Monday, August 20, 2012

Garden harvest

The tomatoes are ripening fast these days.  Last week I canned 14 quarts on Wednesday and 7 more quarts on Saturday.  And, of course, we've been eating them fresh also.  Don't you just love eating a nice, warm tomato that's just been picked?  They are not even close in taste to those flavorless ones from the grocery store.

The green tomatoes in the above photo are called Green Zebra and are ripe when they have a yellowish tinge to them.  There are some Amish Paste here, as well as some German Red Strawberry (both favorites of mine).  We get most of our seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Missouri; they are non-hybrid, non-GMO seeds.  This year's catalog had 16 pages of tomato seeds; there are  greens, oranges, pinks, purples, reds, stripeds, whites, and yellows.  How exciting to be able to try so many varieties and colors. 

It's a nice feeling seeing canned goods on the pantry shelves.  I appreciate all the time that goes into them:  starting seeds indoors, planting seedlings and seeds in the garden at the appropriate time, weeding, mulching, occ. watering, picking, and preserving; plus, I just enjoy looking at all the colors of the canned vegetables.

Here are a few more veggies we recently picked.  All three zucchini at the bottom are from the same plant.  It's supposed to be a yellow zucchini, but a couple of them ended up green.

We've started digging potatoes;  have dug up potatoes from about 20% of the more than 100 plants.  Last fall we kept even the very tiny potatoes, hoping they would work for seed potatoes this year.  Well, when planting time came they all had "eyes" about a foot long.  I didn't think they would actually grow, but we planted them anyway.  And to my surprise, they all grew into nice plants.  That's why we ended up with so many. 

Raising most of our own vegetables is a lot of work, but worth it in the end.  DH does most of the maintenance on the garden after we both do the planting.  We both harvest, but I do most of the canning/freezing of the produce.  Seems to be a nice balance for us. 

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