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Harvest celebration thread!!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Post pictures, or just tell us about your harvests, both grand and modest.  Wild or from your garden or farm?  From a u-pick farm or the farmer's market or *coughCostcocough*?  orngtongue.gif  Did you do preserves?  Freeze?  Dry?  Eat fresh?  Toss it to the chickens?  Save it for next year's seed?  Have a recipe to share?


Have fun!

Edited by SweetSilver - 7/15/13 at 4:32pm
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Surprise wild blackberry harvest.  Always handy to have a hat on hand.  This is the Pacific Dewberry, Rubus ursinus.  Known in the pioneer days as "Devil's Shoelace".  Took about an hour to pick these, not enough for a pie, and not enough time anyway.



Everyone seems to refer to these as "the little wild ones", which mystifies me.  Mine are often and inch or longer, like these: 



Ahhhhh, my favorite!  Now All I need is a pie crust ready and about 3 hours to pick myself a pie's worth....

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

We had a late start to the garden because the slugs were voracious (we need nocturnal ducks!)  But FINALLY we've graduated from the long stretch of greens and into out first green beans (actually scarlet runner--we eat them as green beans and they are the best), the first tiny zuke (with the blossom still attached) and the first two red tomatoes.  The tomatoes could have used another 3 days, but I have chickens sneaking into the garden daily and don't want them discovering tomatoes.  We had everything for dinner, along with a pile of collard greens with balsamic-style vinegar.


My favorite way to cook green beans is in bacon grease (pop the lid on for a few minutes to get some moisture, then remove lid and cook until some are really brown), and sometimes topped with chopped bacon.  The scarlet runners are good for cooking this way, as they can take longer cooking without smelling and tasting like overcooked beans.  I always fry my zucchini in the cast iron pan.  I don't like it any other way, and it has to be the Black Beauty, or other "black" variety.  I like tomatoes best raw and topped with a little salt and a lot of pepper. 


Yesterday I started the harvest of the big Himalaya blackberries that take over every open space here.  The flavor is decent, though the seeds are big.  I really shouldn't compare to the wild ones, but I do.  I like these for jelly especially, but sometimes they need a squeeze of lemon juice for brightness.  We didn't harvest that much, but enough for a small batch of jam, mostly so the girls can see how it is made.

post #4 of 11

I had grand plans of picking 500lbs of produce from my garden this year.  I've barely gotten 55lbs so far, and we're almost 1/2 way into August. bawling.gif


My tromboncino squash and yellow crookneck are just starting to take off.  The pumpkins are flush with male flowers and I see some females popping up.


I've harvested a couple pickling cukes, and am waiting on the regular cukes to get a bit bigger.


My garlic brought in roughly 10lbs; I cured them, then braided the softnecks, trimmed the hardnecks, and set aside the best for this fall's planting.  The onions came in at about 18lbs, wasn't too impressed, think I need to start my own from seed next year.  Quite a few of them went to seed (they weren't supposed to).


I'm just now seeing green tomatoes on my Amish Paste plants and cherry toms.  All the rest of my seed didn't germinate or died under our weird spring conditions.


My first potato planting was kind of sad in yields, we'll see what the 2nd bed has to offer in a few weeks.


My strawberry plants were just planted this spring.  They're everbearing and are getting ready to set new fruit.  I think they're what my kids are looking forward to the most.


The stars of the garden seem to be the birdhouse gourds!!  They're setting new gourds every other day it seems, but we can't eat them shrug.gif


Over the past 10 days I put in seed for the following fall/ winter plantings: 96 shelling peas, 96 snow peas, almost 300 carrots, rutabagas, turnips, kale, spinach, and pak choi.  In the next couple of days, I'll be putting in beets, more carrots, and rutabagas.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Here's to a better fall/winter harvest!  


I have yet to see how bountiful our summer will be.  All will depend on our late summer/early fall weather.  It's been so dry, I am looking forward to rain, but with the rain comes the end of the garden.  We northwesterners are so damned contrary, you just can't please us, it seems.

post #6 of 11

About 3 lbs of black raspberries, 2 of blackberries from the forest. From the garden a few zucchinis, lotsa carrots, green beans, a few salads of lettuce. Watermelons and tomatoes are looking good out there but nothing ready yet.

post #7 of 11

What can I do with crabapples?  There are a lot around here. 

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

They can store if you have a root cellar.  A couple of varieties make good fresh eating.


You can make huge quantities of crab apple jelly and either eat that or add it to fruit that needs more pectin.


Anything you can do with apples, you can do with crab apples.  I'd love to make a crab apple pie, see how it goes!


I wonder if you can replace quince with crab apples in North African dishes, for something savory?

post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

 It's been so dry, I am looking forward to rain, but with the rain comes the end of the garden.  We northwesterners are so damned contrary, you just can't please us, it seems.

biglaugh.gif So true, so true. I was upset because we just couldn't keep our corn watered enough it seemed and it suffered a bit. On the other hand, almost everything else thrived with the sunny weather.

Right at the peak of harvesting, drying and canning now. Garlic, onions, shallots and potatoes are out of the ground now. Getting a steady harvest from everything else. The drying beans are starting to brown and dry out. Just waiting for the majority of tomatoes to ripen to finish canning for the season - already canned pickles, beets, dilly beans, peach salsa and a variety of fruit jams and fruit butters. I usually freeze a bunch of stuff too, but our freezer has struggled this year so that's out of the question.

Starting onion from seed is pretty simple and there are a lot more varieties to choose from. I still had one go to seed this year, but better than the year that I planted from sets.
post #10 of 11

I'll share :)  I expanded my garden a lot this year.  I planted about 80#s of potatoes and 32#s of onions.  I have loads of both.  We have been eating fresh potatoes since the 4th of July and onions as well.  I have shared about a million onions and lactofermented 16qts.  The rest are still in the garden waiting for us to pick.  I have been thinking we will harvest the rest probably next week- including the potatoes.  We have canned 98qts of green beans while eating all we wanted and there is one last picking out there but it is too hot today for me to mess with it.  I lactofermented 2 gallons of pickles and gave away a lot of cucumbers and ate a bunch fresh.  We ate the very first ripe Brandywine tomatoes yesterday.  They were so worth the wait!  I am curious to see how many tomatoes I actually end up with.  Bugs got my broccoli and my cabbage don't look too hot either.  We have a lot of nasturtiums and kale for the fall.  This is all with NO rain since June. It has been insanely dry here.


My neighbor gave me free reign of his sweetcorn so we did 12 qts of that (should have done more but I have been hot and pregnant...).  I have also made pear sauce and frozen peaches from the grocery store (my trees were just planted this spring).  


The real harvest around here has been our milk cows eating our yard and then making cheese with the milk :)  I have about 16 qts of marinated feta, 5 wheels of parmesan, 5 wheels of cheddar, 25 #s of mozz and probably 20#s of butter.  It has kind of over taken my life- but it is fun to try out new stuff too!  Up until this summer I had only done mozz and occasionally made butter- I figured out how to do it all in my Bosch and it is slick!


I have my eyes on some apple trees around- so I will be sweet talking the owners for some apples to sauce and can, I finally ordered my chickens today so we will have those this fall too and i should really plant some turnips and spinach to take us into winter (of course it would be necessary to have some rain to make that work).

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

iowaorganic, you get more done being tired and pregnant than I could ever wish to accomplish with older kids!  I think I was lucky to peel myself off the floor (for dd1) or the couch (preg. with dd2 and droning Cars and Trucks and Things That Go endlessly and trying to stay awake).  Way to go!


Just picked up 20# of pickling cukes from our friend/organic farmer and getting ready to process those.  I've never made these before.  I would love to achieve P. S. (Pickle Sufficiency), but I'll start with Any Pickles At All.  

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