It is unbelievable but apparently summer is coming to an end. For the family with a garden the stressful time of year has begun! If you have a small garden it’s not too bad, you can pretty much enjoy the harvest just eating it at meals. But, for the large gardener it can be crazy! Everything is ready at once this year it seems–beans, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers,broccoli, you name– it everything is ready to pick. I am blanching some beets to freeze as I write this, and before that I made two buckets of garlic dill refrigerator pickles. Last night I froze zucchini and green peppers and my tomatoes are just starting to ripen so the frozen green peppers will go in them when I can start canning tomatoes. Whew! Gardening can keep you busy. I recommend taking advantage of the family members to make the busy harvest fun.
When my kids were still at home we had bean snapping races, pea shelling races, and every one helped with picking and harvesting. Of course the favorite thing to harvest was our pumpkins. It was always fun to see how many huge ones we would get. Then a week before Halloween we all carved about 30 of them as a family and put them out in front of our house. Everyone designed the faces and usually mom (that would be me, now known as Grandma 😉 ) was in charge of the carving. All of us joined in cleaning out the seeds or guts as we called them. We all knew how good the roasted seeds would be later.
Whether your family has a large garden or very small garden, it’s fun to include everyone in the harvest. I know my granddaughter Sophie loves to harvest carrots. She likes seeing how big they get and how deep in the ground they went. And, if the seeds are planted too close together and not thinned out, there may be some pretty interesting shaped carrots, too. When harvesting with the kids, we have a great time talking about how the vegetables started as those small seeds only a few months back . We compare the flavors of garden grown to purchased veggies as a sort of ‘taste test’. We love discussing what everyone thinks is the neatest thing we grew, and what they might want to try next year. Plus, when we have excess we have lots of fun freezing or canning so we cann enjoy the fresh veggie flavors this coming winter.
I hope your harvest time has gone smoothly this year and that you were able to preserve some of your hard work in the freezer or by canning. Oh, and we hope you made lots of family memories, too!