Tuesday, October 21, 2014

To every thing there is a season

To every thing there is a season... This wonderful song [adapted from Ecclesiastes 3. to 3.8] came out in the 60's just suits the garden in so many ways! When I listened to it I found such a message of hope I thought it might cheer everyone up a bit!

Ralph and I finished harvesting our garden this past weekend. We found the last of the beans, some stray peppers and even some tough little green tomato's. There was a lonely little Irish potato we had missed and the herbs. Plus the surprise of two ripe tomatoes hiding  behind a squash plant!

 The last bits from the garden.

As we dug the sweet potatoes and figured out where we would put them to cure we had to marvel at our little experimental farm and how much wonderful bounty it gave us this year. The garden soil was full of big fat earthworms, something that was not in this soil when we got here.The turned earth was rich and dark, bursting with organic matter and it looked more expectant than ready to rest for the winter.

Our mixed picking box of the Sweet Potatoes...in retrospect this looks pathetic...all the big potatoes are on the bottom!

I know there are bigger and better harvests out there but we are pleased with our small plot! We found out too late for this year but Sweet Potato Leaves are edible!

For anyone who has garden you know the feeling of pride and satisfaction when you eat something you have grown. Supper after harvest was made up of an organic pastured chicken we bought at the Farmer's market, roasted with our own herbs. A mixed vegetable medley of immature banana squash which turned out very well, sort of like dense zucchini, a mix of Goose, Dade and Rose Green beans and a tomato salad.

 The  last of the squash..it was amazing how many we didn't know were there!

 The squash have been so much fun. Ralph spread out one vine and it was over 30 feet long. Several had grown up the trellis and that was fun because it gave us a 'straight' Pennsylvania crook neck!  We have 3 we already picked as they were ripe, we have set the two slightly immature ones in a dry but sunny window to ripen. Tonight I cubed one of the immature crook neck and made a stir fry, they are tasty and firm with a sweet nutty squash flavor, I tossed in some basil and a few chopped green tomatoes and had a really nice vegetarian supper.
 One last perfect blossom!

The rest are from the crazy Pink Banana Squash volunteer plant! There are some great things you can do with this squash...thank goodness because we have 7 of them! [7 big ones that is, I don't count the small ones] I am going to make this one tomorrow. I have dehydrated this crazy squash and it handles that very well, I blanched and froze cubes and I have also made and frozen mashed squash.  Our deep freeze is getting full and I feel pleased that this year we have a good supply of so many things we have produced.

Despite the cold weather and the end of the season the Banana Squash is still setting tendrils. I love the way they curve so elegantly.

For me the most exciting thing was our peanut experiment. Hey I was raised in a region where a good year gave us 90 frost free days! Peanuts and sweet potatoes were not even faintly attempted.  We planted three short rows [all we had room for]. We planted Schronce's Black, Carwhile's Virginia and Tennessee Red Valencia.  Now our harvest is curing in the shed and then I get to learn how to roast peanuts!

Our first peanut harvest...its almost as good as Christmas!

So now our garden looks dreadful with dead plants and torn vines, ripped up earth and scattered bits of vine. This week will see the debris get squared away. The three long trellis come down and get rolled up to put away for winter. The trash will be worked in with the tiller and then we will throw a cover crop over it all.
 Battered and torn, the garden has blessed us with lots of wonderful produce and hours of enjoyment!

We have to give a prayer of thanks for our bounty and we look forward to the cycle starting all over. I know with each bite of our own food we feel the wonder of how it all works!  Yes to every purpose there is a season!



  1. Replies
    1. There are times He just takes my breath away with all we are given if we see it! I so feel for the people who have lost faith. We are blessed!

  2. Fiona - when we were back in the city of ottawa, many years ago, and decided to start prepping and gardening, our first step was to buy 12 cubic yards of triple-sifted mushroom compost. then we filled tires all over our yard and there i was...some incredible farmer, tossing seeds hither and yon. and voila! every seed i planted, sprouted and turned into magical glory. and then 4 yrs ago we moved here and i learned that this soil is crap! so we built raised beds, developed our own compost, threw a bunch of seaweed in it, dumped every bit of comfrey in it that we could find (it grows all over here) and finally this year i was able to call myself a gardener extraordinnaire again! man, was that a few good years of learning how to properly amend our soil and learn what did well here and what didn't!!! Our Lord has many things to teach us and has many ways - if we have ears to hear and eyes to see. this has been our best harvest since we got here...and we are finally learning. your garden is a blessing, as is ours. i am so happy to have found another blog from which to learn. thank you for all of your sharing. i am going back through all of your old posts to find all of your nuggets of wisdom.

    yes, to everything there is a season. i am in the season of learning. thank you for helping me through my learning season.

    your friend,

    1. Compost does give a person a false sense of security sometimes. We have added everything we can to this soil. Last fall we added all the lawn clippings we could gather right from the rear bagger, we tilled them in once and then added more to cover the soil and stop it from eroding. We were so pleased this spring when we tilled it in, it vanished but left the soil fluffier and more loose. This garden was an experiment in space, we crowded everything as we do not have much room here. Some things worked some didn't but we learned an amazing amount for nest year! I a so glad your enjoying this blog and i sure like yours. We are like a community of resources...we all have things to learn and share!

  3. such a wonderful comforting post
    all is well

    1. Do you have a large pot....an empty corner of yard? If so I would love to send you a few Pink Banana Squash seeds for entertainment value of course!