Finally!! The harvest time is coming to an end!! I don't want to sound ungrateful, because I am not! But having a garden that produces at such massive amounts (for it's size) is a LOT of work!!
We picked the rest of the tomatoes and pulled out the plants. Whew! Overall, we estimated that we got around 400lbs of tomatoes that we could use off of 10 plants! There were lots that we rotten by the time we picked etc but those werent counted in that total. And just for sake of keeping track, we bought them as small plants at the co-op and they were called "jet stars".
This is the final pick...greener ones on the left and more ripe ones on the right. Now I might have a few days to relax before starting on canning these!! With the others, we've canned diced tomatoes, stewed, sauce, juice, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, and salsa!
Our peppers weren't as plentiful, only about 4 peppers per plant is what we got, but they were good!! They stayed green for a long time, & actually most are still green but some have ripened to red and look beautiful! They also were from the co-op as plants and were called "red knights".
Our watermelon has been great too, giving us a bounty of them. We've only picked 2 but they have been delicious! Nathan said the first one was the best one from the garden he's ever tasted! Two hills planted, seeds from the co-op, producing around 10-15 watermelon.
And oh the zucchini!!!! I am still drowning in zucchini. So much zucchini!!! I have been freezing most of it but am running out of room. The favorites to make is zucchini casserole, zucchini bread (both reg & chocolate) & the new fav, zucchini cobbler that tastes EXACTLY like apple. Yum!!
Only 2 hills planted.
The tangled web of a little snipet of our zucchini plants.
We've given up on our cucumber bc there was so much and it grew so fast that we couldn't catch them while they were good & little anymore. Once they get too big they aren't much good. We still find little ones now and again but Nathan will pull them tomorrow. We canned quite a bit of pickles though.
We also got massive amounts of green beans which we've canned & froze. Peas did ok, although we just ate most of them. But the one thing that grew amazingly huge but didn't produce any heads is the cauliflower! We still have to research why that was so we are still not sure?
You can tell the size compare to that gallon bucket. Huge leaves, no cauliflower!
Overall it was a great first learning year. We learned we need a bigger spaced garden!! :)
During the end of June, we had a big storm move thru central MN, causing major power outages around our area and the twin cities. Nathan and his crew got called out "on storm" and were sent to the cities to help restore the almost 600k without power in the metro. Since he was going to be gone for a few days (we weren't sure how long) & miss his time that he usually would come home, I decided to take a trip down to the cities to visit him. And I decided to take Tiernan with me! :)
When the guys go on storm, they get put up in a pd for hotel room an since the usual not-as-nice motels were full, they got sent to a nice Radisson hotel! Perfect timing! So Tiernan and I kept in contact w Nathan on the drive down who kept texting me with the locations they were at. We had to visit him on the job so we could get the hotel room key first. It was nice to see him in action :)
Tiernan had to sit in the bucket truck and try on dads hard hat.
Then since they work 16+ hour days on storm, Tiernan and I got to do whatever we wanted to for the whole day!! It was so much fun not having an agenda and being able to go wherever we wanted! We did a LOT of thrift store shopping. Tiernan was such a trooper too, whenever I'd go into the dressing room, he'd count to see how long it took me and if he behaved, then I have him a couple sweet tarts. Win win for both of us!
I ended up getting a lot of clothes for so cheap! Like this unusual shirt...
We also played in the pool, well, Tiernan mostly and ate at Tiernans favorite place every day for lunch, Subway. He still talks about how we ate subway for 3 days in a row!! :)
And since Tiernan was my "goodwill spotter", we stopped at a couple stores where we scored some awesome wall decor like this map, huge canvas, and the starry night canvas we were wanting!
Only 9.99!! And already custom framed by hobby lobby!
It was a fun weekend and we were both glad to see dad at night, even if it was only or a half hr or so before we all crashed! (& Nathan was happy to have me bring the electric skillet so I could make him scrambled eggs and veggies with fruit in the mornings :)
So our garden this year is quite crazy. It has the biggest plants that we have ever seen. It's overgrown on itself and there is absolutely no room between rows, even though we planted them 3 or so feet apart. Our tomatoes have grown so big they can't support themselves and the cages and steaks we have in cant either. They have even grown up and through our pepper plant cages! Our zucchini plants are 6 feet wide and almost to my shoulders in height, and FULL! Nathan picked a whole paper bag full of beans last wknd, even though we only have one small row of beans! He picked a half of a bag the wknd before last and before that. The neighbors garden just 20ft from ours is doing nothing like ours, just small little plants with just a few things on them. Her peppers didn't even grow this year and ours has huge bells on them. The only way I can explain it is the organic compost we got brought in for us from a farmer that we know. That's the only black dirt we got and wow! Has it made a difference!
Here's our jungle of a garden! It's not very organized but it's VERY full with fruit & veggies!!
Our zucchini have been growing like crazy and since it's been a few days since picking, this is what I got just this morning!!
We also have peas, cauliflower, watermelon, and cucumbers. I just canned my first batch if pickles the other day so we'll see come fall if they are good!
This doesn't really hafta do with the garden but I finally put our beef liver to good use!! For the past couple cows that we've order a 1/4 or 1/2 from, we decided to take the liver bc it's so good for you, but who really wants to eat liver? Not me!! Esp after smelling it... So what's a person to do?? Encapsulate it of course! So I took out about 5lbs of liver, cut it up, dehydrated it, ground it in to powder, encapsulated it and now we take them as supplements!! And best part, no taste!! Liver is super good for you (organic grass fed) chock full of vit A, vit Bs (esp B12) iron, protein, copper, the list goes on. I'm going to sell my services to encapsulate these too, just like I do for placentas! So keep the liver next time you get a cow from the butcher and let me know and ill make it into simple capsules!
5lbs of dehydrated ground beef liver....which will make a gazillion capsules! I did 200 the other day and it didn't even make a *dent* in the powder. Wow!
Today is the first day of school for the 2013/14 school year for Tiernan and Caedmon! Brayan's first day is tomorrow :)
They were excited although apprehensive about being the "new kids" again. Caedmon said he liked the other school better because he knew all the kids. Well, honey, you didn't know any of those kids the first day either! We will pick them up in about an hour so we'll see how it went! Here are some before school pics!
Tiernan loves his uniform. He says he wants a pair of those pants to play in and a belt to play in too! Caedmon hates them and says they are too stiff! Lol! I'm thinking he'll get used to them :)
Then after they got their supplies out & organized in their "office".