I want to say Happy Holidays to you all and hope this New Year finds you and your family safe and healthy.
I don’t know about you, but I am ready for 2021 and excited about the new year. Hopefully we can all come together as one nation, one world, instead of being divided and polarized. It is important to treat people with respect, hear them and work together with each other.
In times like these, I need to focus on what I am grateful for. It is easy to get bogged down in all the negativity we’ve had this year and there has been a lot. But the blessings have been great too-especially in the garden. I have many things to be grateful for but will focus on garden gratitude for this post. Hey, I’m still here right? Now that’s a huge blessing and my family has been ok too-another bonus.
My garden did really well this year and for that I am immensely grateful as it kept me busy and at a more relaxed pace since I wasn’t going anywhere. Time to actually enjoy being there.
I canned about 39 jars of pickles this year-15 Cornichons, 8 pickle relish and 16 bread n butter pickles. Many of which I now have given away.
As I mentioned in the last post, I canned 251 lbs of tomatoes into 52 jars of different pasta sauces which was exhausting but I’m really happy to have it in the pantry and have enough to give lots away as well.
Besides all that tomato canning, I had lots of tomatoes that I roasted, and of course ate many lbs fresh as well and sold some too. So grateful I had a bountiful tomato harvest this year compared to last year’s dismal harvest.
So grateful the canning is done for the year!
I grew 6 BIG Kalibos Red cabbage- I gave away 5 and only kept one for myself since they averaged 6-7 lbs each.
I had unbelievable amounts of kale and chard. Sold some, ate lots and blanched lots in 2-3 cups increments that I froze in freezer bags which is nice to drag out of the freezer and throw in a dish or soup all winter as needed.
I had many Waltham butternut squash that I grew for Claufatis Cafe here in town for their infamous butternut soup which is so good I could drink it or lick the bowl (or both)! Don’t remember how many lbs, but it was a lot!
Plus I had lots of my new Lava Red peppers that were super prolific. I had wanted to grow Jimmy Nardello peppers but my seeds didn’t germinate and the nurseries didn’t have any plants, so I grew this long red Corno di Toro type that I got seeds from my friend Lava, in Germany. Since she didn’t know which variety of pepper this was, I just call it Lava Red pepper. Seems fitting with her name! My new favorite red pepper! See, sometimes when I am forced to grow something else because of the seed and plant shortage this past spring, I ended up with something new and exciting! Plus a friend did give me some Jimmies he grew as well.
Plus I got many carrots, beets, lettuces, spinach, summer squash, garlic and shallots.
Some fruits were great and some not as good this year.
The apple trees did produce a lot but dropped most of them-I suspect due to the drought. But Koko the horse and the goatie things in the barn were grateful and loved all of them!
The apricot tree really shined as a shade tree but did not produce this year which is nothing new. But hey, I’m grateful for any tree that can grow here-we have more droughts here in the past few years than I can remember. My new pear, peach and plum tree are too new to produce but I can dream about how it will be in the future.
The strawberries had a decent harvest but I will need to thin them next year to produce more.
But the real stars were the grapes and blackberries-grateful for a wonderful harvest this year.
One of the best thing is I was able to keep up on the harvest for everything this year.
And then there were the raspberries… Unbelievable harvest this year. So much so, that again I invited some friends to come pick as my freezer was full. 19 gallon bags of raspberries in the freezer.
It’s good to be grateful and reflective at the beginning of the new year before I get headless in the garden again!