Preserving Garden Bounty

s.jpgLast time I updated about the garden, the squash plants were in full force. We planted zucchini, yellow squash, and some patty pan squash. Squash always seems to do well, and we always have a plethora of the brightly colored vegetables. Truth be told, I was sick and tired of seeing, picking, and eating squash. That’s when it started to get bad. There was squash in the garden, in the refrigerator, and even on the counter. I finally decided to do something with it today.

I ended up freezing three gallon bags of various squashes and I’m thinking that tomorrow I’ll probably have at least that much more to do. This is what I did to freeze the squash so it will be yummy in the winter.

1. Washed and cut the pieces into a nice size for stir fry, casseroles, etc.

2. Started a large pot of water simmering to almost a boil.

3. Prepared an ice bath

4. Put the squash in the hot water for almost five minutes, just enough to get it nice and bright in color.

5. Removed the squash and put it in its ice bath.

6. After it was cool to the touch, I used my gallon sized Ziploc bags and put them in there. I stuck them in the freezer, and I was done!

I’ll have to be honest and say that there was some squash that went bad, as well as some green beans I didn’t get blanched in time. I’ll have to make sure that doesn’t happen again!

Do you prefer frozen or canned veggies?

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No More Bugs Bunnies!

rabbit.PNGImagine my surprise when I went out to check my garden after I got home from work and discovered that some of my new green bean plants have been eaten! Needless to say, I am not a happy camper.  While I am a huge animal lover, I am not a fan of my garden being eaten.  Not one bit.  So I decided I’d try to beat the rain and make a trip up to Home Depot to buy some stakes to put leftover chicken wire on to keep the rascals out.

I purchased 10 stakes plus ties.  It cost me $20.  When I got home, I ran around looking for the hammer.  After I found it, I pounded some stakes in the corners of the boxes, attached some of the chicken wire plus this green mesh netting thing around the green bean bed and tied it to the stakes.  That ought to hold for a few days until I can get more blood meal or whatever it is that deters rabbits.  I’m half tempted to leave my dogs out in the yard permanently now.

Not only am I angry that these darn rabbits are eating my plants, but now I’m aggravated I had to spend money to keep them out!  Mr. Money suggested we get some plastic snakes to put out in the garden, and that may be another option.

Anyone hungry for rabbit? 

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Garden Progress

One of my favorite things about owning this house is the fact we have enough land to have a garden to grow our own vegetables.  I love the idea of homesteading, and we’re trying to create our own little homestead here in our neck of the woods.  This year we got started a little late so we’re only enjoying copious amounts of yellow squash so far.  This is the third year we’ve had a garden, and each year we enjoy it more and more.  The more we add our compost to the soil, the more the plants take off!

Here’s how our garden looked this spring, before planting:
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And here it is today:
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In this bed we have zucchini, yellow squash, patty pan squash, okra, sugar snap peas, and bush beans. The huge plants on the right are the yellow squash plants.

To the right of this bed we have some volunteer tomato plants that came up from seed by themselves and I transplanted (I don’t have the heart to kill them!):
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Our first tomato:
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Near the back fence of our property we have a bed that contains strawberries, a blueberry bush, and some sugar snap peas I planted last weekend.
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We have a raspberry box that will hopefully multiply:
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I am also going to be saving the leaves to make raspberry leaf tea out of. It’s great for your womanly parts (sorry guys)!

We have three rows of beans that I planted last weekend and hopefully will be able to can or freeze:
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The front bed contains peas, beans, and lavender. I hope to use the lavender in my homemade soap this fall for Christmas gifts!  The bed behind it has basil, rosemary, oregano, chives, sage, and Italian parsley.

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And last but not least we have some beautiful rainbow chard that is recovering nicely after I tried to kill it:
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Growing a garden is not only delicious to me, but it’s also therapeutic. I love going out to my garden at the end of the day and digging in the dirt and watering the plants. There’s nothing like it!

What’s your favorite home grown vegetable?

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