Growing Your Own Vegetables

This is a portion of our (many) tomato plants.
Autumn is almost here. Tomorrow is the official first day of Autumn which makes today the last day of summer. Interesting summer thus far. Not many days of heat compared to our previous summers, but I'm not complaining. I prefer the colder weather.

One thing I like about summer is that you can grow your own vegetables. This year we grew green onions, pumpkins, spicy peppers, corn, and an assortment of tomatoes.

Seriously. We have all types of tomatoes. Yellow tomatoes, field tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and I don't know the name of the fourth one we grew.

Growing the tomatoes was slower this year compared to last year due to the colder weather, but once the calendar changed to September, we've had a steady harvest of tomatoes.

This is the harvest on September 5.
We've had more days of this.
With all these tomatoes, wifey and I needed to find ways to use everything we could harvest.

First way was freezing some tomatoes whole. Wifey stuffed some in a freezer bag, drew out the air with a straw, and stuffed them in a freezer. I think we have 2 or 3 bags of tomatoes in the downstairs freezer.

Second way was to store some tomatoes as a tomato puree. We used a blender to puree the tomatoes. Then we dumped the tomatoes in a pot. Next, we boiled the puree until it was bubbling. Finally, we put everything in mason jars. We waited for the jars to cool before sticking them in the fridge. We only have a few jars, but that's good enough for now.

In addition to freezing and pureeing the tomatoes, we eat them as snacks or use them when we cook. We've had a lot of pasta in September. We've also had a lot of stews.

Finally, another way of dealing with our tomatoes is to give them away. The in-laws have given away bags of tomatoes to their friends. In return, we've received green beans, cucumbers, winter melons, and snow peas in return. Seems there's a bunch of neighbours with green thumbs growing one type of vegetable or another and sharing the bounty with others.

We still have a lot more tomatoes to harvest. I estimate we have enough tomatoes to last us until Thanksgiving (the Canadian one in mid-October, not the American one at the end of November).

With the spicy peppers and green onions, wifey froze some for later and she has some in the fridge for more immediate cooking.

We grew a couple of pumpkins, we tried one of them and turns out wifey doesn't like pumpkin. We think she prefers a different kind of pumpkin (more squash like) and not the pumpkins for Halloween. We've going to save the seeds to roast. Who doesn't like roasted pumpkin seeds?

The crime scene in question.
I sent the evidence to CSI for further analysis.
Sadly, not much corn survived. We have a few ears left, but they aren't quite ready to be harvested.

We had some critters tear the stalk down and munch on the corn. Wifey was surprised something was capable of doing this. I suspect a raccoon climbed the fence and tore down the stalk. Unfortunately, there's no way of knowing for sure. However, after watching an episode of The Nature of Things that featured raccoons sometime last year, I wouldn't be surprised.

In addition to harvesting our bounty, this is also the time of year we save the seeds. More on that next time.

Granted, some people live in condos or apartments and have no access to a backyard to grow vegetables. In our area, there is a community garden. You just need to pay a deposit for a key to access the garden. They will provide you with seeds and anything you grow is yours to keep. How convenient is that? There are also programs where home owners will "rent" out their backyards to people with green thumbs to plant vegetables. The rent comprises of the share of the bounty.


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