Sunday, September 25, 2011

Garden Harvest 2011

We planted, watered & nurtured our garden all summer long, praying and hoping there would be a reward for our labors.  We thank Jesus that we had an abundance of tomatoes and peppers, which I've been canning large batches weekly for the past 3 weeks.  Currently, I have a picnic table loaded down with green ones.  We'll see what becomes of them.  I have a recipe for green tomato and apple relish.

We planted giant sunflowers at the ends of each of our garden rows.  I would like to get a smaller variety that can actually support its own head!  These are pretty, and we'll be saving some seeds for planting again next year.  I should also save some for eating or even bird-seed.
Makenna & the Giant Sunflowers
Since I had so many green beans last year, I didn't plant any regular plants, but we did create a Teepee and planted climbing white beans and scarlet runner beans on it.  I forgot to pick the beans, though, and they got too big and tough to eat.  We'll save some for seeds next year.  The scarlet runner beans climbed and had red blooms, but I can't tell if any actually grew beans.  I think the pods would look different.  I got the seeds from my sister-in-law.
The TeePee for climbing beans
I planted these zinnias at the front of a row in the garden, and I was surprised at how well they grew.  I knew they would like it here, but the blooms have been out for a couple months, and they're so bright and long lasting!  I'll plant more next year, for sure.  I saved seeds from these by stripping the dead heads and placing in a bag.  I left the bag open to air out and dry--hope they don't get moldy and they dry out quickly.  Both girls helped me gather the seeds and we got quite a collection.
Bright Multi-colored Zinnias
These flowers are still blossoming and growing in my yard.  I scattered a seed variety packet this spring, and these yellow flowers were a part of it, I think.  They look like a black-eyed Susan/daisy type.  The second flower here is a Glad.  I planted many bulbs in my front yard and got quite a variety of colors.  So pretty!
The Butterfly Bush is on its second year, and did well.  They really do attract butterflies!  The second flower was from the variety seed packet, and I have no idea what it is, but it's so pretty and delicate.
Butterfly Bush and Pink Flower
This is what my son does when we're out to the garden.  Our garden is past our backyard and across the ally-way.  The previous owners of our house also own the vacant property across the ally and they are friends from church and still neighbors, so they allow us to garden on their property (no shade here, so perfect for a garden).  Anyway, Maverick likes to lay in dirt piles, drive his trucks through dirt and just plain get dirty!
We also planted a few types of potatoes and the girls think it's so much fun to help Daddy dig them up! We did have a potato bug problem this year, worse than last year, and so we didn't get quite as many potatoes this year.  These tall plants you can see here by Tim are Jerusalem Artichokes.  They grow like a potato and I guess you cook them up like a potato, even though they're gnarly like a ginger root.  I've never had them, but I thought they'd be fun to try.  We'll dig them up after the first frost.  We also planted sweet potatoes, which will be dug up soon, too.
Digging up Potatoes

I planted Cosmos once, I think, and they've been re-seeding themselves the past few years.  This year, I decided to collect seeds from the dead-heads and hope to have more of these bright, sweet, tall flowers.

Hannah is doing her nature study notebook.  Most of the time we're so busy out in the garden picking and weeding and eating that she doesn't do much drawing, but I think the sketching is good practice for her.  It trains her eyes to look at the details of an item and spend more time inspecting it instead of just racing to the next thing.  She's studying the Milkweed here.  We read a bit about it in our Handbook of Nature book and learned that it's called Milkweed because it seems to "bleed milk" when the skin is damaged in an attempt to heal itself.  When we broke it open, it did indeed seem to bleed milk!

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I love Jesus with all my heart and a truth & Grace seeker. I married the love of my life in 2000 and I've been blessed with 5 lovies that I homeschool. Join me as I blog about my interests.


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