Have you ever eaten produce from a garden? It’s delicious.
There are few things as rewarding and tasty as fresh garden produce. Either eaten right away, preserved, or stored away for the winter months.
Below I have a garden update and how we use and preserve what we have grown. Let’s look at ways to use your garden produce!
The corn did not grow well this year. The ears never filled out well and it was a loss. This is kind of a sad note to start on but” hey” that’s how life goes. Thankfully, we still have some in the freezer from last year. My mother-in-law was generous and shared some of her corn with us so we did get to eat some fresh of the cob. Mmmm… Have you ever eaten corn on the cob?
- Freeze for use later as a vegetable side, or in soups or hotdishes
- Eat fresh on the cob as a vegetable side
Our pumpkins did well this year. We had to pick them while they were still green because of the frost but the nice thing about pumpkins is they will still turn orange after you pick them. I usually just plant a small variety so that they are easier to bake up. Perfect for Thanksgiving and definitely beats canned pumpkin.
- Great baked and used for pie, pumpkin bars, muffins, and other baked goods
- You can bake your pumpkins up ahead of time and freeze so that they will last longer
We got roughly 28 Buttercup squash this year! They did so much better than our corn… ha! It’s always nice to get enough to share with others so we did that and the rest…
- Cook and freeze for future meals as a vegetable side
- Cook and eat right out of the oven
I planted a fair number of carrot seeds and in the end I got a handful of carrots. Not one of my better carrot years. Not many sprouted but also I might have had a little weed takeover on that part of the garden. When I went to thin them, they were so hard to save as I was pulling the big weed out of the teeny tiny carrot row. It’s like the parable in the Bible found in Matthew.
- Peel and cut in sticks to eat raw as a snack or vegetable serving for a meal
- Stored in the fridge to be used later in soups, stews, and pot pie
- Diced and cooked for a vegetable side
It was a good onion year and boy, are they potent! I don’t usually ”cry” when cutting up onions but with these I do. I pulled them out early fall and let them “dry” before taking off the stems and cleaning them up a bit to put them in a box and store them in the basement.
- I use them in cooking to add flavor to a wide variety of dishes
Zucchini plants flourished this year which doesn’t come as much of a surprise given zucchini are kind of known for being a plenteous plant. We shared some with friends and family. Those few that you always miss and get huge the chickens were overjoyed to eat. Have you ever seen a chicken eat a zucchini? They will finish it off to the last bit!
- Zucchini Bread or Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- Zucchini Hotdish (Recipe on Instagram)
- Cut up and fried as a vegetable side
We had a better cucumber year than the last year. I love cucumbers out of the garden and they are a great addition to the table.
- Cut up fresh as a vegetable side or snack
- Used in a salad or layered on a sandwich for an extra crunch
- We didn’t have enough this year to make pickles but this is also a great cucumber option
I enjoyed our pea crop this year. I actually got enough to amount to something! It is kind of relaxing to sit down with a bucket of peas and just shell away. It’s so crazy how many peas it takes to fill a gallon bag! Even though we had a good pea year I still was just shy of a gallon of frozen peas.
- A great garden snack while pulling weeds
- Shelled, blanched and frozen for future vegetable sides and in recipes
- A great salad topper either shelled or whole if the pods are not tough
We had a great crop of beans and I found myself wondering what to do with them all. We have canned green beans already tucked away in the pantry, so I wasn’t going to need them for that. Looking at recipes I decided I would pickle some. I hadn’t ever tried a pickled green bean but let me tell you I am a fan! I used this recipe and tweaked it a little to my liking. If you are into the whole charcuterie board, these pickled green beans make an excellent addition.
- Canned or Frozen for later use
- Snapped and cooked fresh in salted water and served as a tasty vegetable side for your summer meals
We had so many tomatoes this year…see picture. We ended up with 5 boxes full! Thankfully they didn’t ripen all at once. I was able to can some a day instead of having to do them all at once. We were able to cover them for the first couple nights of frost which was nice to be able to leave them on the vine a little longer.
- Canned in their juice with some salt – used in chili, hotdishes, etc
- Sliced fresh as a vegetable side – this is something my in-laws do that I didn’t grow up doing
- Sliced and put on sandwiches such as turkey or a BLT
Man, did you happen to notice all the colors that came out of the garden we just “ate”. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green and White!
God has sure blessed us all with a variety of foods that are full of nutrients to help us be our best selves! Make sure you are tapping into this arsenal of nutrients either in your own garden or at the produce section in the grocery store.
So, the garden is all harvested for the year and as I write this post they are out finishing the last of Harvest 2020. The last little section of soybeans and it will all be in for the year. It is such a good feeling to close out this part of the year on a good note. For a year that has had some curve balls thrown people’s way, God has truly blessed us with a wonderful harvest this year and we are thankful for that.
Tell me about your garden produce and how you like to use it, and feel free to drop any questions you might have down below! Until next time, thanks for reading!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23