Saturday, 15 September 2012

Eat what you grow, Grow what you eat - September

So here we are on the 15th, and once again, I almost missed it.

This is the September installment of my eat what you grow/grow what you eat challenge.  The May through August editions can be found here (May)here (June)here (July), and here (August).

I have decided to change my tactics this month...rather than give you a list of what I ate each day, I will just keep you updated on what is of note in the last month.

I am quite pleased that even on vacation, we were able to stick with the challenge.  For the beginning of the week, we brought some fresh garden produce with us (cucumbers, tomatoes, blackberries) and for the end of the week, we brought some jam made from our own raspberries, and a jar of peppermint for making mint tea in the evenings.  We were actually able to eat something we grew every single day while we were gone.  And also, our neighbours, friends, and family came over to harvest for themselves while we were gone.

We came home to this...
...which made it quite easy to meet the challenge in the week following our vacation.

We sampled our own peaches, we made homemade spaghetti sauce (by we, I mean I), and had our first eggplant parmesan (a hit with the adults...not so much for the kids).
 The week we returned, I did some canning to help meet the challenge through the winter.
I think I was overestimating how much we would get from our own garden.  Although we have had enough that I have had to buy very little produce over the summer months, the potatoes, corn, and green beans I was relying on to preserve did not do very well at all.  I dug up the potato bin this past week and found a total of 8 potatoes.  Disappointing to say the least.  I will not be using the potato bin again...this was round 2 and it was a failure both times.  The green beans...I missed most of them because they were ready exactly when we were on vacation, and the third planting I put in was pretty much dug up by the squirrels.  The corn...still growing, but I don't think anything is going to be ready to eat before the frost comes, so I am not holding my breath on that.
All is not lost though.  I have plenty of pickles and tomato juice (which we use for spaghetti sauce), a variety of jams, pickled items, and tomato based sauces.  I am still canning what is still coming from the garden, and we will just see what we will see.

We have also been enjoying the fresh cabbages.  This is the first year I ever planted cabbage.  I planted 4, and each one gave us enough to make coleslaw twice.  I plan to plant at least 8 next year - 12 if I have room.
I was able to make spaghetti sauce almost entirely from our own garden.  I had to get an onion and some celery at the farmer's market, but the tomatoes, herbs, jalapenos, and peppers all came from our garden.  There is still some in the freezer, and as I am still getting tomatoes, I might see if I can pressure can some spaghetti sauce.  I just have to find out how to go about doing that as I have still never used a pressure canner before.
We roasted some sunflower seeds, which turned out great.  We harvested the peanuts.  I was pleasantly surprised by the crop...however I have had no luck roasting them as of yet.  The first night I tried, I accidentally spilled the whole pan of them in the oven...the gas oven...while it was still on.  Right into the flame part.  I had to unscrew and remove several pieces of the oven to get them out before using the oven again.  Attempt #2 - I followed some directions I found on the internet, and although they smell good, they are still super soft inside.  I think I will have no choice but to shell them all to roast them.  Not looking forward to that.

And finally - here is where I admit to the tally.  I missed a night.  On the 12th.  My husband had to work was the night of the dropping the peanuts in the oven fiasco, so what was planned for dinner couldn't be made without smoking us all out of the house.  So I made some french toast, with strawberries from the component of our dinner came from our yard.  Neither had we had anything at any point that day...and I was going to make some mint tea, just to have the day "qualify" and then I forgot.  Oops.

So, the grand tally so far:  From May 15th to September 15th, I have missed 2 days.  Regardless, I am not giving up.  I want to see what the winter brings.

How about you?  Is your garden bearing the fruits of your labour?  And are you eating it?

1 comment: