I was talking to a friend on the phone is early-January and she said: ‘I bet your vege garden is going for it right now’ and I said ‘Actually, no, we are only really getting salad greens and herbs – everything is still growing.”
How quickly this changes! A couple of weeks after that, we started eating our corn and ate it every single day for three weeks solid! You would think that we might get sick of it, but I didn’t. It is such a wonderful summer treat. It seems like no time it all that the corn went from seed to tall, rustling plants to plate.
Last weekend, I harvested all the remaining corn – including all the straggly little ones which hadn’t thrived – they became a treat for the chickens. Chickens love corn. I blanched the cobs in boiling water, then cut the kernels off and froze them. They will make nice additions to bean succotash and soups through the colder months.
I had noticed that the birds were starting to eat the apples, so Fraser and the boys got up on ladders and chairs and we stripped the apple tree. They filled a large bin with apples and on Saturday night I spent many hours peeling apples and made 12 litres of spiced apple sauce (delicous on porridge or in desserts) for the freezer and six litres of apple cordial with the water the apples cooked in (I just added more sugar and boiled the liquid until it went thick.) The next day I had a big bruise on the finger which held the peeler and I wore the skin off….but it was worth it!
Finally, after what seems like an endless wait, the tomatoes are going for it too – but I haven’t preserved any so far – we are just enjoying eating them for dinner. We have had sauteed onion, zucchini and tomatoes for many nights in a row, too and I AM wearying of zucchini a little.
There’s a Manawatu saying “You can’t give away a zucchini in February” and it’s pretty much true – they grow so well and voraciously here – everyone trying to give them away at the same time. “Would you like some zuchinnis?” is usually met with “Oh bugger, I was just going to say that to you.”
I also picked, cooked and ate my sole artichoke for the season – I love the plants so much, but I am not yet a convert for eating them! I think I need a more experienced friend to make me a delicious artichoke dish – I stoically chewed it down, but to be honest found it kind of fibrous and the smell and flavour bought to mind, well, urine. Not what you want to be reminded of when you are eating. I’m going to keep growing them, however, because the plants are so gorgeous.
The mornings are getting colder, the days a little shorter so I’m enjoying this time of garden abundance and cleansing heat while it lasts!
You can find another lovely post about garden harvest time HERE on WHOLE LARDER LOVE.