Y’all have been with us this whole summer and watched as we processed so much produce. But let’s take a moment and recap what all we have actually accomplished and what our fall and winter is planned out to accomplish. So this blog we are going to do an overall recap and a planning session in one!
This summer was the year of the tomato. Now before I get far into this blog I gotta say, I had a good laugh when I found out my friends father had the same garden plan this year and next year we have the same goals. Next year is the year for the pepper!!! Any who, let’s get back to this year! The year of the tomato really did not disappoint. We managed to plant 150 tomato plants and from those plants we were able to fully restock our shelves with ease! With the tomatoes we did the following canned items!
- Pasta sauce
- Tomato Soup
- Cocktail Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Salsa ( a few different ways)
- Tomato Pies (chilling in the freezer)
- Marinara Sauce
This is just on our tomato front. We also did some jams after we went berry picking at different berry farms.
Im not going to lie, I am writing this while in a coffee shop so I can’t actually look at our shelves as so what we accomplished and I feel like I am forgetting some of the items. But oh well! This summer was very prolific with the garden but now we are slowly moving into the fall garden. While it may still be fall garden time we do have a few things left from the summer garden that is still going strong. We have our luffa plants and pepper plants going strong. Also we have a strong frost coming up (this is written on Halloween so it would be this evening) so our game plan is to cut all the luffa and cover all the peppers. Today we will be harvesting all of the peppers we can or that are close enough to the size we want and the rest we will cover and see if we can get them through the cold.
Fall garden though has been a tad bit rough but I can’t complain! We have had some pumpkins green beans and squash plants that have pulled through for us. While it’s not the fall garden we do have some plants in the greenhouse that we have growing. We have some luffa plants and tomato plants in the greenhouse growing. This is a new thing for us this year so we will see what goes on with them. But so far we have those plants and we have cut luffa on shelving to dry out.
With the green beans we plan to just harvest and eat a majority of them but also can some if we become overrun with them. The pumpkins we ended up just using as decorations for the house since we only produced a handful of them. But with the hot peppers we are going to be making some hot sauce. I am so ready to get that started!!! Now with this and I highly recommend y’all join in, we like to smoke the peppers before we turn them into the hot sauce. It gives the sauce such a delicious smoky quality but also kind of makes it an additional flavor profile to it. My absolute favorite would be the Anaheim or Jalapeño hot sauce that we smoke. Both are just down right amazing! I think next year that will be my goal to plant more of those two plants and produce a ton of hot sauce.
So now, plans for the fall besides what all I have talked about! With the mentality of trying to better my health we are going to continue to make Kimchi in big batches but also we plant to start Kombucha, Yogurt and Sourdough. Yogurt is the one that I really want to try but if we don’t get to it this year then that is going to be just fine. We definitely though will be doing the sourdough and getting all the recipes going with this one. Thankfully we are surrounded by lots of sourdough lovers so I feel like I have many people to reach out to if I have questions. So far I have been able to do standard loafs and granola, but this round, I want to try doing cinnamon rolls, muffins, cookies, different loaf types and honestly I will most likely find more to try as I look!
The Kombucha and Yogurt are two things that I am hoping to get to but I am not trying to overload the plate and not be able to actually enjoy a more relaxed winter. So these are on the table of ideas but am I dead set to actually make them happen, no. But I will say I have been craving Kombucha a lot lately so it is a strong possibility that I may end up making it! Haha! But this winter we are going to focus more so on fixing my health and creating better habits for myself. If we do so in the slow season, my goal is that I can carry it along in the busy season.
Fall and Winter in the Shenk household looks a little more chill but we are still going to be tinkering with things on the homestead. The goal is to relax but also enjoy what we are doing.