This year’s garden had the best yield yet. After 5 years of building and tweaking, we have several raised beds that are full of organic compost. There were times that it looked like a scene from “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” out there (take a look at those zucchini plants – over 4′ tall with leaves that were nearly 2′ across).
Here’s how the harvest broke down for the year:
- Crap tons of zucchini – 8 plants = over 50 cups of shredded and around 20 packages of chopped and sliced in my freezer
- Tomatoes – 19 plants = 3 batches of roasted veggie marinara, 3 quart bags of sun-dried, 8 jars of roasted, 12 gallon freezer bags that I need to do something with (they’ll probably end up as sauce), and 2 Horrock’s bags near my back door that are still ripening
- Pea pods and green beans – 8 plants each = ~20 bags in the freezer (SQUIRREL – my pole beans were obnoxious… I completely understand the setting for Jack and the Beanstalk now)
- Eggplant – 14 plants = so much eggplant that I have no idea WTH to do with
- Herbs – frozen and dried oregano, tarragon, chives, parsley, and basil (including 19 quarter-pint jars of pesto)
- Winter squash – Total of 16 or so plants of acorn, spaghetti, delicata, and butternut = ~40 squashes. I also grew pie pumpkins but only got 3 of those. (SQUIRREL – I had a bit of a powdery mildew problem that hurt my squash. I’ll write about that another day. 😉 )
I also had some “first-timers” that I enjoyed:
- Beets – I harvested these pretty early and used their greens too
- Parsnips – I’ve become a fan of these over the last year because they are a good addition to my mashed faux-tatoes (Paleo subsitute for potatoes using cauliflower)
- Fennel – This was the coolest thing I grew this year. I didn’t get much of a harvest, but I really enjoyed what I did get.
- Sunflowers – Not sure if I did these right or not, but the kids loved that they got almost 10′ tall.
- Corn – I suck at growing corn. I never get a good yield and the ears seem tough when we eat them. Bleck. I might give up on this.
Our garden is a family project. Although I spend the most time out there (my garden is my summer sanctuary), my DH and brother made all of the raised beds. My daughters helped dig, plant, and water. But my youngest wins the harvesting MVP for this year. I’m so glad she has taken an interest in the garden. HUGE MOM WIN!!!