2013 harvest and garden pics

NwMtGardener

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OK! Thistle's post about the crickets reminded me of all the pictures I took a while back and meant to post on TEG, but never got around to! I've also been meaning to write up a post about my garden harvest this year, and some of the new things I"ve learned! Pictures first :)

An overall look at my garden Sept. 25:


A few containers: acorn squash, lettuce in the wheelbarrow, hot peppers & basil in the small pots:


One day's worth of green beans and a few potato plants dug:


A different day's worth of green beans, muncher cucumbers and a few tomatoes (Big boys that aren't very big, and the tiny one is Campari)


My mother in law's tongue plant bloomed this fall!


Finally, the puppies. Lucy doing yoga, and Charlie snoozing away!



Some estimates of what I harvested from my garden this year:
Several gallons of green beans - still have 1.5 gal. in the freezer for winter
Lots of lettuce, mostly Waldman's green
Herbs: cilantro & coriander, basil, chives, mint, oregano, lavender, thyme
Peppers: about 8 good sized Peguis from 1 plant, 1st time for me growing this one - moderately hot when starting to turn red, good production. A few thai hot peppers, my plants were started too late this year
Tomatoes: maybe 20 big boy, small amounts sweet 100 (?) cherry and Campari. I ended up buying a bushel of romas for my tomato sauce and salsa. Oh, and I bought Costco cherry tomatoes and made sundried tomatoes in my car on a few hot days, they turned out great!
30 or so muncher cucumbers
A dozen or so zucchini
2 acorn squash, 3 delicatas (we ate one and it wasn't very good flavor, hope the others are better), 3 spaghetti squash
Several small heads purple cabbage
30 or so potatoes, all different sizes - all the plants I dug were Yukon gold, but I swear I planted some purple ones...hrmmm!

A few things I've learned this year as far as food preserving:
I bought a box of peaches - 1st time for me canning straight up fruit. When it calls for liquid, ADD LOTS OF LIQUID! I ended up opening all my canned jars of peaches cause the peaches got shoved up into the necks of the cans, and bubbled out a lot of liquid after I took them out of the water bath, and I COULD NOT get the peaches shaken up, back down to the bottom of the jar! I wasn't sure they were sealed well, so I opened them, made it into peach pie filling, and froze it in saran wrap inside pie pans. Then I took the frozen pies out of the pans and put them in freezer ziplocs. The idea is you can put the pie shaped filling right into a pie crust and cook frozen! I'm planning on trying it tonight :)

I'm making sauerkraut for the first time on my own. My family used to make it but I haven't tried it in many years. I just made a small amount in a crock on my counter. Since my husband doesn't like it very much I didn't want to make some huge batch.

I made lavender concentrate for the first time! I did it like I've read about others on here making homemade vanilla - with cheap vodka. I steeped the lavender in the vodka for a week or so, then strained it out. I left a coffee filter on top of the jar, for the alcohol to slowly evaporate. It's been several months and I just poured the tiny amount that was left out into an old vanilla jar I had - smells delicious, and I put some in the applesauce I'm making today.

I'm making my own apple cider vinegar! Just started this project today, so we'll see how it turns out. I bought a bushel of Fuji apples, and have turned a bunch of them into dried apples in the oven, and applesauce. Now I'm using the cores and peels to make ACV. The summary of directions from the internet: let them turn brown in the air, then put in a container and fill with water until covered. Place a weight on apple pieces to keep them covered with liquid. Stir every day for a week, and keep container open to the air. Then strain, and leave liquid in a container with a cheesecloth or fabric lid, so it can breath, for 5 or 6 weeks. Keep between 60 - 80 degrees. I've also read you can speed things up by buying organic ACV with the mother (like Bragg's) and putting some of the mother into your homemade batch of apple peels. I didn't feel like going to the store today so I'll try it without for this batch.

Overall I feel pretty good about my garden production! It probably doesn't sound like much to some of you, but mostly all of this came from a 12'x24' area! I still don't feel like I've made a dent in our grocery bills yet though...will hopefully save a little over the winter with what I've canned and frozen, and try again next year!!
 

NwMtGardener

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Oh! forgot some harvest things!
40 or 50 garlic cloves
small amounts of onions and leeks
 

digitS'

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Did I know you could make apple cider vinegar with cores & peels :hu?

It all looks good to me :cool: Heather! Hey, Delicata might be my favorite squash, however . . . I gave up trying to grow them after they failed to ripen in like 3 out of 4 tries :/.

Flat green beans?? What variety are those?

Steve
 

NwMtGardener

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The beans are Kentucky Wonder pole beans. They're flat appearing in the picture, but Are pretty normal bean shape really! They're supposed to be "stringless" but i find them a little stringy, but they are very good producers for me. I bet i only had 20 plants total, and got gallons of beans to eat from them, plus all the pods that i left out there to gather for dried beans in a few weeks.
 

Jared77

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Nicely done.

Its hard to see savings right away. Its a couple dollars here when you open something, or a few dollars there when you make something with fresh ingredients.
 

lesa

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Now that was an exciting, successful gardening season! Wonderful looking veggies! So glad you shared your pics with us...Please keep us posted on the kraut. I tried making it two years in a row, and ended up adding it to the compost pile, both times!
 

thistlebloom

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Looks good Heather! I like the wheelbarrow lettuce bed, very creative. :) ACV is something I've been considering for an embarrassing number of years and just haven't got to. I picked the apples from my unknown rootstock trees and they aren't much for eating fresh but should be good candidates for ACV.

Cute pups! Is Lucy an aussie mix?
 

NwMtGardener

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Lesa - i'm already pretty apprehensive that the saurkraut is going to work, i think its been maybe 2 and a half weeks, so not very long...but i took my weight off today, and tasted a bit from down in the crock...TOO SALTY! Umm...i didnt really measure the salt :/ i remember watching my dad just POUR what seemed like huge amounts of salt onto the cabbage as he was pounding it down into the monster crock that stayed in our root cellar. Well, not only do i not have a monster crock, i dont have a root cellar! So...my little tiny crock is setting on the counter, and seems to have way too much salt. And of course probably because of the excess salt, it doesnt seem to have fermented much!! So...i'll give it a few more weeks and see, but mine might be joining the compost as well!!

Thistle - Lucy is dumpster dog, literally. She was found with her siblings at 4 weeks old in a dumpster on an indian reservation outside the Grand Canyon. I think an animal rescue group raised her to adoptable age, and the family that adopted her then moved to Montana. When she started having terrible seizures and getting attacked by their other dog while having them at around 2 years old, they wanted the animal hospital that i worked at to euthanize her. I already had a dog with seizures and knew it was treatable, so we ended up with her. It took a couple years to get the right medication regime for her, but its been over one and a half years since her last seizure.

As far as possible breeds, her coat gets VERY long when not shaved, 6" or more, hanging down around her body. She also has a very long back, and somewhat long nose and tail...so sorta collie like? Mixed with like 10 other things?! Who knows, she's a great dog. :)
 

journey11

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Lovely pics...definitely makes me miss summer now!

My great-grandma had a giant tongue plant (she called it a snake plant, but it was the same thing.) In all those years I never knew it could have bloomed. I wonder why it didn't and what it takes to get it to do so? Very cool looking flower spike. :cool:

ETA: On the canned peaches...as long as you filled the jar to the recommended headspace and removed the air bubbles, your liquid should have been fine. It has been my experience that over-ripe fruit will tend to float up like that. As long as the jar seals, it doesn't create any problems with the food and often times they will sink back down after they've sat on the shelf a long while.
 

digitS'

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I still remember my grandmother's Kentucky Wonder beans, Heather.

They might have been the standard that I measure the flavor of all others. Bush beans have always disappointed me in that regard altho' I've found 1 or 2 that taste good.

Stringing the beans? That's why they are called "string beans," don't ya think? I've never, ever eaten a dry KW bean. The rattlesnake beans that I grow now - I guess now that I also have dry beans - I might not advise as a dry bean. Oh, they taste good but the others are sure a lot easier to get out of the pods! I have learned something. Still, those rattlesnake beans make a great soup. Tell us what you think of the KW's!

Steve
 
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