Now is the time that we begin to be very busy. We are no longer getting the garden ready; we are dealing with all the produce we have been blessed to get from it.
In addition to cabbage, kale, collards, scallions, garlic, strawberries, and I don’t know what else, we are harvesting copious amounts of blueberries. Most of our blueberry bushes are ripening now, and our dining room table has several pans and bowls full of blueberries. We’ve already eaten one pie and handfuls of berries. I eat a lot of yogurt with blueberries and granola. Tomorrow, more pies will be made, some pie filling for the wintertime, and blueberry topping for our ice cream. Undoubtedly blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes will be enjoyed by us all before the week is out. Here are just two of the many containers:
We’re also starting to get our Sunchocola and Juliet tomatoes which we are enjoying in our salads (yes, we are still harvesting lettuce). In addition, we harvested a certain kind of hot pepper to test them out. They’re called Chinese five-color peppers, and as the name implies, the peppers go through five colors before they’re fully ripe. They start as a really nice purple, move on to beige, then yellow, orange, and finally, red. My dad ate a beige pepper with all the seeds, and he said they’re really hot. I wonder what they will be like when they’re red!
These peppers will be used mostly to make salsa (both fresh and preserved), hot pepper vinegar, and hot sauce. They are a really nice looking plant with abundant tiny fruit, no more than 1 inch long.
Our zucchini plants are still doing well, which is good because everyone loves zucchini. We have been able to eat our fill as well as share with other family members and some friends. Our Swiss chard finally was partially harvested today for the first time. We only picked leaves off of three plants, but it produced a small mountain in our colander. We also read that you can do some things with Swiss chard stalks, so we kept those, hoping that we can find a way to prepare them in a manner that we like.
Our grocery bill has dropped to practically nothing. Mostly we buy milk and cream, sometimes bread. Having a large garden is a ton of work, but when the food starts coming in, it feels good to be able to go out and pick your meals, selecting just the ingredients you want for them. And when we get tired of vegetables, we make big burgers with lots of French fries 🙂
If you have a garden, feel free to share what is coming in for you!