Tag Archives: marigolds

Harvest Monday

November 3, 2014

Our first frost date is October 20th (zone 7b). The temps have held off for awhile but this week, we had our first frost and last night we got down to 30.

I knew, with how life is, that whenever the first frost was predicted, I would not have time to do anything in the garden that day. So I have been stripping the tomato and pepper plants and cleaning up the garden for the winter for the past couple of weeks.DSC_5832I have filled the wagon about seven times…

Tomato/Pepper patch cleaned out:
DSC_5831And half of it covered with manure from the coop (darker mulch on right & light mulch in front both from the coop):DSC_5924Our L-shaped volunteer tomato patch and all of the tomato plants in the raised beds and pots were cleaned up as well. DSC_5927I harvested all of the peppers and tomatoes.DSC_5834The peppers were chopped and frozen while the tomatoes are ripening on the counter.DSC_5856DSC_5858Other harvests this week include…

PeasDSC_5861A few beets randomly popped out of the ground on their own. DSC_5891I juiced these and froze the juice and pulp (separately) until the rest plump up. We drink the juice and use the pulp to make blueberry/beet pancakes.

Kale and Raspberries…DSC_5835 DSC_5837DSC_5915Every once in a while we are able to harvest a bit of spinach and lettuce. I’m not sure why most of the seeds did not germinate. We are thankful for whatever we get though 🙂DSC_5890I am happy to announce we were able to harvest strawberries this week! Our strawberries are everbearing strawberries. However, I have not seen any flowers or anything and as our first frost date is quickly approaching, I figured I may as well cover the strawberries for the winter.

I prepped the area this week by making sure all of the weeds were pulled and what do I see? Strawberries! It was a pleasant surprise, for sure 🙂DSC_5860DSC_5914We also were blessed by our neighbor this week as he allowed me to harvest some baby kale from his garden. He also allowed the children to pick some pecans from his tree. They needed to dry before we could open them.DSC_5862 DSC_5863The children have LOVED breaking them open with rocks and eating them as snacks. DSC_5916 DSC_5918We don’t eat snacks at our house so anything out of the garden is a treat 🙂 This past week, they have been playing campout. They have been eating peas, pecans, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, and wild onions. Love it! 🙂

If only feeding them was that easy all the time 😉 We love eating from our garden! Here is an example: Sweet potato, green beans & kale from our garden. Only one pecan made it on the plate as the rest were eaten right before supper. We also had baked beans but I took the picture before serving those since they are not from our garden 🙂DSC_5919Are you harvesting still or prepping your garden for the winter…or both, like us?

Check out what others are harvesting over at Daphne’s Dandelions!


Harvest Monday

August 25, 2014

Our Harvests for the week:


Nieto Family - August 21 14 - 0009Our first few vines are spent but because of succession planting, we are still harvesting cucumbers!

Beans Nieto Family - August 20 14 - 0001Because we have been getting so many beans from our neighbors, I have been forgetting to pick ours. These are MUCH healthier-looking (less bug bites) than the rest we have been growing this year. The question is, why?

  • They are planted later in the season
  • They are planted in the strawberry patch (in not very good soil)
  • They are planted further away from where the rest of the beans are planted.

Which of these factors affected the beans? I have a feeling it was the last but I have more plants that were planted after these so we’ll see if that has anything to do with it.

Marigolds Nieto Family - August 20 14 - 0002The kids just about filled up a 5 gallon bucket with marigolds this week. I dried them to give to the chickens this winter. The marigold bushes are still bursting with flowers!

Potatoes DSC_5282I have been digging up potatoes as needed but the last time I dug some up, I noticed they were starting to rot. We have had a ton of rain this summer. I decided to go ahead and dig the rest of them up and store them in the basement.

I missed some potatoes last year while I was digging so we had some more potato plants sprout up at the end of the season. After the first frost killed the plants, I replanted those potatoes in our new potato patch. This is what Paul Gautschi does (replants the same day he harvests) so I thought I would give it a try.

It did NOT go well. Gardening the Back to Eden way, I have never had to hill my potatoes. However, after a year of those potatoes sitting under the mulch, and the mulch breaking down all that time, I had a few reach the surface and turn green. This does not happen when I plant in the spring.

About half of the ones planted last fall were oddly-shaped.DSC_5283(This is what those planted this spring looked like for shape-comparison) DSC_5284The other half planted last fall were rotted. DSC_5285There were quite a few I could not salvage. DSC_5286Ah well…as long as I’m learning, I don’t count it as a failure 🙂


We picked our first raspberry this week!!! We were gifted raspberry plants, Christmas of 2012. They all looked great last summer but we had such a cool, wet summer, they all seemed to get some type of fungus and die. We were so excited that a few survived but we did not get any berries this spring.

I was excited when I saw they were loaded with potential berries this summer and this week, we were able to start picking!!!Nieto Family - August 19 14 - 0003Our everbearing strawberries are also starting to produce again. I am expanding one of the patches to plant some runners this fall.Nieto Family - August 22 14 - 0127There was a LOT more going on at the homestead this week but I’ll save all of that news for a later post. Check out what other gardeners are harvesting at Daphne’s Dandelions.

Harvest Monday

August 4, 2014

This is the last week of blueberries and the end of strawberries is coming soon. Nieto Family - July 28 14 - 0001DSC_5039It was a good run. I am hoping watermelons and raspberries are next on the fruit menu.DSC_5087 _DSC2986 DSC_5088 I’m not as hopeful about cantaloupe this year, unfortunately 😦DSC_5089I actually didn’t notice this until the day after I took this photo…look in the center of the photo, behind a cantaloupe leaf. There is a dark, baby cantaloupe! I am still not holding out much hope for it ripening because if you zoom out… DSC_5090You can see I planted it at the base of a forest of sunflowers. There are actually two cantaloupe plants. Neither are growing very much because of all the shade they are getting!

We’re still harvesting about 2 zucchini and cucumbers each day. We are getting enough beans to eat them about 3x/week.DSC_5082DSC_5015(Another spaghetti squash was found when ripping up the corn patch.) DSC_5083Our tomato harvests are still going strong; though we are still letting them ‘counter-ripen’ because of the splitting.DSC_5085All of our red potatoes we were storing in the basement have been eaten. Now we are on to Yukon Gold and Purple potatoes. I have been harvesting the potatoes from the most shaded part of the patch to the part that gets the most sun. The question is, are they getting bigger as I pick them because they are getting more sun? or because they had more time to grow…?DSC_5084Even with all of our corn issues, we were still able to harvest a 5 gallon bucketful as we were cleaning out the patch.DSC_5016My daughter was able to harvest her first pumpkin (she kicked a pumpkin off the porch last fall…Voila!)DSC_5013We are continuing to harvest and dry marigolds to feed the chickens this winter.Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0158 Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0160 Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0161 Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0381Hopefully, between these and sunflower seeds, our feed bill won’t be quite as high.

We are loving all of the free (other than seed cost), healthy (no spray, organic or otherwise) produce! 🙂 Here are some ways we consumed it this week.

We had pizza one night. One was veggie pizza with our peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes. The other was a kale (ours), artichoke pizza. We had snaps and spaghetti squash as sides.

DSC_5074Another night, we had bean burgers, roasted potatoes, steamed corn and snaps, and zucchini quiche. Everyone had already started to dig in before I remembered to snap a picture 🙂 This is easily my favorite meal and seeing how everyone asked for seconds, I don’t think they hate it too much either 😉 DSC_5086Head on over to Daphne’s Dandelions to see what everyone else was able to harvest this week!

Harvest Monday

July 28, 2014

  • Fruit production has really slowed down these days. I think this may be the last week of blueberries. We may have gotten 2 quarts this week, total.DSC_4824 DSC_4859 We harvested some strawberries but again, production is slowing.DSC_4806 DSC_4830
  • Our raspberry plants are not producing any fruits.
  • I planted cantaloupe seeds right at the base of the sunflower circles so they are not growing very quickly at all. The sunflowers are 10 feet tall or taller now and are great shade producers!
  • The watermelon seems to be doing well. We rushed into harvesting one this week and were sourly disappointed :\ I learned my lesson!

DSC_4845On the other hand, non-fruit harvests are picking up!We harvested our first corn this week! They are quite large.DSC_4808 DSC_4809I planted heirloom and some hybrid. Can you guess which is which? 😉DSC_4810 DSC_4840We were able to harvest more in the middle of the week.DSC_4839(Along with some cucumbers)

We harvested the last of our spring carrots this week 😦 Need.to.plant.MORE.DSC_4783Other harvests from the beginning of the week…DSC_4859Beans DSC_4807Kale DSC_4838 DSC_4782LOTS of zucchini DSC_4822 DSC_4860Tomatoes DSC_4887and Peppers…(Bounty from the earlier part of the week)

At the end of the week, we were able to harvest more zucchini, cucumbers, beans, corn, tomatoes, and spaghetti squash. We also harvested some marigolds for the chickens.Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0062 Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0060Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0155(It may look just about the same but other than a few zucchini and a few cucumbers, this is ALL new produce! I am having to ‘counter-ripen’ most of my tomatoes because of all the rain we’re getting. They’re all splitting and if I leave them on the vine to ripen, they completely burst open!)

The squash bugs had overtaken the spaghetti squash patch so I decided to just rip it up. We had 10 squashes that were ripe enough to harvest.Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0061 They will cure on the counter for about a week before I put them in the basement to store.

What are you harvesting? Head on over to Daphne’s Dandelions to see what other gardeners are harvesting around the world.

Garden in July

July 9, 2014

There is SOOOOOO much going on in the garden these days!

_DSF9171-Edit(Garden at the beginning of June)DSC_4679-Edit(Garden at the beginning of July)

Hard to tell much from afar, except that there is a lot more green going on 🙂

I’ll start from closest and work my way back…


The potato plants are starting to die back. The purple potatoes were planted later so they are still green. We are harvesting whenever we need them instead of all at once.


Tomatoes are getting bigger and bigger. I can’t wait until they start ripening!_DSC6101 DSC_4669We have a ton of baby bell peppers — just waiting for them to grow and turn pretty yellows and reds!_DSC6110 DSC_4670The watermelon plant has sprawled as of late.

_DSC6105 DSC_4668I found a baby watermelon the other day!_DSC6103(look really closely — towards the top)

And we have baby yellow squash 🙂 No zucchini yet…


The pole beans continue to climb the corn stalks._DSC3277Most of the squash plants I planted in the corn patch have succumbed to squash bugs.DSC_4671(another one bites the dust 😦 )

One has rebounded, however — butternut squash! 🙂

_DSC6120As for the corn, it has GROWN (my mom is 5’10”) and put out tassels…DSC_4678Corn is in our near(ish) future!DSC_4676Moving along to the original SWEET POTATO PATCH (there are 2.5 more now because of all the slips produced)…_DSC6114It is starting to fill out. The sections next to the beans are bare — the beans seem to be hogging all of the moisture. The other patches are doing GREAT! One is in a raised bed and the other is where the peas were ripped out. Alas, no pictures…

Next up, SUNFLOWERS! _DSC6123DSC_4677(taller than the corn!) _DSC6127 _DSC6148 _DSC6153 Nieto Family - July 01 14 - 0240The blueberries are doing well…still getting 8 quarts/day. While picking, however, we have seen some bugs trying to defoliate the bushes completely. _DSC6140We have found them on a handful of bushes. We just pluck the leaf off or cut the branch. They are yummy treats for the chickens 🙂 A couple of bushes were almost completely decimated but hopefully they’ll make a comeback.

Moving along to the OVERFLOW GARDEN:

The spaghetti squash is producing like gangbusters!DSC_4674(the one in the forefront is turning color but there are more in the back — they’re everywhere!)

My daughter’s marigolds are starting to bloom.Nieto Family - July 01 14 - 0237I am collecting seeds from my lunar carrots…DSC_4673And spinach seeds for fall planting. DSC_4675That’s what’s going on in the garden at the beginning of July!

Here is a pic of the first chicks hatched on our homestead (not ordered). They are in the tunnel. One is a hen and one a rooster. The rooster (Whitey) crowed for the first time yesterday! They are inseparable.

We have just started letting the newest chick and mama hen free range (supervised) in the evenings. The mama seems to be a good mama – very protective of the chick, as you can see…

Nieto Family - July 01 14 - 0294How is your garden coming along? Are you about ready for the harvesting flush that is about to happen?

I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursdays today. Check out what’s going on at others’ homesteads 🙂