint we are also expanding the garden space yet again! We have a few fun things happening soon and I can’t wait to share them all. But for now I must go as this week is the week that I pound out the work to extend the garden! By the time this has been posted I am hoping that I will have started the process!