Homestead Harvest

Summer is just BLOWING by and I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up…
The garden has been great to us! So many new veggies and herbs, not without a few glitches but it has definitely given enough food for us to fill the freezer this year. My favorites have been the cupcake zucchini, multicolored beans, beets, and heirloom carrots. Next year if we can manage a full plot for the sweet corn I’ll be able to double the row size for each allotted vegetable planted this year that would (fingers crossed) give us enough for a small roadside stand. : )
Sweet corn is almost ready to be picked, which will be a team task in itself, and the field corn out back has blocked our view of the lake for the first time ever. It’s  a strange but heartening feeling having the yard closed in but is for a greater good- It will be nice to get our view back in fall.
We spent a week away at the beach and OF COURSE it was the week everything ripened… The day after we got back I think I spent 16 hours in the garden/kitchen harvesting and canning or freezing things while Eric brushhogged and worked on getting some things cleared out of the barn. Well, he helped in the kitchen too.. We froze plenty of beans, zucchini, and now starting carrots. Onions are drying to hang. Plenty of silver slicer cucumbers, and while I missed the early small gherkin picking there were heaps of pickling cucumbers ready, enough to make small batch varieties of sweet & dill, bread and butter, old bay, lemon sage, and hopefully garlic horseradish yet. So far we also have blueberry chia jam (pectin free recipe), strawberry rhubarb pie filling, strawberry jalapeno jam, mojito jelly, sour cherry pie filling (recipe in DIY), frozen berries, frozen cauliflower ‘rice’, and dehydrated oregano, dill, parsley, chives, and basil. Tried my hand at smoking chili peppers & dehydrating zucchini noodles/chips as well. Best seasoning to make veggie chips with? Popcorn salts! Ranch and cheddar are about as close to Doritos as you can get.
**And if you think it must be nice to have alllll this free time to do shit, this is actually the busiest season for work for me as acreage deadline reporting for spring crops falls right in the middle of everything! So my current schedule is: get up 530 am do animals (off duty when Eric’s home), leave for work 630, get home anywhere between 630-8 if it’s a gym day, work til dark outside, come in and get ready for the next day. Somehow I’m still managing a social life in there but to everyone that has called me crazy this summer you are probably right!**
It’s not over for the garden yet though, what was pulled this past weekend has been replaced with fall varieties- more salad blends, peas, late cukes and carrots, broccoli (hopefully the fall does better as my spring crop was pretty stingy). Garlic, horseradish, ginger ordered and are going in next month. And we didn’t even get to TOMATOES yet!!! By the looks of it there are going to be a ‘crap-ton’ (scientific term). Thankfully I have about a week yet to get all the sauce recipes together. Eric gifted me a new pressure canner for my birthday this year and it’s going to be more than handy when the time comes for sure.
Has anyone ever just smelled a honeydew plant growing?!? I’m pretty excited melons should be here by the end of the month. Oh and some of the new girls started laying finally! (*Edit- the honeydew is SO JUICY AND SWEET. I thought there was a bad one that had fallen off the vine early but it turned out to be ripe and delicious.)
On top of harvest madness we also decided to throw a huge Labor Day picnic-  maybe not our brightest idea but it’ll be fun to say the least! And of course since we are going to be having people over and I’m OCD/apparently don’t like to rest which means I’m on overdrive with cleaning and organizing the house. We’ll see if any other fun projects get going while I’m in GO mode!
Once all this craziness slows down I’d like to do a ‘what to do better’ post for next year to look back on, there were definitely some varieties that didn’t do so hot, and our soil could be worked a little better over winter to set us up for a more nutrient rich growing year.
Alright that was a fun five mintute break of typing, now for some update pics and BACK AT IT!

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