Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Garden Club: End Of The Season Giveaway

Once again, long time no blog for me. I have been taking photos though, so this is a summary of the last few weeks of garden growth and harvest.

It rained like crazy most of yesterday and all this morning.  So hard that I felt a little bit bad sending the girls out to the bus this morning.  Not bad enough to keep them home, however. That would be NUTS!  The rain has now stopped and the sun is actually trying to make an appearance. 

Now for the garden update.  The garden is about done for the year.  There are still a bunch of green tomatoes on the vine, but almost everything else has about reached its life span.  I still need to pick the winter squash once the vines die off completely and there are a few melons out there yet.  The beans are finally done, netting us 3 gallon sized bags full in our freezer for meals later this winter.  I also made around a dozen containers of roasted veggie pasta sauce which is also in the freezer.

  I pulled the rest of the onions last week and have them stored in a paper bag, to hopefully last the winter.  I planted a 60 foot row of onion sets this year and they turned out better than ever before.  I will definitely be doing onions this way again next year. Forget those tiny little plants you can buy from the garden center (or start in the basement) that take forever to separate and plant and yield only small onions.
Binny was thrilled when I finally gave her the go ahead to pull one of these big watermelons from the garden.  She was less thrilled when she learned it was NOT a seedless watermelon.  It was delicious though and there are 2 more out there ripening.  The same day we picked this melon, the girls and I went out and I told them they were not allowed to go back in the house (to no doubt watch tv) until they picked an ice cream bucket full of tomatoes.  Believe it or not, they didn't fight me too much, but did get a little bored after a while.  It takes quite a few cherry, pear and grape tomatoes to fill a bucket.
Now on with the fruit trees!  Our neighbors had so many apples hanging on their trees that they ended up picking 3 extra paper grocery bags full and gave them to us.  I made juice out of two of the bags and I still have one sitting on the porch that I hope to turn into either juice or apple sauce later this week.
My father-in-law's peach trees ripened as well and he again had way too many to use up on his own, so we went over and picked twice.
The first time was when Grandma Dee was here and she acted as peach tester.
She didn't give up on that pit until every last bit was gone and the juice was running off of her elbows.
We picked this box full the first time around.

The second round of picking was just last weekend and I came home with 3 boxes.  I still have a few left but most have either been eaten raw, made into a delicious peach pie (in lieu of birthday cake for Mae's B-day last week), canned or given away to friends and family.

And we still have about 40 peaches on our own tree that are not quite ripe yet.  Peaches, peaches, peaches!

I only have about 6 empty jars left which probably won't get me very far if I plan to do any applesauce or straight up tomato sauce with the remaining tomatoes.  The final canning count is 21 quarts of peaches, 4 pints of peaches, 6 quarts of apple juice and 6 pints of  peach jam.
I feel sad that the gardening season is coming to an end but also relieved that all of the work washing, chopping, cooking, freezing, canning, and all of the clean-up will soon be over.  Mostly the clean-up.  Juicing apples makes one giant, sticky mess.

With that, I want to continue my tradition of giving away a jar of my home canned peaches as an end of the season Monday Garden Club wrap-up.  So if you live in the US (sorry, Joey) and are interested in tasting some home grown Wisconsin peaches, leave a comment on this post and I will announce the random winner here next Monday. If you participated in my Monday Garden Club this season by posting a Monday Garden entry on your blog, leave a second comment. The giveaway will be open through Sunday night. And once again, I have no license to distribute my canned goods, but I can assure I made them following safe canning practices.  By entering this giveaway you are accepting all risk.  I feed them to my children, so I wouldn't worry too much if I were you.

Good Luck and Happy Gardening!


Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Your garden was so big and bountiful.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I posted once this season. My garden didn't do well at all. thinking of getting a CSA next year.

Gale said...

Ah...our Texas fall garden is just beginning (this is when I get to try grow cool season crops like broccoli and onions and such!)

Some of your peach preserves sound delicious!

ecarian at yahoo dot com

Jenni said...

I would love some Wisconsin peaches!

Wild Child said...

Woo hoo, looks like you're set for winter! What a tasty looking bunch of preserves. If we win, I suppose you'll want your jar back, because you are so low on jars anyway. ;)

Heathen Family said...

I want your peaches lady ;) I Wish I had the will to garden because I think I would really enjoy hoarding canned fruits and veggies. They look so nice and neat all stacked up like that.

verdemama said...

Mmmmm. Now, I want to plant a peach tree. I wonder what varieties do best in Wisconsin? Those look delicious.

Chris said...

Oh my gosh, those peaches look amazing! We still have tons of green peppers on the plants. Really hoping some of them turn red-ish before the frost comes.

Riot Kitty said...

Yum! Now I want peach pie.

unmitigated me said...

Mmmmmm...peaches. I never really cared for them, until one autumn when I helped my sister can some, and I've been wild about them ever since!

Anonymous said...

Yummm, you can enter me in your peach giveaway! BTW, I recently inherited about 20 doz. of canning jars since grandma moved to the nursing home. I'd be willing to trade 2 doz empty quarts for a handful of full. :) And I just made 24 qts of applesauce using a NORPRO saucer and will never go back to my old mill. It cut the time in half and I didn't even cut the stems/seeds off. It runs about $50 at Fleet Farm if you're interested. --L

sheila said...

You are my hero. My gosh lady! And that watermelon is beautiful! WOW!