If You Build It They Will Come: Part VII

It was Spring 2015 and time to plant the potager for the first time!  We were so excited to watch our young, organic garden grow!  It was difficult to believe that in just a few months we would have our first harvest at Indigo Acres!

img_2546.jpg
Creating the planting beds and grass paths…
img_2550-e1504580818184.jpg
It was time to move the seedlings out of the greenhouse for planting!
img_2549.jpg
Our little grape vines looked healthy and strong!
img_2562
Within no time, the grass paths were thickening and the baby plants were taking off!
img_2534.jpg
We tried the straw and cage method for growing potatoes!  Looks like our 8 towers made for a successful harvest!

As the garden plants grew throughout the season, so did the animals!  The baby ducks grew up into big ducks, in no time!  They began laying eggs at about 24 weeks of age.  Once you have tasted a duck egg, you will never go back!

img_2578
The ducks love lettuce and kale from the garden!
img_2560.jpg
The tomatoes, onions and pepper plants were making nice progress!  Our first tomato harvest was a success… We canned almost 100 jars of salsa and sauce!

We did find that Mother Nature has her very own sense of humor!  There are magical tomato unicorns and scary tomato vampires!

These beautiful tomatillos would soon make the most wonderful salsa verde!

img_2576
I love the fact that they appear to be mini hot air balloons!  When their paper casing turns light brown and splits, it is time to harvest.

We also enjoyed making strawberry and raspberry jam!  It was such a treat to not have to purchase berries from the local farmers’ market!

I love using red and black beans in soups and salsa.  We had never grown shell beans before, so we thought we would take a risk!

img_2609

img_2612.jpg
We could not believe how easy it was to grow red and black beans!  Once the shells were dry, we pulled the plants and picked off the pods.

The big question…who was going to shell all of those beans!?  My oldest son entered the conversation and seemed to think it would be a quick and easy chore.  He offered to take on the task for $5, thinking it would take him less than an hour!  I smiled at Wifey, with a wink and a devilish grin and told him that he was hired, handing him the very large black trash bag, filled with dried shell beans!  5 hours later, he finished!!  That was the best $5 ever spent!  Granted, none of the kids have offered to shell beans again!

img_2890
I store the dried beans in mason jars.

The herb garden was prolific!  Nasturtium and basil are two of my favorite herbs to use when making pesto.

Check out this link for my nasturtium/basil pesto recipe! It is quick and easy to make and freezes beautifully!

https://growingself.blog/2017/04/28/basil-nasturtium-pesto/

img_2575-1

The baking pumpkins lined the upper deck.  I used some for decorating, but baked most of them.  The pumpkin puree was frozen in freezer containers to use throughout the season.  Check out this link for one of our favorite pumpkin cookie recipes!

https://growingself.blog/2017/08/25/pumpkin-everything/

Pickles!! I can’t think of a better way to use dill and cucumbers!  Shadow was so tired from all of the canning, that he found the closest bed to take a nap!  I tried, but I could not fit in the box!  If you missed yesterday’s post, all about growing and harvesting dill, check it out!

https://growingself.blog/2017/09/05/harvesting-dill/

Peas are not a favorite in our family, unless they are in chicken fried rice!  But, the kids do enjoy snap pea pods!  These little ones are super easy to grow!  Our season, in Michigan, is long enough that we are able to replant pea pods at least three times.  These tender pods are not a fan of too much heat, so early Spring and Fall planting are the most successful.

I saved the best for last!  Brussels Sprouts!  These amazing balls of goodness do not get nearly enough credit!  If you asked me 5 years ago, I would have told you they were disgusting! My only prior knowledge of Brussels Sprouts was from eating the canned mushy ones, as a child.  No one likes mushy vegetables!  Then, I had a moment of awakening…  I had the opportunity to try them prepared properly and they were OUTSTANDING!  Balsamic-honey-bacon…what is not to love!?  I was determined to not only recreate the recipe, but grow them!  This is a recipe you will want to try!  Take a risk, you wont regret it!

https://growingself.blog/2017/04/21/for-the-love-of-brussels-sprouts/

Overall, it had been a successful first harvest!  We learned so much and would carry that knowledge into our next growing season…

Do what you love…Love what you do!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

Roda

img_2605
Carrot People!

A few more links to past posts…

https://growingself.blog/2017/04/17/the-exquisite-eggshell/

https://growingself.blog/2017/03/28/hard-boiling-farm-fresh-eggs/

 

28 thoughts on “If You Build It They Will Come: Part VII

  1. Quite amazing watching this farm come to fruition. It must be an incredible feeling being self sustaining! I wish I had that kind of time and that kind of land to do this!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s