July 21, 2009

A Plentiful Harvest

This was picked out of our vegetable garden yesterday. The zucchini plants seem to be slowing down, though we are still getting a few each day. Now the cucumber plants seem to be kicking it into high gear. We are starting to get spaghetti squash and watermelon now. I found a small watermelon that had been completely hollowed out with two large holes in each side. I am assuming mice must have done it. How strange, mice must love watermelon but they did leave us this one.

I did not know if we were going to get very many tomatoes this year because when they first began to ripen the bugs got to most of them before we could. I was temped to spray but I really wanted a pesticide free garden this year. So I put it off, told my husband "see we should have gotten guinea hens this year", and took a wait and see approach. Once the tomatoes started ripening all at once I have found the bugs are not getting to nearly as many of them and we are starting to get quite a few tomatoes. They are not the prettiest tomatoes but they sure do taste better than the ones at the grocery store.

One of the plants I am most happy with is the bird house gourds. I started them from seeds indoors and only a couple came up. How disappointing because I really did want some for birdhouses and crafts. So I planted those two and they just kind of sat out there the same size forever. Late in the spring I planted some more seeds straight into the ground, not really expecting much from them. They have taken off! They completely covered the trellis we made for them and part of the feeding pen fence. Luckily the goats don't have access to that except at feed time so them eating it hasn't been an issue. They don't seem to like the birdhouse gourd vines anyway, unlike my corn!

I thought I planted it far enough away from the fence but I underestimated my goats determination. The hornless goats in the herd have reached through the fence, stretching and pushing until they have eaten the first three or four stalks of corn in each row. I am amazed just how far they can reach through the fence if there is something they want bad enough. They haven't pushed the fence down yet, but it wasn't for lack of trying! The goats are still eyeing the corn they can't reach, if they ever get out my corn is a goner for sure!

I am very happy to see the garden do so well this year. We have gotten more out of it than we alone can use. A lot has been given away to friends and family but we are also going to take produce to the farmers market this week. I don't know if we will come out ahead in the end but it sure is nice to raise some of our own food and be that much closer to self sufficiency.

21 comments:

KathyB. said...

Oh, I love cucumbers and I would have cucumbers every day with a bounty like that! How can smart and healthy goats resist such temptation?

Wonderful and plenteous harvest!

Magaly Guerrero said...

I'm as green as your cucumbers, but is not freshness, it's pure envy! WOW those look soooo good. Now I feel like a huge salad and it's all your fault, but that's okay I forgive you ;)

~Tonia said...

It all looks so good!!! I made refrigerator pickles for the first time ever and they were really good and Easy!!!
To funny about the goats. They will hurt themselves sometimes trying to get the "goodstuff"!!

Alix said...

But only one carrot? Seriously?

LOLOLOL

You are so cute Jennifer!

DebH said...

My Gosh!! I just picked my first tomatoe out of the garden last night. You are so way ahead of us, and what a treat. We have been getting unusually cool nights lately and it is starting to feel ominously like Fall!! The blasphemy of it all :)

Flartus said...

80 lbs of zucchini? Omigosh! That's probably as much as our entire garden harvest will be all season!

I asked Miss Chef about that zucchini/apple pie recipe. She never got a recipe, but as far as she remembers, he diced the zucchini evenly, tossed it in butter & the usual spices, and baked it just like apple. Maybe you can Google a recipe?

Neighbors of ours planted a big bunch of corn in the community garden area. When I went up to check on it the other day, every single stalk had been uprooted and knocked over. I would suspect raccoons; they are so greedy! Worse than goats! So I guess, count your blessing? :)

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

You came out ahead when you got to eat organic vegetables and fruits straight out of your garden. I hope you do get some sales at the Farmers market though. Your pickins' look great!

Moonshadow said...

Aren't gardens wonderful?! My garden went in late again this year so it's just starting to produce. Check my latest post to see how it looks since I reclaimed it from the grass that was starting to take over.

Christy said...

I'm going to have to replant my birdhouse gourds I think. They aren't doing well. The goats lost interest in my corn once it got big enough.

Pricilla said...

*sigh* I was given two zucchini today so my madness is about to begin.

Our goats are also trying to break down the garden fence. They are so funny.

Your tomatoes look wonderful.

Marina said...

what an awesome produce...thank God for gardens and the gift of being able to pluck your own veggies from the backyard.....now I really want to move out of our apt!!!

PS. Coming over from SITS...My Back to School Carnival starts in 9 days- 31 days of reviews and giveaways....come on over and enter 3 giveaways till then :>
http://energizerbunnysmommyreports.blogspot.com/

Multiple personalities.. said...

What a lovely selection of vegetables! Your zucchini look great. And the goats are too cute!

Stopping by from SITS..have a great day!

Patsy said...

Just found your blog and I love it! You are living the life I yearn to live. I will be reading regularly. Thanks for letting us know the good life.

Callie said...

Love your garden! Those cucumbers look so good. I'm thinking of making some raised beds in my green garden and having a try at growing some vegetables.

Nancy M. said...

Your harvest looks wonderful! It sounds like you are doing great this year. Ours has mostly died off. We hope for some of the fall things we planted to come up.

Mary said...

I have a soft spot in my heart for birdhouse gourds. My grandfather used to use them for exactly that. Fond memories!

Vicki said...

Wow! That looks yummy. I love tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers!!! Unfortunately something has eaten all of the tomatoes on our plants before they turned red.

Oz Girl said...

I agree with you about self-sufficiency - that must feel good to be getting your own harvest. I think you've done quite well. Better than my few potted veggies! :) Next year will be our planted garden, I'm sure of it.

Re: our flatter landscape. We drove to Sedan several times back in Feb/March with our paint horse (to a horse sanctuary that was helping us with his hoof injury) so I know exactly what you mean about the hillier country over that way! I like the differences - we can see so far here in the flatlands, but the hills make it more interesting. :)

Leslie said...

Your harvest looks delicious. The cucumbers remind me of the huge pickles my grandmother used to make with the cucumbers she grew in her garden. She always had more than she knew what to do with.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Glad to see your garden is doing well. I've been gone for a week and I'm afraid to go see what mine looks like.

Lanny said...

nice harvest! I can't imagine that you have not come out in the end.