My last garden post was two months ago, and that definitely wasn’t on purpose. But, you see, in late August and through September, I’ve been quite busy. It wasn’t uncommon to have my kitchen island looking like the photo above. Which necessitated pictures like the ones below.
A dear family member warned me in the spring when I was working my hiney off that it would get worse in the fall when the harvest began coming in earnest. Boy, was he right.
If I skipped even one day of harvesting, my okra would get too large to eat. But, it wasn’t the harvesting that was so much trouble. It was preserving the bounty. I froze and canned, froze and canned. And of course ate fresh. One night Matt’s remark was, “squash again?” Another comment was, “We may not have anything in the pantry to make a full meal, but we certainly won’t run out of pickles!” He was right.
If you’re curious, here’s my latest count of items I’ve canned for the winter:
Green Beans – 15 pints
Dilly Beans – 3 pints
Stewed Tomatoes – 2 pints
Salsa – 6 pints
Spaghetti Sauce – 6 quarts
Jalapeno Jelly – 13 half-pints
Tomato Sauce – 2 pints
Dill Pickles – 7 pints
Dill Relish – 4 pints
Hamburger Dill pickles – 6 pints
Sweet Pickle Relish – 8 pints
Sweet Pickles – 3 pints
Okra Pickles – 2 pints
That was just from my garden. I also canned banana peppers, peaches, muscadine jelly, and more green beans that others gave me.
Have you ever canned anything? Whew! It’s incredibly rewarding, but INCREDIBLY time-consuming. I just canned my sweet pickles yesterday, which was my very last canner load for the season.
In addition to canning, I froze umpteen quarts of freezer pickles (I stopped counting), 10+ quart bags of okra, and 8 quart bags of squash. That’s to eat in the winter, although I’m so sick of fried okra and squash I wonder how long it’s going to take to want to eat it again!
I also dried my homegrown herbs to last me through the winter.
One thing that was priceless in the garden:
My children loved getting involved. Alyssa snapped beans with me, and they both helped pick the veggies. We made lots of memories together, and they both got a great hands-on education.
As did I. 🙂
I do have a fall garden coming along, though it isn’t the scale I would have liked. I simply didn’t have the energy to put a full effort into it. What I get, I get.
What’s next? I will be evaluating each crop and making adjustments for next year. My plan is to blog on each crop, not only to help me collect my thoughts but also to share with you what I’ve learned my rookie year.
All in all, I couldn’t have asked for more my first year.