The garden is down to bare bones- only some kale, swiss chard, and our towering luffa plants remain. Oh, and brussels sprouts, which unfortunately seem to be infested with some kind of bug. Soon the garlic will be planted, we’ll harvest the luffa, and everything will be quiet out there.
There’s nothing like all the beautiful fruit from the summer to dress up a cold basement closet. It’s become a sight that I love, especially in the cold days of winter. I regret that I don’t have an official tally- I was… um… I just didn’t take one. But I do have approximations! And next year I plan to have a scale- so I can weigh all our garden produce as it’s harvested- just like the Dervaes family does.
So. What we’ve stored above is (approximately, because we’ve used some already, etc.):
- 35 quarts Tomatoes
- 35 quarts Green beans
- 35 quarts Pears (locally grown)
- 13 quarts Applesauce (locally grown)
- 10 pints + 2 quarts red salsa
- 5 pints zucchini pickles
- 6 pints + 1 quart dilly beans
- 12 quarts summer squash soup
- 4 quarts broccoli leaf soup
- 3 pints + 3 half pints eggplant tomato spread
- 60 pints corn (locally grown)
- 1 gallon local popcorn
- To be canned today: about 7 quarts of roasted green pepper and pumpkin (locally grown) soup
Then lacto-fermented goodies (stored in our housemate’s fridge downstairs, he doesn’t use it much):
- 9 pints green salsa
- 3 quarts kohlrabi kimchi
- 7 quarts sauerkraut
- 1 quart chard stems
- adding more quarts of cabbage/carrot kimchi in the next few days
Onions. We didn’t harvest these when we were supposed to and they sprouted. We’ve been throwing them in everything lately, and today I’ll be chopping them up and freezing the rest so they don’t go to waste.
The chest freezer.
At least a dozen quart bags of sliced peppers, strawberries galore, lots of peaches (smoothies all year round!), a few gallon bags of frozen green beans. At least half a dozen quart bags of shredded squash, about a dozen quarts of blueberries, some strawberry rhubarb sauce… (all fruit was locally grown) a few quart bags each of baba ghanouj and chicken liver pate, several quarts of pesto, about a dozen eggplant burgers (really really good- recipe to come), and then meat. We’ve got just a few roasts left of our 1/4 beef from last year. We’ll order more soon. We have a whole small pig (all butchered, of course), and some lamb leftover from last year. I used to store chickens, but I usually can get those locally for the same price as I would in bulk, so we just order them as needed.
Potatoes. We have been eating them up… but we got a total of 34 pounds out of the 8 square feet we grew them in. Not bad!
Garlic! We’ve been using this since August, and although I have no idea how many we started out with, I see our supply easily lasting us through the winter. Through the spring? I can’t be sure. We really like garlic. Let’s just say we’re planting more this year!
Drying chili peppers. Lots of these, more than I will likely use, but they are so pretty. There’s also a ton of green chilis that I plan to ferment, and also a bunch of extremely spicy thai chilis that I’ll be giving away to the spice junkies in my life. 🙂
Some herbs that I repotted and hope to use through the year- Just some parsely, thyme, oregano, and basil. Below that, squash from local farmers. I tend to lose squash because I forget they are there, so this year I’m putting them right in the dining room. That way I’ll notice if we’re losing one and get to it right away. We’ll see!
And so we’ll do our best. We will try to stick to local beans and grains, and I’ll try to get back into bread making when I have more time. Next year I hope to store more root vegetables- I was aiming high to think I’d do all the late planting that I wanted to. We’ll also have the greenhouse next year, and I hope to have more greens to talk about.
But, I have to say, my favorite harvest of the year was of the human variety. As my friend would say- my "belly fruit harvest".
I’m so grateful for this year in growing. Not only did we grow lots of beautiful, nourishing food- but we grew in our skills, in our knowledge of the earth and its rhythm, in family size, and most certainly in love. I am so excited to feed my beautiful son good food this spring, and to continue to feed our family all year. I’m so proud of all we’ve done, especially considering how busy we were with our new baby and adjusting to life as a family of four. Jeff was incredibly helpful, and barely let out a whine all season (although I know he often put off projects he wanted to work on so that he could help me with something garden related, often at the end of a tiring day, and for that I am very grateful). I keep ending each year with a deep sigh and a wave of gratitude. I’m looking forward to spending a little more time relaxing, more time with friends, more time to read and craft, just slow and warm. I’m also excited to plan next year’s garden and to keep going on this path, because I truly think this kind of living is in my blood- each year I do this I feel closer to home. Thanks also to all of you for encouraging and indulging me this whole year. I’ve really appreciated all your kind words and suggestions. A good year.
"Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders." — Henry David Thoreau