The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Preparing the Harvest

Hello, Fern here. I wanted to steal Frank's line, just this once. Our garden is still providing us more than enough food, even though for a while it was sorely neglected and the weather has turned off very hot and humid.
Before, during and after Frank's surgery the garden didn't get hardly any attention at all and I was glad it really wasn't producing much. I did wonder if it would produce at all this year, but didn't really give it much thought. I was busy. But now, in the middle of August in the blistering heat, the green beans are finally producing and the tomatoes are just amazing. We would get a whole lot more okra if I would pick it more regularly, and the same goes for the purple hull peas. For the last couple of days the harvest has been good so I thought I would share it with you.

I have picked green beans all of four times this year. Isn't that odd? We had a meal or two from the first mess, then I snapped, washed and stored the last picking. Now I have a bucket that's almost 3/4 full from today's harvest. Outside of those little green worms that like the mature beans and the grasshoppers working over the leaves some, the plants continue to bloom and bring forth beans. I told you a while back that I gave the beans some wood ashes for potassium after I gave them milk for calcium. I don't know if that is what made the difference or if they were just told to wait until I had time to tend to them. I really think it is the latter.

The purple hull peas patiently await my arrival to pick them. If I don't get there in time, they just dry on the vine and continue to wait for me. I planted a lot more this year with the intent of using some of them for animal feed, which is happening. When they are already dried on the vine, I feed them to the goats and chickens, both of which have come to clean them up quickly when they see what I have brought. We haven't kept any to store for winter which was a goal, it just hasn't happened this year. The plants have really vined out this summer. I don't remember the vines being so long and intertwined last year or the year before. We have gotten more rain and had a cooler summer overall, but I don't know if that is the reason. The way they have grown this year makes me think they would do better on a trellis.

The peppers are steadily producing, just not in large quantities. The first batch of jalapeno peppers I picked didn't get processed, so I had to throw them out. Funny the animals don't care for such hot peppers. The next batch got chopped up and frozen. I haven't tried this before but know people that do, so I thought I would try it. I will do the same with some of the sweet peppers.

The okra is steadily producing, and we are freezing it up by the quart in freezer bags, if there is any left over after we have had some for dinner.

The tomatoes have surprised me. We have not canned anything since Frank's back surgery in early July. Once the tomatoes started ripening, I knew I would have to do something with them or they would all end up being chicken feed. I had read about people freezing their tomatoes for later use. Then I talked to my friend Grace and she said she had done the same thing. One benefit of freezing the tomatoes is not having to blanch them when you thaw them out. That will save time and propane when I thaw them out to can or make salsa. This has given me yet another opportunity to learn something new. We now have about nine gallons of tomatoes in the freezer which I think is very interesting.

Wilson, aka Frank

I finally dug up all of the carrots except the one that is going to seed. It has fallen over the top is so heavy and the carrot is so small. It is almost time to pull it up, I think. Our harvest yielded about a gallon after I sliced them up. We would still like to have many more, but it is better than last year. There are more carrots and they aren't all gnarled up.

I hope to start up the canner again tomorrow with the carrots and green beans. Maybe next week I will have enough purple hull peas to can up a batch. We have always canned our garden together, with Frank handling the heavy stuff, but he can't do that just yet. He is recuperating well, but still has restrictions to follow until he is released for full activity. We have had a slow, peaceful summer and plan to keep it that way. I really believe our garden was told to slow down and wait until I could tend to it and the food it is producing. It is an odd feeling. I know we are blessed and cared for, and I am deeply grateful.

Until next time - Fern


  1. I'll bet when you go to the grocery store and get to the checkout with only pasta or canned tuna in the cart, you want to shout out to all the snoops who are trying to pretend they're not eyeballing your selections, "I have a vegetable garden! I don't need to buy any vegetables here!"

    Just Me

    1. Well, honestly, Just Me, we very seldom go to the grocery store. When we do go to buy staple items we try to buy enough to last a while. You see, neither one of us like to shop, so it suits us just fine to go as little as possible. Yes, we do get looks sometimes if we buy 10 boxes of Triscuits or something. But it lasts a good long while and we don't have to go all of the time. We really do believe the caption under our header picture. There really is no place like home.


  2. Replies
    1. I find it to be simply amazing, Sandra. Thank you.