The Backyard

The Backyard

Friday, September 4, 2009

What's Going on In The BackYard

It's early September and the plants are thinking its mid or late September with the cold evenings (50s) we've been having. The raspberries stopped production, the peppers are starting to get that "I'm cold" look, and the winter crops are taking over and growing like I've never seen greens grow. It seems a little early for all this to be happening, but to be honest, I'm glad to see things changing. I'm tired! The prep has begun for the first frost which means a LOT of harvesting and preserving. Here's what's been going on the past month (and why you haven't seen much of me!):
  • Canned 29 jars of tomatoes - will do about 8 or 9 jars of salsa this weekend.
  • Started digging up the sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, and red potatoes (there's a LOT).
  • Started shelling dry beans and decided its WAY too time consuming so I'll just pick the whole shells and put them on the top of my garage (warm) and shell them this winter.
  • Have been drying red raspberries -- got about 4 quarts so far. I used to freeze them but discovered at 135 degrees for 24 hours in the dehydrator, they turn into these absolutely wonderful raspberries crunchies. The flavor is enhanced incredibly. This is probably my thrill of the summer.
  • Greens, greens, and more greens and been growing like weeks the past 3 weeks. I have collards, spinach, swiss chard (golden - beautiful!), chicory, endive, Chinese cabbage, mustard, Thai lettuce, radicchio, kale and red beets. I have to get straw bales around them to prepare for the winter protection and try to save these beauties into January. Supposedly, it works! This is something new I've wanting to try.
  • Starting harvesting the butternut squash. Disappointed with the production this year -- the plants got the wilt towards the end and didn't produce as much. But with the sweet potato harvest, its probably a good thing I don't have as many squash.
  • Froze several bags of cut up peppers.
  • Canned some fennel and hot peppers at a pressure canning class (and decided pressure canning isn't for me -- too time consuming to "watch" the pot).
  • Have been drying leaf lettuce like crazy.
  • And of course cooking up lots of dishes from the backyard harvest with all the fresh vege's -- eggplant, maters, onions, peppers, herbs, greens, etc. You can't imagine how joyful it is grow, pick, and cook your own food from your own backyard. It's truly a delight and if you can, start a garden! You'll never regret it.


Heather said...

Sounds Wonderful! Drying leaf lettuce...sounds interesting. Tell us more!

DailySAHM said...

I've got butternut squash out the wazoo. My Dad planted cantaloupe and butternut squash seeds were mixed in with the pack somehow. He gave me a dozen last week and I made two pots of roasted butternut squash soup, gave 2 squashes away and still have 4 in my fridge. And he's trying to give me more! If you seriously want some, let me know and I can hook you up. We can use the Chris-Rick delivery system.