Monday, August 9, 2010

Summers Bounty

After all the toil and worry about weather, rain, ripening, bugs, etc., it's time to harvest --this is what it's all about.  We picked the first of our butternut squash and it is simply delicious.  We have quite a harvest of squash both butternut and acorn so once the vines start dying back we'll pick the squash and let it season (harden) for a couple weeks. We'll then store in our root cellar. 

I baked this squash with a filling of grape tomatoes cut in half, diced garlic, salt and pepper and olive oil. It was divine.

Here I am picking corn! Friends graciously allowed us to pick sweet corn in their field. We got enough for 45 quarts plus 3 bags of 4 full ears each.  I haven't frozen whole ears before so I hope they are good. In the past I've heard that the cob gets soft which is unappetizing but we'll see. I like the idea of eating corn on the cob in the winter. This corn will taste delicious in January when the snow is blowing. I froze the corn and with Mark's help with picking and processing, we got all this accomplished in a morning.
I remember my family freezing corn when I was a kid. It was a big day with all of us helping. Daddy and the kids would go to the field to pick the sweet corn and then we'd all shuck the corn from the back of the pickup and bring it into the house where Mom was ready for it. I always loved to cut the corn off the cob...and occasionally taste the delicious sweet blanched corn chuncks that come off the cuttings.  She set up an assembly line and we had the corn processed in no time.

We have delectable potatoes coming on and we've already tasted them both steamed and in potato salad.  What a treat.  We'll be storing the potatoes in the cellar too.

Green beans are being harvested for fresh eating and freezing. 

Tomatoes are wonderfully ripe (finally!) and I'm making salsa, marinara sauce and freezing some whole and I'm trying homemade ketchup. You can see our lovely harvest of the variety of tomatoes we have in the garden in the basket on the left. Wine bottle there for perspective.

Homemade marinara sauce cooking

Looks similar but it's ketchup in the making


cherry & grape tomatoes - YUM

Our granddaughter, Kelsey, came to spend a few days with us before leaving for study abroad in Thailand. She helped me put up the tomatoes so as you can see she diced a LOT of tomatoes. I loved having her here and it was fun working in the kitchen together. We have such a good time talking and listening to music. She brings me current with what the young are listening to and thinking about so I find her so interesting.
Our lovely fascinating granddaughter, Kelsey
Back to the garden: The endaname (soybeans) are ripening so they will be frozen soon. I'm making pickled beets and will make some dill pickles too. I planted three types of dry beans for soups this winter which is a staple at our house. LOVE soup! Dry beans are harvested once the vines dry and they have to be 'seasoned' or dried for a couple weeks in a dry place.  I'm excited about the variety of beans that we'll have for our soup this winter.

I've planted swiss chard and lettuce - hope it cools off so they consider coming up for a second fresh greens harvest.

It looks like I have crop failure with the heirloom cauliflower and broccoli. I have big beautiful leaves and no heads.  SeedSavers Exchange told me that since I planted them directly into the ground rather than from seedlings, it is likely that the weather didn't cooperate (too hot) when they were germinating. Bummer - I have nearly 2 tanks with these veggies and garden real estate is precious. I plan to give them a couple more weeks to see if there is anything happening and then if not, the leaves will go to the compost pile.  It will make room for some fall crops.

The Dots LOVE the lawnmower.  When I mow I have lots of company -- all 17 DOTS are around me and the mower chasing the bugs that I unearth while mowing.  When I  mowed a couple days ago, I stopped for lunch and when I went back outside to continue mowing and started the lawn mower, the Dots came running from under their shade tree to mow with me. That's another reason I love to mow, I get to commune with and watch my chickens.
Finally, this is the view we had last evening - beautiful storm clouds. The sky here is a marvel, always changing color and clouds.


Matt Gunnet said...

My favorite grilled squash recipe.....

2 acorn or butternut squash
1 Tbs EVOO
4 Tbs butter, melted
1 Cup grated parmesan
4 Tbs pinenuts, toasted
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

Half and de-seed squash. Brush inside with EVOO, salt and pepper and put back together. Wrapp in foil. Cook in oven or grill 25-30 on high heat til tender. (I use a skewer to poke into the squash and test). When done, unwrap (carfully those buggers are hot!) and scoop out the flesh. Mix in bowl with cheese, butter, pinenuts, salt and pepper. Spoon back into shells, sprinkle with a little nutmeg and serve.

Anonymous said...

OH MY...........that's all I can say. Except, I may have to sneak in for a little harvest one night when you're fast asleep. LOL..what a wonderful summer for gardening at your haven.