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  • Liz

Homesteading


At the end of the growing season, I am always amazed how much food was grown, harvested and processed. What was once considered a ‘dream’ has become a reality. Except when your garden plots are surrounded by trees and weeds, it can become challenging for much needed sunlight. So what was once our homegrown straw patch for the gardens is now a new growing plot and the sunniest spot on our property.


Eating fresh greens and herbs directly from your garden is beyond satisfying, especially knowing it is grown 100% organically. Our raised beds provided us with an endless supply of healthy salad goodies all season long. As a bonus, dried basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, mint, sage, thyme and dill are items that no longer go on our grocery list.

 

The “garden freezer" is packed with blanched and frozen vegetables. An abundance of Swiss Chard and Kale will provide for us all winter long. And a bumper crop of green beans and a variety of peppers will also likely last until next year’s growing season.


Canning was a huge success. A lot of work, but totally worth it once it’s all done. Over 30 jars of tomato sauce might be a record. Pickled jalapeños and pimento paste will not only easily supply us until next year’s harvest, but will also make great holiday gifts.


We started growing garlic 3 years ago and there is no going back to store bought, nope. I read somewhere to use egg cartons to store them and that was the best advise ever. We have not purchased any garlic since. We’ve been growing our potatoes, on the other hand, for at least 10 years. It started with purple potatoes when our local garden centre carried them that one time only. We’ve since added organic russet, yellow and red potatoes. We save our own ‘seeds’ for planting every year, so this is one crop that is officially fully sustainable.

 


And lastly, our raspberry patch. Started producing delicious, healthy full of Vitamin C berries in August. This was harvested Oct 27 and there is approx. 10 pounds of vacuum sealed frozen berries ready for winter smoothies.


 

It truly is fascinating watching the ecosystem on our property constantly changing. In early summer, a surprise black raspberry cane patch provided us with beautiful berries for weeks on end. It was incredible and they were delicious.


Another newcomer to the property was the almighty Elderberry Bush/Tree. At first, we were perplexed when this massive, almost invasive bush showed up. And then the berries revealed themselves and we were in awe. That’s when we noticed we were surrounded by elderberry trees. It was crazy. Beautiful red, purple, and white berries that were in one day, pretty much all devoured by the birds in the hood. That blew my mind and upset me a bit because they got to it before I had a chance to harvest some for our own.

 

Dedicated to our sweet Maya. I missed her company hanging out with me in the gardens this summer.


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