Tag Archives: squash

Garden Season Ends With Success

I’ve not had a lot of time to write posts this summer because I’ve been doing this:

Fresh tomatoes

Apples from July through October unless the weather changes drastically!

In years past I’ve not had much luck with green peppers but this year I’ve frozen 30 packs of peppers in small dices, strips and large chunks. They are like onions in our kitchen, we use them in everything!

Yellow onions grew and grew. We got a sack full of them and have them hanging in the smoke house until the weather starts to freeze. At that point I bring them in my laundry room (cool spot) to use all winter.

One crop failed miserably this summer and we’ve never had this happen before. We got one egg basket of white potatoes. Thankfully I canned all of those from last year so we won’t have to buy many!

We had some type of bug that bores through the roots of cucumbers and squash. Our cucumbers were used mainly for fresh eating and in salads this summer. I had plenty of pickles left over last summer and with the help of two very special friends we got18 pints of pickle relish and then they were gone.

Fresh peaches and first crop from our young trees. I canned 21 quarts!

The squash faired better than our cucumbers and I froze 12 packs of sliced put in the freezer. We ate fresh squash all summer.

Fresh raspberries gave us 12 quart bags full and the blackberry crop was non-existent due to the weather again.

Dicing green and banana peppers

Canned cabbage

Squirrel season came in two weeks ago and I’ve froze over 12 bags so far. We love squirrel and rabbit meat!

I froze over 40 bags of fresh corn and everyone that we’ve shared it with says it’s the sweetest corn they’ve ever eaten.

Green pepper strips

I’ve tried just about every apple in our orchards in the last two months to find the best for apple pies and fried pies but all of them are great for fresh applesauce every meal!!

While I was canning tomatoes I was also canning cabbage and freezing it. I canned 14 quarts and froze 24 quarts. We’ll use both in vegetable soup and cabbage is a great favorite side dish at our house with pinto beans, fried potatoes and cornbread!!

Our tomatoe crop wasn’t the best because of the rains coming in when they were ripening. They split, cracked and had hard black spots on the outside. I did manage to can 18 quarts of tomato juice. This winter when it’s cold outside I’ll make pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce from what we preserved this summer.

We raised some of the sweetest cantaloupes I’ve ever tasted this year and their my favorite of all the melons.

This wooden crate is full of all types of apples we have on the farm. They’re all somewhat tart and we will buy sweet apples from a nearby orchard to make our cider in the coming weeks.
We didn’t grow a lot of watermelons this year but got good return on the seed we planted.

The crate is filled to the brim with cider apples from our orchards. We think it holds about 15 bushel of apples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course we also had green beans this year but I didn’t can very many because we had a lot left over so about four canners (28 quarts) was enough to fill up the shelves.

You will never starve as long as there’s green beans on hand!!!

Left-hand side of the cellar shelves are overflowing!

Right-hand side of the cellar is catching the overflow! I normally store all of the empty jars on that side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then to sum it all up we have these:

Canned white and yellow peaches

Frozen broccoli

Frozen corn off the cob

Yellow summer squash

New white potatoes-This was the most we got from the first plants!!

Onions drying for winter use.

Wonderful pickle relish that we use in pinto beans, on hotdogs, and in tuna or chicken salad. Hubby loves it on peanut butter sandwiches!!!

Our favorite pizza sauce of which I only made a few half pints and one pint. I’ll make more throughout the winter.

Two crates of sweet potatoes. One of the potatoes was the size of a football. We’ll have several meals from that monster!

Gorgeous canned peaches, I can’t wait to open the first jar!

 

Gardening while I wait

While I wait for the freshly swept, mopped and waxed floor in the living room to dry I’ll take time to write about our 2016 garden.  We thought we were very late getting it started but in fact this is the second year in a row that spring has come early to our farm and this neck of the woods.  We had three, maybe four, heavy frosts/freezes in May but did get the old and new garden spot plowed, worked and tilled (three or four times).

New garden plot plowed last fall.

New garden plot plowed in March.

Second plowing and tilling.

Second plowing and tilling.

We started planting the last week of May and it’s all worked out really well.  We’ve had lots of rain but with a couple of days of dry weather and the wind we could get in to till and pull weeds.

Last year hubby said we would cut back and only plant about half of what we normally plant and I smiled!! 😉  He says this every year!!  Not only do we have most of the old garden plot full, we also have the new plot which is attached to the old full.  I’m going to be very busy come the middle of July!!

In the first row of the old garden plot we have summer and winter squash. I've already seen two summer squash about two inches long. In the second and third rows and half of the fourth we have onions.

In the first row of the old garden plot we have summer and winter squash. I’ve already seen two summer squash about two inches long. In the second and third rows and half of the fourth we have onions.

In the third and fourth rows we have onion and cucumbers. In the fifth row we planted broccoli and green peppers. Last year I had beautiful peppers but they're not looking so good this year but we'll keep working on them.

In the third and fourth rows we have onion and cucumbers. In the fifth row we planted broccoli and green peppers. Last year I had beautiful peppers but they’re not looking so good this year but we’ll keep working on them.

The sixth row is cabbage and 7th is brussel sprouts and at the end of that row are a few watermelons.

The sixth row is cabbage and 7th is brussel sprouts and at the end of that row are a few watermelons.

The eighth row is sunflowers (for my chickens) and sometime this week I'll plant Blue Lake green beans between each one so they can run up the sunflower stalks.  I also need to hill them like we do potatoes to keep plenty of dirt around the stalk as they grow.  They tend to lean somewhat and with beans growing on them they'll need all the support they can get.  I may even stake them as time goes on.  I planted a whole row of indian corn beside them that was saved from a few years ago but none of it came up and that's why there is a wide space between the sunflowers and the next row.

The eighth row is sunflowers (for my chickens) and sometime this week I’ll plant Blue Lake green beans between each one so they can run up the sunflower stalks. I also need to hill them like we do potatoes to keep plenty of dirt around the stalk as they grow. They tend to lean somewhat and with beans growing on them they’ll need all the support they can get. I may even stake them as time goes on. I planted a whole row of indian corn beside them that was saved from a few years ago but none of it came up and that’s why there is a wide space between the sunflowers and the next row.

The tenth row is a very crowded row of tenderette green beans.  They are stringless, early and great canning beans when picked young.  I love green beans!!!

The tenth row is a very crowded row of tenderette green beans. They are stringless, early and great canning beans when picked young. I love green beans!!!

This space is empty for the moment but I will probably plant a couple more rows of corn and summer squash about mid-July.

We planted another later batch of cabbage and then we have this large space which is empty for the moment but I will probably plant a couple more rows of corn and summer squash about mid-July.

In the new plowed ground we started with three rows of potatoes.  We had a few spots where the potatoes did not come up and hubby filled those in yesterday.  They'll be later but he can't stand empty spaces between plants.

In the new plowed ground we started with three rows of potatoes. We had a few spots where the potatoes did not come up and hubby filled those in yesterday. They’ll be later but he can’t stand empty spaces between plants.

Next we have one row of green beans and two rows of Silver Queen corn.

Next we have one row of green beans and two rows of Silver Queen corn.

THEN, we have lots of tomatoes!   There are 32 Mr. Stripey tomatoes, 12 Roma's and 4 of a new yellow tomatoes we're trying.  My spaghetti sauce and barbecue sauce that I canned last year is such a hit that I'll be canning a lot more of it this year and lots of salsa and diced tomatoes.

THEN, we have lots of tomatoes! There are 32 Mr. Stripey tomatoes, 12 Roma’s and 4 of a new yellow tomatoes we’re trying. My spaghetti sauce and barbecue sauce that I canned last year is such a hit that I’ll be canning a lot more of it this year and lots of salsa and diced tomatoes.

The tomatoes are blooming and full of little green tomatoes.

The tomatoes are blooming and full of little green tomatoes.

Last but not least are the sweet potatoes.  We have a dozen plants and they're spreading out.

Last but not least are the sweet potatoes. We have a dozen plants and they’re spreading out.

The sweet potatoe sets were started in my kitchen window.  I placed a large sweet potato in a large bowl and kept it full of water.  It soon sprouted and now they're in the ground.

The sweet potato sets were started in my kitchen window. I placed a large sweet potato in a large bowl and kept it full of water. It soon sprouted and now they’re in the ground.

I"m just waiting on them to bloom and produce big sweet potatoes to can and to bake.

I”m just waiting on them to bloom and produce big sweet potatoes to can and to bake.

We’re currently bringing in black raspberries and freezing them.  Soon there will be transparent apples to make applesauce and apple butter with.

Don’t you just love growing your own food????

 

 

 

Greenhouse fun

This year is going to be a little different in the garden.  We still have so much left in the freezer and cellar so we’ve decided to cut back.  I didn’t start up the greenhouse this year and instead have just planted a few of the things that we’ll eat as it comes in.  I’ve planted some tomato, cucumber, cabbage, squash, cantaloupe and watermelon for the garden and have several of my herbs in cups.

Southeast window for seed growth

 

Two varieties of cabbage and squash

 

seed cups

GermanJohnsonPink and Roma 2013

Four varieties of tomato

I haven’t started my periennial flowers yet but think I have plenty of time for that.  I also like to put some directly in the ground.  It will be late May before we can safely put anything in the garden.   My rhubarb is up and doing better than it did last year but it’s new and will take a couple years to get established.  I started it these huge tractor tires  and I need to work some manure into the dirt soon.

rhubarb spring 2013 (1)

I also started some garlic in a tire last year and I haven’t pulled any of it yet.  The stems are greening up and hopefully they’ll  do as well as the rhubarb is.  I was very afraid the moles and voles would eat up both but it doesn’t look like it so far.

rhubarb spring 2013 (2)

 

I read on someone’s blog and on Pinterest that if you buy celery in the store and cut the root end off and place it in a cup of dirt that it would grow!!  Believe me it works and I can’t wait until this gets big enough to eat.

Starting another celery_time to go in the dirt DSCN3360

One plant is one month old and the other is about two weeks old.  I use a lot of celery when I cook and a lot of onions.

I have a very special friend that heard my plea for a purple and green shamrock and she came through for me.  Here’s the plant she gave me along with some that I found at Food Lion around St. Patricks Day.

Purple shamrock

Purple shamrock

Green and purple shamrock

Green and purple shamrock

Gardening time is just around the corner and I still have to clean up the yard and clear out the flower beds.  There I go again wishing my life away!!  Happy gardening everyone.

Seasonal recipes – Pumpkin

 I love to cook and wanted to share a couple fall recipes we like.  Hope you enjoy as much as we do.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

 Bars

4 eggs

1 2/3 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin with a mixer until light and fluffy.

Pour flour, powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda into another bowl and mix.

Pour flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and mix until incorporated and smooth.

Pour the batter into the baking dish and level out the batter.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the dish or frosting.

Frost the bars when they have cooled — To make the frosting: Combine cream cheese and butter in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add the sugar slowly until you reach the desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla.

Summer Squash Casserole

2 lbs. (about 6 C.) yellow squash or zucchini

1 C. chopped onion

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 C. sour cream

½ C. butter or margarine

1 package herb seasoned stuffing (or 4 C. dry stuffing)

In a saucepan cook sliced squash and onions in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes. Drain. Combine soup and sour cream. Stir in carrots. Fold in drained squash and onions. Combine stuffing mix and butter or margarine. Spread half of this mixture in a 12 x 7 ½ x 2 baking dish. Layer with vegetable mixture and top with remaining stuffing mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until well heated.

More to come.  Enjoy!

Busy weekend!

I don’t waste any time on my weekends off and this past weekend was no exception. The garden is very bountiful and I snapped a five gallon bucket and half of another on Saturday afternoon. We canned 21 quarts of beans from that batch, froze 13 packs of yellow squash and froze six packs of shredded zucchini. I made a loaf of zucchini bread on Saturday and hubby loves it. We’ve only got about two slices left so I’ll make some more this week. I’ll probably bake 6 – 8 more loaves and put them in the freezer for the winter.

Zucchini and zucchini bread fresh from the oven

Fresh vegies ready to store

We froze five packs of freezer slaw last night and we’re going to open a pack on Saturday and see how it is. If we like it we’re going to make more. The head of cabbage he got out of the garden yesterday weighed 15 lbs and 2 ozs.

He dug a few potatoes last Thursday and they’re really nice and he pulled the onions to dry. We had such beauties this year but the rains we’ve been getting are causing them to rot which is why we’ve pulled them so early. We probably were able to salvage about a bushel.

Onions drying for winter storage

Hubby is picking more beans this morning and we’ll snap them this evening after supper while sitting on the front porch listening to the quiet and watching for the wildlife.

Green beans from the garden

Garden Harvest

I went to the garden yesterday morning and harvested this pan full of beautiful veggies.  I’m afraid we are going to have to start watering the garden this week from our pond.  The sun is bearing down and all of the garden is wilted by the end of the day.  We got a really late start planting this year because of the rain keeping the garden too wet to plow and then to plant.  Then the deer started eating the green beans again this year but we’re trying different things to deter them.  I save all of the thin bars of soap from the shower and hubby shaved them and scattered them through the beans.  That has stopped them for a few days but I read on another post that black trash bags tie to the fence was a good deterrent so I bout a cheap box and have the garden surrounded with them.  When the wind blows the bags blow up and out and I’m assuming that’s what scares them.  We will have a wonderful dinner from what I’ve already gathered along with some venison biscuits to top off the meal.  The following is the favorite at our house to prepare the squash:

Wash and slice one or two yellow squash or zucchini.  I slice them about a 1/4″ inch thick.  I dip them in a mixture of one egg, 1/2 c. milk,  salt & pepper, to taste. Then I dip them in seasoned flour until coated really well.  I then place them in a iron skillet that has one stick of butter that is melted and sizzling but not brown.  It takes about two minutes on one side, turn them over and fry the other side until golden brown.  Take out of skillet and place on paper towel and eat up.  They’re really crispy on the outside and sweet and firm on the inside.  Hubby even loves them cold!!

Enjoy your garden and share with family and friends!!