Summer Time Is Harvest Time

By Leah
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Summer is always the busiest season for me. Between grandchildren activities and the garden I have very little free time. Which is why my blogs have been few and far between. My daughter’s children are all athletes so we have lots of summer games to attend. I find my time with them being scheduled in with all of the summer activities. These are not farm kids. They live in a suburb-type rural area and they keep busy all summer with sports, swimming, summer camps, and the movies.

But sometimes my activities and theirs coincide. My youngest granddaughter came over just as school was out with a couple of cabbage plants. Their teacher had given the class each two plants and challenged them to raise the biggest cabbage possible to compete in a contest. Having no garden of their own, MJ brought her cabbage to us and she and her Poppa planted them. She came over a couple of times to check on them, and then when they were ready, she came to harvest them.

When not spending time with the grands, we have been busy with our own harvest. The beans came on first, and are still producing. I freeze my beans by par-boiling them for 7 minutes, then plunging them into an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Then I lay them out to dry, bag, and freeze them.

The tomatoes started ripening next. I have my black Brandywines and Purple Russians – which are much like a Roma tomato. I also have some volunteer Cherokee Purples coming up among the carrots! Well, as the books says “Carrots love Tomatoes”. I have been drying the tomatoes.

July is also harvest time for onions. I had to wait until I had three days of full hot sun. Onions are pulled, the tops cut off near the head, and laid out in the sun. After three days I will bag them in some mesh bags I have collected and hang them on the back porch.

My garden has done extremely well this year. I had a marvelous asparagus corp this spring, and now I’m feasting on peppers, egg plant, cucumbers, and strawberries. Earlier in the spring, I harvested an entire crisper drawer of turnips. They are still sweet and good and will last into the fall. And soon I will have spaghetti squash.

The one thing I have not been able to do yet is make a root cellar. That is high on my to-do list and one day I’ll achieve that goal. Until then, I will be freezing, drying, and putting up for the winter. And in another month I will be butchering chickens. Yep, summer is definitely my busy time of the year!