Garden 2020- THE SEQUEL!

And just like that- it is mid October. I am pretty sure September was about 11 days long this year. I just do not understand how we are so close to Halloween already. I actually saw Christmas lights at the hardware store today. In the words of my friend (and fellow chicken tender) Jen “WHAT THE FIGGY PUDDING!?!?!”

We had a banner year here in the Food It Yourself garden. We planted that Asian pear tree. Our cherry trees produced handsomely despite late frosts and snow. We harvested way too much zucchini (which is exactly why we plant zucchini). We made a whole lot of pickles until the national supply of pint canning jars ran out. We had plenty of sweet corn and string beans.

We preserved just about 50 pounds of ripe tomatoes (based on estimating 2.75 pounds per quart). Then, I picked 58 pounds of green tomatoes (I actually weighed those) after the equinox when there was insufficient sunlight to ripen them. I made green tomato relish and salsa verde. I gave about 25 lb away, and I ripened the rest by putting them in a covered container with an apple. Methylene gas from the apple helps to ripen green tomatoes. This can be done with a banana in place of the apple. Including the tomatoes we ate fresh off the vine and the ones I gave to the chickens, we figure we got at least 150 lb total. One hundred and fifty pounds. I am amazed!

Also, for the first time in the 10 years since we have been at Food It Yourself HQ we had enough wild concord grapes ripen along our fence for a small batch of grape jelly. I could write pages describing the memories that flooded my mind as I cooked this up. My grandparents had a huge grape arbor and jelly making was a family event each year. Homemade grape jelly is the ultimate comfort food for me.

So, what now? Daylight is shortening in the Bay State. Daily high temperatures are trending downwards. Is the 2020 garden season over? Almost. This year, due to the pandemic, we have a second round of garden! It is much smaller than the first, but it is thriving, none the less.

More string beans! I am hoping I can harvest enough to blanche, freeze, and serve home-grown beans on Thanksgiving. Holy cow! That is only six weeks away.
I planted some carrots amongst my tomatoes, which were totally crowded out and produced nothing. After round one of snow peas was finished I planted more carrots in that raised bed. Those carrots are now carroting! From what I read, they will just get sweeter in the cooler weather. I might be able to serve these on Thanksgiving also.
Round two of snow peas is thriving, and those free kale seeds are growing into yummy chicken snacks. Because seriously, kale is not suitable food for humans.

The blessings just keep coming in the Food It Yourself garden! How did your 2020 garden pan out? I am especially excited to hear from first-time gardeners, but do want to hear from everyone. What worked for you? What did not? What did you learn? Fill up that comments section, my fellow DIYeters!