Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Growing Our Own Food

 Here is a photo recap of a few of the things we raised to eat this summer.  

This is a photo of my garden in July.  I had 7 rows that were 4 feet by 25 feet each with grass between each row for walking on.  We had a warmer than usual summer and we got some rain too, so it was a great year for gardening. 

I planted lettuce twice this year once in April and once in July, so we had DELICIOUS lettuce all summer and fall.   I really miss it now that it is winter!  We cut the lettuce about an inch above the soil and it grew back at least three times before it started heading out.  

I think these Chattooga beets are really pretty and they were sweet too.  Still I am the only one in my family who will eat them though.

I like growing things in my garden that you can't find at the grocery store, like these bi-colored carrots. 

Good old green and yellow beans. 

Raspberries from the garden.

Blueberries from the wild. 

Heirloom Rattlesnake Snap beans.  The purple disappears when you cook them. 

This is my garden in August.

I grew some pole beans in with the corn.  We never did get any corn, but we got a few beans.  I think I'll try a fence next year for the pole beans so that they get more sun and skip the corn all-together since I've never gotten any corn. 

The pepper plants were loaded with green peppers just waiting to ripen to red, orange, or purple.

We got lots of huge green tomatoes, but as soon as they started to ripen our free-range egg chickens would eat them, so we had to put up a fence in a hurry.

This is Kira and an abnormally large Chattooga beet. 

I made some apple butter with little apples from the neighbors tree.  

I was afraid the frost would get my tomatoes and peppers, so I brought them all in on the same day.  One full table of sweet peppers (and some jalapeno peppers), a half a table of almost ripe tomatoes, a half a table of ripe and almost ripe black cherry tomatoes......

... and one full counter of totally green tomatoes.  Most of them eventually ripened up nicely for canning, salsa making, etc. 

I had so many green tomatoes that I decided to make green tomato salsa and green tomato pie.  Believe it of not they were both really delicious!

Here are some of the big colorful heirloom tomatoes we got. They didn't keep long though- you definitely had to do something with them quick once they got ripe!

I waited for my peppers to ripen to color once I brought them in the house.  

Then I cut them up and froze them to make omelets, stir fry, and fajitas this winter.  I also canned the extra jalapenos I didn't need to make salsa.  They are so hot I am not sure what I'll do with them!

I made this tomato soup with all the surplus garden stuff I needed to use up from the garden.  It had 6 cups carrots, 6 cups celery, 10 cups onions, 18 garlic cloves, 32 cups tomatoes, plus seasoning in it. I was amazed at how good it actually turned out considering how many vegetables are packed in it!!!

Here is one of our adult Californian meat rabbits.  

These are some freezer babies (they don't stay this cute forever!).  Californian crossed with Champagne D'Argent.  

These are our new Boer meat goats.  They are so cute and sweet I am not sure if we will eat the weathers or if we will sell them.

These are heirloom Calipso dry beans from my garden.  

These are heirloom Painted Pony dry beans from my garden.  

 These are heirloom Hidatsa Shield Figure dry beans from my garden. They were originally grown by the Hidatsa Indians who lived in North Dakota in the Missouri River Valley.

I only got a few pounds from this years crop of dry beans, so I'll probably save most of them for planting next year and hope for a big crop then. I originally got the seeds at www.seedsavers.org

I saved seeds from the peppers I had that weren't hybrids.  

I also saved seeds from the black cherry tomatoes by fermenting off the gel coating around the seeds.  I have enough seeds for about 100 years I am sure! Next year I'll have to save seeds from some of my other favorite heirloom tomato varieties too (I just didn't get around to it this year).  

We also have about 30 free range chickens that supply us with eggs, but I didn't take a picture of them this year yet.  

While not necessarily cost efficient, I enjoy raising as much of our own food as we can.  I have gained a little experience (this is the 4th year we have had a garden) and I have much, much, more to learn I am certain!


  1. wow, what a garden! I wish we lived on more land so we could raise some animals for food. we do tend to have a big garden though so that helps some

  2. Great garden! Love the pictures of all the fresh produce and it's great that you were able to use all of it! I hope to someday do as well in my garden =)

  3. You are doing awesome! Our garden didn't do nearly as well, but I'm not used to Texas gardening yet! :P But I did get a nice surprise when some of the plants I had given up on came back this fall! Keep up the good work!

  4. Wow --- and you still find time to go camping!

    Amazing garden and beautiful blog post.