Fall harvest

Last week in Canada was thanksgiving. Being further north than the United States, we often have a shorter growing season, and thus an earlier harvest.

However, we have had some weird weather and there was snow on the ground before thanksgiving. Most of September was cold and raining, and we got snow the first week of October! Now, this is early even for us! But it has played some havoc with our harvests – as of last week, only about 40% of farms had their crops harvested! Kind of crazy, but it does happen sometimes here.

Even though we had to bring everything in earlier than expected because of cold, most everything did well. Our cabbage did really well (makes an excellent citrus slaw for Tacos), we got a lot of squash – most of it spaghetti squash, and a bunch of sunbursts. Our garlic did well, but not as big of a head as it could have been. We tried lemon cucumber this year. It started too late to grow great, but you should try a lemon cucumber. Our green chili peppers did not do so well – only three plants germinated, so didn’t get a lot there, and none of our hot peppers grew. Our watermelon started out strong but then petered out and didn’t grow much bigger than a softball. We had deer eat our zucchini so we did not get a lot there. We only got a few carrots, but got lots of beets.

Our pear tree is continuing to grow, and perhaps in the next couple years we will have some pears from it. We also got some raspberry plants this year, and got a small handful to enjoy. The strawberries after a good thinning¬†out did amazing. However Misses J, M and A and their friends ate them as fast as they would ripen – I think they were out there EVERYDAY checking for ripe ones, so I don’t know how much we got.

Probably our best harvest was our tomatoes. We easily had well over 100 pounds of tomatoes. Some of it we dehydrated. Some Veggi and the kiddos ate, and the rest we turned into 3 different types of salsa and some spaghetti sauce. One salsa we put in jalapeno, serrano and habanero peppers. It has a GREAT flavour. I’d for sure make this again. Maybe even with some other peppers next time to change flavours around.

Jars of spaghetti sauce Yumm!

We live in an area where people are still really big into food preservation, so it has been fun learning not only how to garden, but also preserve our harvest.  For us, a is what we like, as it gives us the option to water bath things like salsa, but also be able to preserve things like peppers without pickling them. Please note to make sure you are following an approved recipe for preserving. There is nothing worse than either getting sick from something you made or going to get it and find it spoiled.

So what is your favorite things to preserve? We look forward to continuing to get better green thumbs and better at preserving it! We got big plans to help the garden get better and better!