Harvesting Food

I have gone from wishing the rain would leave for awhile to now having more to do in one day than I can get done. It’s a wonderful feeling!!

I am getting to harvest some food from my garden!! And it feels great! My raised bed of strawberries are producing big, fat, juicy, sweet berries! I am harvesting about a half gallon of the delicious, healthful berries per day. Of course I am eating as much as I can hold. The rest are being saved for next winter. I feel I am a little like a squirrel saving food for winter. I have also gone five miles out of town and bought 2 1/2 gallons of strawberries from an Amish lady. Most of the strawberries have been stored by freezing them, but I have also made freezer jam (which preserves the natural flavor of the berries better than regular jam) and strawberry leather by dehydrating a mixture of strawberry pulp and honey. I am always experimenting in some way, so I am going to try freezing some of the leather. Regular dry storage of leathers in a jar is supposed to keep for 2 months, so I am going to freeze some of the leathers to see if it will keep into winter. (I don’t see any reason that won’t work.)

I am also picking some snow peas as well. I am eating some of them in stir-fry and other recipes and some I am freezing.

The rest of my garden is starting to look like it may produce some food. We are still getting too much rain, and while my cardboard and grass clippings are building the soil, I am having problems with the birds scratching through the clippings and covering the new seedlings. I don’t know if the new beet plants will survive or not. As soon as the garden dries a little, I carefully uncover the little plants but I don’t know if that will be enough to save them.

I have two rows of corn that look like they have adjusted to all the rain. The kale never came up. I have the beets that are up and carrots and lettuce as well. The birds have snipped off some of the green beans and some of the tomatoes. I have placed some recycled cardboard cartons around the tomatoes and it looks like most of them are going to survive.

The row of green onions (that I had to replant) are looking promising and the brassicas that I covered with a hoop tunnel made from a sheer curtain are looking very healthy. A friend gave me a rhubarb plant from her garden today, so I will see if it will survive the moisture in my garden.

All in all, it is beginning to look like I will not be totally at the mercy of the grocery stores and trucking shortages next winter. I like feeling like I can take care of myself and I love knowing the food I produce will not have been sprayed with pesticides and will be at the peak of goodness when I consume it.

My rain barrels are nearly filled to the top so when the dry weather hits, I will be ready to water my plants without using city water.

As you can probably tell, my garden is my happy place. When I am working there, the troubles of the world just slip away! It’s a peaceful feeling and one that I wish everyone of you could experience! It rained again last night, so I will look for indoor projects this morning.

Until next time, peace and good gardening to you!

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