|Before Raised Gardens|
|After Raised Gardens|
The windows on the side of the building look good but they are fake. They were picked up on the side of the road and brought home to be given a new life.
Comfortable seating is required in order to properly watch the garden grow along with a table to hold beverages for sufficient human hydration and possibly food.
Limited weeding tools are required. If planted properly the plants will grow large enough to cover and kill a great deal of the weeds.
A couple bales of hay spread around the entire area of the vegetable garden worked to my advantage. First it kept the weeds at bay and second it provided a dry ground for walking, keeping my footwear neat and clean.
The two ugly duckling plants on the left are shown newly planted
Fresh string beans at meal time get steamed; extras go into quart jars for canning. The seeds I planted this year were saved from the crop of last year for replant.
Some of the carrots will also be steamed for a meal time dish but the majority of them will be processed in quart jars for eating at a later date.
The swiss chard gets steamed in a large pot and when cool it gets weighed out in 1 pound increments that go into freezer bags and put in the freezer.
Our favorite, beets, after they have been cooked to tenderness are turned into pints of pickled beets and bagged for freezing - to be savored during the colder months. The greens (tops of the beets) are steamed and used fresh as a side dish to a meal.
Red, yellow and green peppers are used fresh in salads and other recipes. Any remaining towards the end of the summer are washed, chopped and frozen for use at a later date.
I can't forget to mention the rhubarb that grows along the other side of the fence next to the garden and is one of the first spring plants to produce. Under normal growing conditions the rhubarb is very hearty. The dry weather this year caused the rhubarb to be smaller, more spindly and less succulent. I was only able to harvest enough rhubarb this year that produced 8 pints of strawberry rhubarb jam. I am so looking forward to a better harvest next year.
How it all began on the left and ready for harvest on the right.
There will be additional pages added to this blog that will walk through the different methods of processing each crop.