So, the garden is finally winding down. We made a ton of mistakes, but we’ve still got a pantry and a root cellar that are full to bursting, so, overall, I’d call the garden a success. Having said that, I don’t know if we can even really take credit, since we had near-perfect weather for growing – lots of rain (for our area, at least) and good heat.
Our corn was planted too late, and did not mature before first frost. We got a few cobs, but most of it was pulled from the roots and fed to the goats. They really loved the treat, though!
The peas never really had a flush of pods that was big enough for serious processing. In all, we ate peas with almost every meal for a couple of weeks, and put a few cups in the freezer, but that was all. I was disappointed that we did not get more for the freezer, but we sure enjoyed them fresh.
We got one lonely cucumber:
The peppers were hardly worth planting, and we only got a few immature peppers out of several dozen plants.
The beans were a smashing success, with over 40 cups blanched and frozen, plus tons for shelling over the winter.
The tomatoes bore lots – in all we picked 8 two-gallon buckets, though the majority were green and will need to be ripened inside. They sure make nice salsa, though!
Squash was pretty good overall, with the butternuts we planted having withered and disappeared, but the pumpkins and spaghetti squash more than making up for it, and giving us over 50 full-size squashes, plus a bunch of smaller ones. I like picking the squash – it’s like an over-sized Easter egg hunt! Here is the first wheelbarrow full:
The real winners, though, were the root veggies. We got over 30 pounds of beets, and around 80 pounds of onions. I don’t quite know what we’ll do with over a hundred pounds of carrots, though I’m sure we’ll share with the goats. Turnips and rutabagas yielded very well, but were more than 50 percent wormy, so we got around 60 pounds of useable roots for our cellar. The rest will likely be fed to the chickens and goats over time. A local market gardener told us that, with all the canola around, there were too many pests for turnips or rutabagas to do well, and not to feel too bad if we managed to get any edible crop at all!
We will have lots and lots of potatoes, as well.
We seriously over-planted, expecting to lose a lot of the garden to pests or drought, but then nature turned around and handed us a great year for growing. I’m just glad we’ve got a big root cellar…now to figure out how to eat all this stuff…