I think this will be the final garden update for 2013. The tomato & cucumber plants have given up for the season and I've put away the canning paraphernalia.
Our okra plants were very slow coming on, but this last few weeks, we have gotten a few each day. I consider myself a true Southern gal now since I've grown and learned to cook this truly Southern specialty.
I pulled up a few potato plants because our watermelon vines are growing over the potato plants (a curse of urban gardening-small spaces)
This picture was from last week and it was my last "big" pick of the tomatoes. It seemed like one day I was picking a bushel a day and the next, we were down to only getting a bowl full.
I did not plant cantaloupe this year and yet, we were blessed with 2 vines that came up and gave us a few melons. (one more benefit of the neighbors feeding your chickens their scraps)
Our first watermelon weighed 16 pounds and our 2nd weighed 12!
They weren't very dark red inside, but boy oh boy were they sweet tasting!
This little blessing showed up on our lawn one afternoon. I still don't know who dropped it off, but of course we weren't going to waste them.
We made applesauce and I also canned some apples for baking.
If you are interested in canning apples, see the video below, which I found very helpful.
Here's a big batch of sauce ready to be jarred up.
I cooked the apples in pear juice that I process from some of the pears my parents brought me. These apples were from my neighbor's tree so all ingredients were FREE!
Pear juice (to use next in next year's canning) and apples
I found a large bookshelf at a local antique store so I can finally display the fruit (and veggies) of my labor.
Yes, I'm a little obsessed with canning right now but its just so fulfilling to look at these shelves and see all that the Lord has provided this year.
Now that most of the garden is done for this year, I'm already working to improve the soil so we can be even more productive next year.
AJ helps out by carrying a bag of grass clippings that will be used for chicken food and more compost. I also received a call from a local family who need to re-home their hens and wondered if I would take them. The answer was "of course!" so now not only will I be getting more eggs but I have 4 more ladies to help work the soil as well.