Thursday, October 14, 2010

Final Garden Harvest

Well, Jack Frost came to visit us this week. We've been so lucky to have such nice fall weather, enabling us to enjoy our garden awhile longer. But Monday night it all came to a sudden end. We figured it would frost so we threw a tarp over the tomatoes to keep them from getting ruined. Yesterday, I had the kids help me strip the tomatoes, cucumber vines and all the pepper plants. They enjoyed getting to tear up mama's garden after hearing me holler at them all summer to be careful of the plants!

I still have a lot of carrots in the ground, which I will leave for awhile longer. The variety of seed I bought grew very short carrots. Going to look for a longer heirloom variety next year. Any ideas?

Here are some heirloom tomatoes. They were absolutely huge. I put a cherry tomato by it for perspective. I've got lots of diced tomatoes in my freezer and more to come.

In addition to this wagon load of mostly green tomatoes, I also got a big box. I leave my green tomatoes in a cardboard box with newspaper over it and let them slowly ripen. Last year, I had tomatoes into December!

Here are some of the peppers that we harvested. Some are heirloom, some are not. The big peppers are called "Big Berthas". None of them had a chance to change color. I'll dice these up in my food processor and freeze them for soups and casseroles.

Our 35 pickling cucumber plants produced at least 150 lbs of cukes! We gave away a lot, plus let some grow bigger. These are a very sweet cukes to slice up and eat.

Here are our pathetic French melons (can't remember the official name). We also planted watermelon this year. We decided no melons from now on as our climate is not conducive to growing them. 

We sure learned a lot this year. Will do many things differently next year. Now I'm trying to sweet talk my hubby into building me some kind of green house so I can grow lettuce in the winter and get an early spring start on my tomatoes and peppers. I'm also busy collecting seeds for the varieties I want to keep. I'm letting them dry completely, then putting them in brown lunch bags. Hope I'm doing it right and they don't mold! Can't wait to do this all again next year! I'm officially hooked on this whole gardening thing. There is something really satisfying about just going out to the garden to get your fresh veggies for meals during the summer. Absolutely love it!

God Bless,
Jackie

18 comments:

Rachel and Family said...

Those pictures made my mouth water. What a good gardener you are! That's funny- working so hard to keep the kids out of the garden then sending them in to tear 'er up. The good things come to those who wait!
Will you freeze or can?

Paula said...

We've got our gardens almost all pulled up. We had frost a few weeks ago. I've got beets and carrots still in the ground. Must get to the beets soon. A note on the greenhouse, you may not be able to keep it warm enough in the winter (if Oregon is like eastern Ontario) unless you have some heat source. Colin's gets below freezing in the winter. But you sure can get an early start on the growing season in the spring. If you want, I'll get the info for where Colin gets the covering material for his greenhouses. It's very easy to build your own.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Rachel,
The only thing I can are pickles, everything else I freeze or eat fresh. Yes, the kids thought they were in heaven. I told them they could eat all the tomatoes they wanted!

Paula,
Could you email me that info for the greenhouse? Would love it! Thank you!

Catherine said...

Cold frames are easier than greenhouses for greens all winter. Your harvest looks wonderful, and I've made the same choices with melons that you have.

Deborah Ann said...

Impressive! Green thumb and all. I'm always so envious of gardening folks. Maybe I just need to get off my butt and start planting some seeds...

Jill said...

Everything looks great and wow they are huge tomatoes! My oldest daughter would LOVE them!
Have a great day!
Blessings,
Jill

Rosemi said...

Wow, How blessed you are! I still need to start a garden. I keep procrastinating.

Your comment was so funny over at my blog. I like funny people.

Blessings!

Heart2Heart said...

Jackie,

Love that even though you mostly harvested everything now, you'll be enjoying the fruit of those labors long into your winter.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Camille said...

What a lovely looking harvest Jackie! Good for you!! My carrots were VERY short too! And since you still have some in the ground it makes me think I harvested mine too early. There's nothing quite like a fresh carrot from the garden. Yum Yum!

Have a wonderful weekend!
With Love,
Camille

Pepper said...

I'm not sure if you've seen this website, I've learned a ton just from reading these forums though so thought I'd pass it along =).http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Ya, done good, Jack. Real good!

Grandma Becky said...

My garden's pretty much done. I pulled 20 tomatoes some days ago. Cooked up some with onion and red bell pepper and froze them for soup mix. Gonna look and see what big tomatoes are out there this weekend. Then pull everything out. Did get some good stuff this year but hopefully better next year. Maybe another 4x4 garden? Don't know. MmMM! Hugs and thanks for sharing what you've done.

RaD said...

I was reading about your sister's garden yesterday and getting a little jealous. Truthfully I just don't think I have the time, but maybe, just maybe we'll try something out next year. We'll see.

It's fun to see how well you did this year!

His bondservant said...

Jackie,

I would definitely call your garden a success. Your harvest is beautiful. What a joy it must be to know that you and your family did this on your own. Keep up the good work!

Sarah said...

What a boutiful harvest you have had Jackie! Your vegetables look so delicious! Nothing beats eating homegrown produce that has just been picked!

Your children will be blessed by your hard work; with healthful minds and bodies!

Well done!

OurLilFullFam said...

You and Stacie are making me very hungry!

Stephanie

Tamra said...

Also, check out the forums at www.rareseed.com . They have some great info on saving seed. Most will end up molding if you leave it layered. I ended up having to lay out my melon and squash seeds on paper towels to dry, then bag. My peas molded... :( managed to save some though. :)

Tamra said...

Oops, it's rareseeds.com with an "s". :)

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