September was a busy month in the garden. Especially since my tomatoes ripened later than usual, I felt like I was busier preserving this past month than in the summer.
I already wrote about harvesting potatoes. After they were all dug, Ed tilled up much of the garden. This photo shows him in the potato patch and behind him is a patch of buck wheat planted for cover crop after the beans were finished.
We use mostly hand tools in the garden, but it is nice to have a tiller for fall clean-up, especially for things like the corn stalks! They can now rot down over the winter.
Once our tomatoes finally started ripening, we had lots of messy kitchen days of canning! I don't have a lot of counter space and don't know what I would ever do without the island in the kitchen. I sometimes have to start stacking dirty pans on the floor!
I went a little bonkers in canning soup this year. I love using carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes from the garden (had to buy celery) to make a huge batch of soup for quick meals this winter. By the end of the day, I usually question my sanity but I think the results this winter will be worth the effort!
Saturday we had our last big canning day. Ed (and the children) helped me make applesauce. It was a long day and by the end we had every quart jar in the house filled and were stashing the remaining applesauce in the freezer!
Preparations begins for next year. Yesterday, we took some of the garlic we harvested in July and separated the individual cloves.
We chose the largest cloves to plant for next year's crop. I find garlic one of the easiest crops to grow. Plant in the fall, throw on a light mulch, and it is needs no more care until harvest time in July!
Our tomatoes are finished. The plants are almost dead from blight. But I'm thankful they didn't get the blight as early as last year and I had a good crop. I picked buckets of tomatoes to preserve as juice and sauce. After my last tomato canning spree, I determined not to pick another tomato to put into a jar.
All summer we received adequate rainfall, but the last month has been very dry. I haven't been keeping up with watering the fall crops as I should but they are growing well. The weedy spot to the left on the photo above is the remains of our terrific carrot crop. The green patch in the middle is turnips - the first time I tried growing them! Under the row cover is cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts.
A view from the other end of the garden. You can see the strawberry patch we rejuvenated mid-summer and the fall crops that are outgrowing their row cover! Hopefully we'll start harvesting these crops later this month.
Is there anything still growing in your garden?