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harvest

Noah mowed the lawn on Sunday afternoon. When he was done the front yard, he yelled at me through the window. “Hey, Jen! Jennifer! Guess what I found on the ground?”

“What?”

“LEAVES!”

*silence*

I don’t like fall. After fall comes winter and I loathe winter. And fall means football. I don’t hate football, but I certainly do not like it. At all. If there was a scale from LOVE to HATE, where 10 was LOVE and 1 was HATE, I would be at about a 1.2. Maybe a 2, on some days, but that’s still much closer to hate than love.

(Sorry, Noah.)

(But not sorry enough to try to love it.)

I’m trying to find things I like about fall, though, and the girls going back to school is definitely one of those things. I love having them at home, yes, and I love not having to leave the house, or waking babies from naps, or doing emergency runs with forgotten items, but they need something to keep their minds busy. Badly.

Liliana absolutely loves school. Besides the days where the Mean Girls get Kaylie down, so does she. Both girls love learning and thrive in a structured environment where they are surrounded by other kids. (Although that is sometimes also Liliana’s downfall, as all the kids will not DO HER BIDDING, but that is another post all together.)

One thing that I am enjoying about the impending fall part of the year is produce from my garden. My very favourite thing is fresh-from-the-garden cherry tomatoes, but I’m also really enjoying zucchini, too. Sauteed in butter and garlic with also-from-the-garden peppers, red onions, and tomatoes, it is quite delicious. (Thank you so much, Lisa, for teaching me to cook zucchini.) Sometimes I put some Asian-Style Ginger Sauce (from M&M Meat Shops) in the mix and it is absolutely fantastic.

I took the babies outside for a bit Monday morning, and this is what I picked while they were playing in their trampoline cage:

harvested produce

There are more onions, but I only needed one for lunch. The beans are Melissa’s, but my zucchini plants are producing LIKE CRAZY. They’re so big and squished now, though, that the zucchinis have to be picked when they are smaller because there just isn’t room for them to grow any bigger.

The pumpkin plants, too, are completely taking over the entire garden. It’s ridiculous. The largest pumpkin, about 2 inches in diameter, is growing on the other side of the peas, by the cherry tomatoes. Nowhere near the actual pumpkin plant. Bullies, that is what the pumpkin plants are.

Later in the afternoon I went back out to get some green onions for Melissa and I found four more zucchinis the size of the largest one in the photo above on her plants. Hers are a tiny bit behind time-wise because she planted hers from seed whereas I planted mine as seedlings (is that what they’re called?). I also went to check on the potatoes, to see how The Potato Experiment was doing. I pulled up one plant from each section.

po-tay-toes

The ones on the left, the red ones, are from one of the plants under the poop. The one on the right, the white ones, are from two of the plants under the grass. I’d meant to only grab one plant, but, well, they’re kind of intertwined. I’ll wait a while longer before I harvest any more potatoes, but they’re coming along nicely. I’m not sure which — the poop or the grass — is producing better potatoes. The poop plants were planted a bit after the grass ones, so are a bit behind, but otherwise they are quite equal. And both repel weeds quite nicely.

Now, I feel like I have to mention something. I’m not posting garden posts to brag about being an awesome gardener. Because I am not. (An awesome gardener, that is.)(Or bragging, either.) I’m posting because I suck at writing things down. This here blog is my writing things down. It’s not me that is great, but the gardening method. The weather. The sun. The Lord. I don’t grow things, He does. I just help. Just like I didn’t create my children, He did. I just helped. I was the oven. I am the gardener. I just weed once in a while (read: twice since I planted back in June) and water when I remember. The Back to Eden method? The square-foot method? They are incredible. They are why my garden is so fantastic.

I’ve learned quite a lot, this first time around. And there are some things I am going to do different next year. Namely:

  • The squashes will be spaced further apart. Zucchinis and pumpkins take up A LOT of room, apparently. I’m going to put them more to the back of the garden next year. Maybe at the very back. And put the potatoes in front of them. And then everything else.I might also plant just one of each plant. They produce a lot.
  • I’m not going to plant any leafy veggies. Spinach, lettuce, etc. It all seems to be ready at the same time and I am the only one who eats it. I could taper my planting, but I am far too lazy to do that.
  • The peas will be planted in a row, not in a square-foot. I really like the square-foot method for everything except peas. Having them in a big clump is really annoying. It’s hard to string them up and it’s hard to get at the pea pods. Maybe I’ll put a row of them against the garage. NOTE TO SELF.
  • The seeds will be planted and then covered in grass/mulch. This year I did a few that way, when I came to my senses, but before that I’d laid the grass/mulch, poked holes in it, planted, and then re-covered. The former way is much more efficient.

That’s all I can think of at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll think of more as I go. Oh, and I will plant more onions. Big ones, not just the little green onions.

Noah keeps talking about how much he wants to buy a house next year, and all I can think of is it had better have room for a garden.

Categories: the garden project

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  • Kami Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 4:12 pm

    I love your garden posts and you are doing a great job – you are so modest. I have grown a garden too in past years and it’s work. Give yourself some of the credit!

    I also love the small zucchinis sliced into my salad. But I am going to try cooking them as you note above, that also sounds yummy

    • mrswilson Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 4:40 pm

      I’m glad you like them! I’ll keep posting them, just for you. :)

      I’m not a huge fan of raw zucchini, but all fried up? SO GOOD. And Preston loves it, too!

  • Sonja Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 4:30 pm

    I start every year out with the best intentions of writing down/photographing when I did what where in my garden, and I never do. NEVER. *sigh*
    That having been said, I was making dinner with my garden veggies (tomatoes & cucumbers) last night and realized that what I should be growing are onions and garlic. I’ve also decided to give up on bell peppers (too much sun here, I believe), and I only ever plant ONE zucchini plant, because those guys go nuts here, and nobody in this family loves zucchini (I like it, but not enough to be eating it three times a day for weeks).
    And that concludes my garden ramblings.

    • mrswilson Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 4:42 pm

      I want to grow garlic, too! I couldn’t find seeds this spring, though. It was weird. I’ll look harder next year. :)

      I got a couple bell peppers, but about a bazillion hot peppers. And they are so SO hot that I don’t know if I’m going to be able to use them all. :-/

  • Deborah Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 4:58 pm

    I want to do onion and garlic too next year. …and add more nutrients like manure. Our garden just faltered this year…very low producer. I am impressed to see all your beans! Every single squash plant was infected with those darned stem-exploding bugs whatever they are. I know it’s the white moths that flutter around the garden that brings them…guessing they lay their eggs in the tender stems and when the larvae grows up, it eats it’s way out of the stem…leaving an exploded hole in the side of the stem. Grrrr….. I hate using chemicals on my gardens!!!

    Oh yeah…if you want another really yummy way of preparing zucchini, we often slice it lengthwise (~1/2″ thick slices) and drizzle with Olive Oil, salt & pepper…then roast in oven at 350° until cooked thru (20-30 minutes). DELISH! I also do the butternut, spaghetti and patty pan squashes this way.

    • mrswilson Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 5:02 pm

      That sucks a lot. I’ve had some plants eaten, but not many. I’m guessing the covering cuts down on them.

      And that way of roasting zucchini sounds delicious! I do butternut/spaghetti squash that way. Do you put the zucchini open side down or open side up?

  • Joanne Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 7:11 pm

    Don’t overlook planting things vertical, if you have a small space. Our pole beans and cucumbers grow that way to maximize space. I have not tried growing zucchini that way, but would gamble that it would work as well. The pole beans are planted teepee style – 5 poles – 4/5 seeds per pole. The cucumbers are on metal spirals that are sold as tomato spikes. But you could use chicken wire and netting as well – as long as it is firmly attached…..you could plant your pumpkin in an area where ‘early’ veggies are grown, such as radishes, spinach, snap peas (these 3 can all be planted before the ground is totally warm – early planting = early harvest) – once these are harvested the pumpkin vine is large enough to take over the space……looks good though – you seem to have inherited some Braam gardening genes. J

    • mrswilson Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 9:02 pm

      Gardening always reminds me of Grandpa (and my Opa), so I’ll take that Braam gardening genes compliment!

      And that’s a good idea about planting the cucumbers vertically. I’m not sure if it would work with the zucchinis, as they have very, very wide bases, whereas the cucumbers would easily convert into a vine.

      Thanks, Aunt Jo!

  • Angella Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 8:59 pm

    I love harvesting from out garden, too. And sauteed zucchini is a fave.

    • mrswilson Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 9:02 pm

      I could (and do) eat it every single day. YUM.

  • jane Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 10:02 pm

    Look for seed garlic in fall and plant before frost. My friends husband wears headphones when watching sports and it makes a huge difference for the rest of the family.
    Dad sure was disciplined with his huge garden. He worked every evening. I always hope to someday get ahead of the weed seedbank in my garden soil but it seems to do very well so far.

    • mrswilson Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 12:52 am

      Plant it in the fall?

      I’m sure I’ll never be half the gardener Grandpa was, but I’ll try. :)

  • Ashley Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 2:24 am

    It amazes me that you garden, mostly because I’d almost rather go to the gyno than weed my garden. Which is why it only happens twice a year, only once more than I visit the G.

    Glad you’re enjoying all your treasures!

  • jane Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 12:43 pm

    We plant garlic in the fall at the time when tulip bulbs are planted however perhaps your Saskatchewan summers are longer and therefore i do not know whether the planting regime is the same in Saskatchewan. I usually use the biggest and best cloves of my current crop as the seed garlic.

    • mrswilson Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 4:11 pm

      Ah, well I will try that, then! Thanks!!

  • monstergirlee Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 3:45 pm

    I’m with you on the leafy greens thing, I plant them each year and most of the time they just go to seed because no one eats/harvests them. Oh well. Also I finally figured out where to put the trellis for my peas- on the heavier sunward side, otherwise they just go out over the carrots. I haven’t picked any potatoes yet, I probably should check them out tho. And maybe zuccinis next year, I like them even tho no one else does.
    Looks like a great harvest! Congrats to you. I also wonder if people think I’m bragging about gardening, but really I’m not, I’m just amazed that I can plant seeds and then harvest veggies. So cool :-)

    • mrswilson Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 4:12 pm

      EXACTLY!! I’m always so surprised that things grow. I say LOOK AT THIS! like HOLY CRAP I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! not LOOK WHAT I DID BECAUSE I AM SO AWESOME!

      :)

  • Meg Thursday, August 16, 2012, 12:29 am

    My mom also plants garlic in the fall, before the first frost-but that’s here in BC. She has also had good luck separating straight up garlic gloves from the bulb and planting those.
    I’m so jealous of your bounty :) Hopefully I’ll be in a better mental state-and a bit of room-to plant a little garden!

    • mrswilson Thursday, August 16, 2012, 3:33 am

      Gardening is actually REALLY GOOD for one’s mental well-being!

  • jennifer glen Thursday, August 16, 2012, 1:48 am

    I also used to hate fall. I dreaded it with everything in me, mostly b/c it meant the return of work and the coming snow. The one thing I thought of that I liked about fall was the decoration. I love fall decor. But now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, this summer actually began with the weather, not when school let out, and fall doesn’t mean going back to work, it just means getting to wear jeans and socks again (I LOVE the feel of wearing socks for the first time after not wearing them all summer) so, thankfully, I am not dreading fall this year. Although, it still does mean winter is coming…but I’m hoping for a long fall again like we had last year!

    • mrswilson Thursday, August 16, 2012, 3:35 am

      We had SUCH a great fall last year! It was marvelous!!

      I’m so glad you get to stay at home with your little boy. :)