All things considered, such as heat, smoke, and not a lot of rain, the plants produced. I was extremely disappointed in the tomatoes due to a screwing I got from Ferry Morse seeds - read about that here - but even cherry tomatoes can be used for sauce. Any tomato can be used for sauce. The variant is in how long you need to simmer the fruit to cook the water out. The plan was to make ketchup, but I made pizza sauce instead. I think with this last harvest and what is in the freezer, I can make another batch of pizza sauce and be good on that for a few years.
The cucumbers produced well. I ran a couple of batches through the Harvest Right freeze dryer to preserve them, and I canned one batch of cucumber-pepper relish.
|Cucumber pepper relish|
Sugar snap peas. I love 'em! He hates them. I've used up all the seed so they're off the 2024 garden plan. So are watermelon and cantaloupe. The melons were a bust. The ONE watermelon that formed wasn't edible.
I am, apparently, a good grower of cabbage. We love fresh coleslaw, so cabbage is on the list for 2024. I'll stagger starting the seeds so I hopefully get a staggered harvest, and I'll go for a smaller number of heads. Coleslaw is great, but not every day for a month.
The green bell peppers were an afterthought. I found a few seeds and planted them late, but there are pepper strips in the freezer again. I'm not sure the Great Stuff variety is the one for my garden.
The Brussels sprouts were about 80% bust. Sprouts formed on two out of seven plants. I do have some seeds left so I'll give it one last try in 2024. Brussels, and cauliflower which died at transplant, are likely going to end up being off the plan for good after 2024, but we'll see.
Only one thing remains - butternut squash. This is the first time I tried this one and the results surprised me. There are ten butternuts growing but not yet ready to harvest. I'm watching for the stems to turn brown to pick them. Once they're all in, I'll process them to use for soup and pie filling. Butternut squash makes a sweet "pumpkin" pie. Just puree it and use the same as pumpkin puree. The flavor isn't that different.
Over the course of the next week, all the tomato plants will come out except for an experiment I'm trying that I saw on a Living Traditions video. The basil needs to be harvested and dried, and the calendula seeds will be ready to store.
The bees are still prolifically working the tall Cracker Jack marigolds which has made me reconsider them for next year. I'm gathering those seeds and will cast them about the property. What grows in 2024 will grow, and I'll harvest those seeds to spread again. Doing this should develop a strain of plant that thrives in my micro-climate to keep the bees happy. The more bees the merrier! I'll plant a much shorter variety of marigolds in the garden.
The year 2024 will bring its own successes and failures. I can dream, plan, and implement, but in the end, the garden does what the garden does.
The Lady of the Hideaway
Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, gardening, bees, pollinators, vegetables, flowers, herbs, cabbage, butternut squash, saving seeds Great Stuff peppers, Straight Eight cucumbers, rural living, country lifestyle, a writer's life, home food preservation, freeze dryer