Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goodies From the Garden

I've been a neglectful blogger this summer.  I don't think I checked in on my own blog more than once or twice all summer.  And I know I didn't blog hop the way I do during the fall, winter and spring months.  I miss seeing all the great ideas out there in the blogosphere and I miss sharing all the fun things we do at home.  I guess you could say I've been busy living life for real instead of living through words.  =)

One thing I've always been proud to blog about is our garden.  Mr. CrazyLife and I are avid gardeners and every year we plant a huge victory garden.  And each year it grows bigger and bigger.  We're kind of grow as grow can kind of gardeners.....plant a seed (or a plant), water it a wee bit, weed it for half the summer then go on vacation and leave it to grow as it will, then harvest the bounty and enjoy.  Sometimes our garden looks a bit more like a jungle than a nice, neat tidy growing space.  But it provides for us and we are blessed and thankful.

This year we tried a few new things.  We added raspberry bushes to our fruit patch.  We planted potatoes.  We did a multi-plant of corn....planting new seeds every two weeks for about six weeks.  We planted swan gourds. And we planted muskmelons.  All new things for us.

And our garden grew.

And grew.

And grew.

And was bountiful.  Isn't God great?  A little seed turns into a beautiful green plant.  And in turn it bears fruit that will nourish our bodies.  And it grows it own seed to continue for the next year.  What an awesome thing!  I'm amazed every year at how perfect and wonderful nature is.

Our garden went in late this year.  And it was so nice that everything that usually comes into season right as school starts was a bit later this year.  No picking and canning tomatoes the first night of the school year!  In fact, we're just now starting on the tomatoes.

This year, we decided to get the children in on the food preserving process.  And boy, did they ever get into it - all over their arms, bodies, heads, and even in the creases between their toes!  =)  Apparently, mashing tomatoes and apples is great fun.

I think it is important to teach the children this.  It gives them a sense of accomplishment and they are more apt to try a food if they helped "make" it.  And it teaches them to be prepared.  To  take what God gives and use it wisely.  To not be wasteful.  And to take care of themselves.

I'll have to come back and edit this post with some pictures (apparently, my school computer doesn't have an SD card slot!  LOL)  I've got some great ones of Thing #4 helping make sauerkrat and Things 3 and 4 helping to mash tomatoes.

Love those kids!

Love that garden!

Love the harvest and full jars of yummy food in my pantry.

An accounting: (so far - as of 9-20-11)
18 jars of strawberry vanilla jelly
16 jars of peach jelly
14 jars of bumbleberry jelly (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry combo)
15 jars of BBQ sauce
58 quarts of applesauce
24 pints of sweet pickles
24 pints of dill pickles
a 10-gallon crock of sauerkrat, fermenting as we speak - 4 weeks to go
9 jars of Oktoberfest mustard
20 pints of peaches
10 1/2 pints of spirited peaches
12 quarts of tomato sauce
36 lbs of blueberries, frozen
26 cups of broccoli, frozen
apples, strawberries, basil, blueberries, onion and gr.pepper dried

Still to come:
More tomatoes - four 5 gallon pails and one 10 gallon pail full + some still in the garden
green beans to be frozen - probably about 12 cups worth
corn to be frozen - only about 15 ears to blanch and cut off the cob
and who knows what else I'll find to do????


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