CukeAndCarrots

Our garden produce is winding down for the year. We got an amazing amount of stuff, considering how little effort we put in. We have a whole basket full of potatoes in the pantry, which we are rapidly eating down. I love to make mashed potatoes with either a sweet potato or yam mixed in- a tip I learned from a past neighbor of mine, Barb, who felt that sneaking those in improved the healthiness of regular mashed spuds, while still pleasing her kids! 🙂 It improves the flavor, too, I think!

We got a ton of carrots, but they all looked like the ones in the picture- short, fat, and warty! I’m not sure what caused that, I assume the soil was denser than they liked, so they didn’t form lovely slender and smooth shapes like they should. But they still tasted great! We were eating them straight out of the garden, and finally Kirk harvested the rest of them in a five gallon bucket. Some of those I peeled, sliced, shrink-wrapped and froze into dinner-sized packets, and we ate the rest. We like them best steamed in a pot on the stove, and mixed with butter, salt and dill weed.

We got two cucumbers from a single surviving vine. Scads of tomatoes, many of which went into spaghetti sauce and tacos. Green onions are still out there, we pick them as needed, now they’re getting to be the size of small regular onions. Our corn patch grew large and lovely, and we had corn for a few dinners and it was good. But then it went starchy really fast, within a week, it was all sort of tasteless and pasty, even though the ears still looked beautiful. So, the sheep and chickens got all that corn, buckets and buckets of it! The chickens especially enjoyed it, boy, the can really put away a lot of corn in one sitting!

The peas were great, but all done by mid-June, with the hot weather we had. Next year I might try to plant them staggered, to enjoy them a little longer.

We weren’t too pleased with the three different varieties of green beans we put in, none of them were as good as store-bought (and how often do you say that about homegrown produce??); all too stringy, with poor flavor. So, will have to try some different varieties next year, and also be sure to harvest them when they are very small and still tender. Often things got out of hand on us, we couldn’t eat it all fast enough!

We had Brussels sprout plants too. But there was an unfortunate incident with a chicken break-in early in the season, where the plants were completely denuded in one sitting. :-0 The plants recovered well and developed into big leafy, bushy things, but never developed any sprouts for us to eat. So maybe the trauma was just too much for them? Though I’ve heard a couple of other people mention that their Brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower etc) didn’t perform right this year either, and did not create heads. Was it just too hot?

My task this week is to take down the chicken wire fencing around the garden, and dismantle the raised beds. We have some sand stockpiled there to smooth out the contours to match the rest of the excavation work we had done this summer. Then we will re-do the beds somewhere else, and using better compost-ey soil that we have uncovered on the hillside.

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