Tag Archives: sweet potatoes

Harvest Monday

December 14, 2105

We are not harvesting anything fresh out of the garden right now. We are waiting on some carrots, kale, and cabbages to mature. Everything else planted (spinach, lettuce, more carrots, cabbages, broccoli, and sprouting broccoli) will be harvest-ready in early spring when our days lengthen a bit more.

We are using our free pumpkins from the pumpkin farm little by little in baked oatmeal and other baked goods. And we are on box 3 of 6 of sweet potatoes. Unfortunately, I don’t think they will last us through February this year šŸ˜¦Nieto Photography 2015(sweet potatoes wrapped in newspaper over to the side…all of the little pumpkins are gone now and only half of the big ones are left)

We are using our frozen tomatoes in soups and marinara as needed. I can’t imagine ever using all of them up but we’ll see! We also have about a gallon of frozen green beans left from this summer.

I ordered most of my seeds and all of my garden potatoes this week. I am planning on growing my own sweet potato slips this year. My home-grown slips seemed to do just as well or even better than the ones I bought last year. I still need to order my June-bearing strawberries and June-bearing raspberries and I should be set! Per usual, I just have to figure out where everything will go.

I am really hoping my husband’s schedule will slow down soon so we can rip up a bunch of tarp and expand the garden so I will have more planting options this next year!

Is your garden sleeping or are you still harvesting? Head over to Our Happy Acres to see what other gardeners are up to this December.


Harvest Monday

November 23, 2015

We are harvesting kale and celery. These are the celery tops in the compost bowl. The bottoms were already in the soup šŸ™‚

Nieto Photography 2015

Our berries are done. I need to go ahead and prune the raspberries and transplant them. We are having more freezing nights but most of our days are still reaching the 60s. Now, I have to figure out what to cover and with what thickness to cover.

Some of our free pumpkins were rotting in the basement so this week we threw those to the chickens and roasted some of the good ones. Nieto Photography 2015(roasted pumpkin, ready to be taken apart, pureed, and frozen)

We are also using our sweet potatoes, probably faster than I would like. They are SOOO good!Nieto Photography 2015(Ready to go into the oven. We like sprinkling them with cinnamon. šŸ™‚ )

And the frozen omatoes are being cooked on a steady basis for marinara sauce and soups.

What are you harvesting? Head over to Our Happy Acres to see what others are harvesting these days.

Harvest Monday

October 26, 2015

This week has been pretty crazy. I wouldn’t even know what happened if I didn’t look at the pictures we took! We harvested our sweet potatoes this week. We don’t have a large scale but our largest sweet potato was 2lbs 4oz.Nieto Photography 2015(spread out to dry after digging) Nieto Photography 2015(hauled in from the garden for sorting) Nieto Photography 2015(My 8yo planted some slips this year. These are some of her sweet potatoes.)

They are currently curing in the pantry. In early November, I will wrap them in newspaper and store them in the basement to continue to sweeten.

We ate the last of the garden beans this week. Well, the last of the fresh ones. We have some that are frozen for the winter. Nieto Photography 2015We continue to harvest peas and raspberries fresh from the garden.

Once the raspberries are spent, I will need to cut down the canes that bore berries and transplant the canes that popped up all over the place. I just truly don’t know where to transplant them! I don’t have anymore room in the current patch. Any suggestion on location? I am thinking the North side of the garden as a type of border but at the same time, I don’t want them to be an easy target for the many critters we deal with either.

I made thai noodle soup this week for the first time. It was like a healthy ramen noodle. Yum! We were able to use cabbage leaves, celery, and cilantro from our garden for the soup. However, I had such poor germination for my carrots this summer/fall, I had to use store-bought carrots for the soup.

I also planted the last of my seeds for the year. I am hoping this round will give us early carrots, beets, spinach, and lettuce in the spring. It is more of an experiment than anything.

I was going to cover all of the new plantings this week but we had a warm up so that will have to wait. Our cabbages are sizing up. Last year, we were able to harvest in January but it was more of a forced harvest because they were not covered properly. It will be interesting when we harvest them this winter.

All of my summer sowings for fall harvests did poorly. I will work on that next year. So, now, I am keeping all of my seedlings alive by covering and looking forward to some winter and early spring harvests. šŸ™‚

What is going on in your garden? Check out what other gardeners are up to at Our Happy Acres šŸ™‚

Coming Back After A Break…

September 14, 2015

It rained quite a bit while we were gone on vacation this past week. It is always interesting to see the garden come alive after a good soaking.

Here’s what I came home to…

The tomato plants are terribly ugly at the bottom. Last year, I pruned the plants, trying to keep them healthy longer. This year, I did not have the time or energy to prune. They are still producing just as much, they just have a lot of ugly, black leaves at the bottom. The tops are beautiful though, and we are still harvesting tomatoes!Nieto Photography 2015 All of the potatoes we missed are sprouting. We’ll have to dig those up this week.

The uncovered brassicas are basically dead but will likely bounce back if I cover them soon. Nieto Photography 2015Right next to them, the covered brassicas are flourishing and need to be planted this.week. Now to figure out where…

Nieto Photography 2015

We have one stinkin’ chicken that gets out no matter how many times we put her back in the run. So…she has dug up all of the greens IĀ  planted last week and most of the carrots and beets šŸ˜¦ I am so sick of that bird! šŸ˜›

The raspberries, as the tomatoes, are producing really well, though the plants are ugly-looking. We need to harvest strawberries as well.Nieto Photography 2015

The fall beans and peas are sizing up well. The bugs are leaving the beans alone for the most part and the peas are starting to flower šŸ™‚Nieto Photography 2015The sweet potatoes have bounced back for the most part. Hopefully, they will have another month or so to bulk up before we harvest them.Nieto Photography 2015

Another part of the garden that enjoyed all of the wonderful rain – the weed seeds. We’ll have to take care of that this week.Nieto Photography 2015

SOOOOO, what was it we need to do this week?

  1. WEED
  2. Harvest potatoes (that have sprouted), strawberries, raspberries, beans, and tomatoes
  3. Plant all of the brassicas
  4. Cover the uncovered brassicas
  5. Replant all of the greens
  6. Oh, and the kids are bugging me to start school with them this week. šŸ˜› Welcome back from vacation – now, hit the ground RUNNING!!!!

Two other random pics I wanted to share: we have a moon and stars watermelon sizing up.Nieto Photography 2015We have yet to harvest one of these because of the critters. I saw something scratched at this one so I put a fence loosely around it. It is also right next to the electric fence.

The other pic is of a baby butternut squash. I have a bear of a time each year with squash bugs so we do not harvest many squashes (summer or winter) at all. It is always exciting to see this šŸ™‚Nieto Photography 2015What are you harvesting? What are you planting for the fall? Check out what other gardeners are doing at Daphne’s Dandelions.

Garden in September, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

September 2, 2015

Beginning of AugustNieto Photography 2015Beginning of SeptemberNieto Photography 2015The most noticeable difference between the beginning of August and the beginning of September is the lack of sunflowers. However, there are many more differences, if you look a bit closer. For one, we have electric fencing all around the garden, to deter the raccoons and groundhogs.

Walking through the garden, to the left, I have more brassica seedlings sizing up under shade cloth. Nieto Photography 2015(planted 2 weeks ago) Nieto Photography 2015(broccoli planted mid-July. may transplant these next week)

To the right, there is the former potato patch with one struggling winter squash. Nieto Photography 2015Further to the right is the former sunflower patch with some leftover watermelon and cantaloupe plants. I need to put some caging over them to protect them from the crows.Nieto Photography 2015Moving on is the former cabbage patch (with some volunteer tomatoes). I have tried planting carrots and peas here. The carrots are going to be replanted but the peas are trying to poke through. I assume it was just too hot for the carrots to sprout but I can’t figure out why the peas did not germinate well. I planted peas elsewhere in the garden that are doing great. This spot has more shade but not an extreme amount and both places have plenty of manure and compost. Conundrum…Nieto Photography 2015Moving along, in the former melon patch, I am planting all of my leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, kale) for the fall. To the left and right of this patch, are my ugly (but still producing) tomato plants.Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(still getting about a gallon of tomatoes/day)

I have some boxes that are empty right now. I will plant brassicas in half of them and carrots and beets in the other half shortly. To the left of the boxes are the strawberry patches and the raspberry patch. Strawberries are trickling in (they do better in the spring). Nieto Photography 2015The raspberries give us a wonderful treat in the fall! I need to prune all of the raspberry canes that produced this year. I also need to replant ALL of the MANY raspberry shoots that have popped up everywhere! I haven’t decided where I want them though…Nieto Photography 2015(at the top of the photo, outside of the trellises and even outside of the fencing – raspberry shoots everywhere!) Nieto Photography 2015 (We get a nice handful each (all 8 of us) every other day – not too shabby šŸ™‚ ) Nieto Photography 2015(more just starting to form)

To the far right of the boxes is the old potato patch and my daughter’s old garden (she ripped it up at the end of August – she was tired of harvesting so everything was rotting). OH! And the tunnels! Don’t want to forget the tunnels! The former broccoli and kale beds (under tunnels) house beautiful purple beans currently (as well as some melon plants).Nieto Photography 2015Under the tree, there is quite the hodge-podge.Nieto Photography 2015(another round of beans to the left, flowering cilantro to the right, a cucumber plant in front of the tree…and in the bottom of the photo – our fall peas!)

This was a new section. Earlier this summer, we ripped up tarp that was laid here years ago and put down chicken manure and wood shavings from when we cleaned out the coop.Ā  (all of the dark mulch is where the tarp was ripped up)DSC_8441I was not going to plant in it until spring but I was running out of room when it was time to plant more peas/beans so I gave it a shot. Everything is doing well here (the beans to the left were just planted a couple of weeks ago). The peas are ready to be trellised.Nieto Photography 2015At the end of the garden, we have the sweet potato patch (partially eaten) and the (other) former sunflower patch. Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015 Nieto Photography 2015(sweet potato blooms are a good sign though, right? šŸ™‚ )

I will harvest the sweet potatoes sometime in October, around the first frost. I am not expecting as many sweet potatoes as last year but I will have about 13? or so varieties as compared to last year’s one. We are going to taste test these, decide which ones we want, and will save many for slips for next year.


The trees seem to be doing well. They are growing every year. The ones in the mulch grow better than the ones in grass. However, still no fruit. I don’t know what I can do to remedy this. I am going to just keep adding compost around the trunks, like I do with the rest of the garden, continue to cover them with mulch as we are able, and be patient. Maybe one day we will not have to buy fruit at the store! (the dream)


We actually harvested MORE eggs in August than June or July! I am pretty sure it is because some of our spring-hatched chicks have started laying. I do not see any red combs but there are some eggs that are significantly smaller than the rest (our other hens are 2yo) and our older hens are moulting so that would be the only logical reason we are getting slightly more.

Since the children do such a great job taking care of the baby chicks, I told them I would pay them once their chicks started laying (after taking out the cost of feed). So now, we are keeping up with how many eggs we are collecting each day AND how many small eggs we are collecting. I’m excited for them – we’ve had such a hard time keeping chicks alive (btwn snakes, foxes, other chickens, and bad mamas leaving them out in the rain… šŸ˜¦ )Nieto Photography 2015As a matter of fact, our latest batch of chicks (and last for this year) is not fairing well either. Of the 5 hatched out, one was killed by other chickens before we got a chance to separate them. This past week, one was taken by a snake, one was found dead in the coop one morning, and the two left are sluggish most of the day. I am not expecting them to make it but don’t know what’s going on! We have lost 1/2 of the chicks we have hatched out this year šŸ˜¦

The older chickens are doing a great job being our soil manufacturers, though. This is the first year I have been able to cover the whole garden with chicken compost from the run! Exciting šŸ™‚Nieto Photography 2015What does your garden look like that the beginning of September? Are you able to plant a fall/winter garden? What do you use for protection for your plants during the winter? Are you drowning in weeds? Have you given up? Check out backtoedenfilm.com and see how many people around the world are gardening with minimal weeding and watering!