Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

September 21, 2008

Growing for 500!!

I got out into the garden this evening, and was able to bring in what was actually more food than I realized I had ready. After bringing it all in and seeing how much there was I realized I hadn't put up a good harvest picture for some time so why not now! And if I don't say so myself, didn't I set this shot up nicely? It's approx 42 lbs of food.
In the picture I have apples, green beans, Marketmore and Boston pickling cucumbers, jalapenos, San Marzano tomatoes and some volunteer Romas, ichiban Japanese eggplant, bell peppers and Swiss chard. Oh and let me throw this little tidbit it...that's only half the beans I pulled today. In total I picked 22 1/2 lbs of beans today! Is that crazy or what? Good thing we all love beans right? Guess what I'll be doing next week? Yep, canning. Speaking of that, anyone have a good recipe for applesauce? We actually gave almost 10 pounds of beans away to some friends of ours that are looking into growing their own for next year but we still have plenty. It really is a blessing to be able to share with friends and family when we have a bounty isn't it?

A~ and I talked at the beginning of this season, when we decided to make a concerted effort at weighing all of our food we really had no data to go by in guessing what we'd get out of it. Initially we guess we may be able to make it to 300 pounds. As the season progressed, we realized that it would most likely end up exceeding that. A~ has contended almost all along that we'd make it to 500 pounds, and right now it seems she may be right. After tonight's 42+ pound harvest we cracked a new ceiling by making it to 313 pounds! So now that it's in sight, we are definitely going to "grow for 500". It's not tons, not thousands, and not enough to sell or anything but we both really are blown away with what we've been able to bring in. In addition to the fact that we will now have some concrete data to gauge future harvests against, having real numbers to quantify our efforts to others has really been an unexpected benefit of the "Big Weigh-in". In my outreach efforts to get people around me excited about the idea of growing food at home, it really helps to have real numbers to present to them. It puts things in better perspective that just the old, "we got a ton of beans" or "we're knee deep in tomatoes". To be able to say that we have harvested over 300 lbs is a thing that everyone understands. If you haven't tracked what you've grown this year I adamantly suggest you look into it for next.

Well, I guess that about does it for tonight. I hope everyone's doing great and with that...I'll catch you tomorrow!


Bill said...

Wow, that is a lot of food. I am definitely going to weigh my food next year to see where I am at. We had little luck with beans this year (dang snails) but I am very interested in trying the bean trellis similar to yours. Were they worth it in your opinion?

Chicago Mike said...

That is AWESOME!

I can't wait til my apples start.

I know this is rather mother-hennish, but be REALLY careful making apple sauce or apple butter in particular. As is boils down the bubbles get bigger and bigger and start splattering a LOT when they come up. My Mom still has a burn scar from 20 years ago on the underside of her forearm from making apple butter.

rachelbess said...

wow congratulations!! How many bean plants did you plant to get that many?
I've been making a lot of applesauce doing this:
Peel, core and slice apples 1/4"-1/2" slices (back to basics makes a fantastic inexpensive tool that does all of this quickly) then put them in a pot with approx 1/2 cup water per 12 apples and heat until the apples are soft which could be about 20 minutes then take them out and put them in a food processor and *poof* it's applesauce. Boiling water can them for 20 minutes or it also freezes well.

Sadge said...

I cook my peeled apple chunks with just enough apple juice to cover the bottom of the covered pot an inch. When the apples start softening, I use a potato masher until I have a somewhat uniform consistency. Half-pints, 1/4" headspace, boiling water bath, 10 minutes @ 5,000 ft altitude. To prevent fruit butters from burning before they get thick enough, I cook the thickened puree in an open crockpot on high (sometimes overnight).

Sandy said...

I make applesauce the easiest way possible. I chop up the apples (I don't peel or core) and then boil until soft. I then send them through an old fashioned food mill, something like this http://tinyurl.com/4pwlal which separates the peal and core from the apple nicely. Once I have the sauce, I add a little apple juice and sugar to get the right level of sweetness. This can vary a lot depending on the type of apple you use.

ilex said...

Very nice. Dontcha love this time of year?

RedStateGreen said...

Fantastic! This year wasn't nearly so good for me, but I'm blaming the poor soil ... >.>

P~ said...

Hi all, Thanks for all the great comments today!

Bill~ In a word, YES. I love the trellises. I've had a lot of questions about them and have decided to put some diagrams of them up on the blog at some point in the futre, no sure how soon, but definitely before next season. Keep an eye out.

Mike~ Thanks mother hen ;-) Will do!

Rachel~ Because of the "V" style of the trellises, the beans are really easy to get to and I was able to grow a lot in each bed. I have 2 zig zagging lines of 12 beans planted in each 4x6 raised bed for a total of 24 plants per bed in two beds. (Short answer 48 minus a few that didn't grow well.)

~Sadge and Sandy, Thanks ladies for the recipies, I'll let you know how they come out.

ilex~ Thanks, and yes I do! Oh and so sorry to hear about the patio problems you had.

RSG~ Better get that compost pile going then. Sorry it wasn't a great year for you. There's always next year though!


Moonwaves said...

I never really thought about the fact that there might be recipes for apple sauce! Just assumed that apple sauce is what people on the other side of the pond call what I would call stewed apple. For what it's worth, when I make stewed apple (one of the very few things I don't use a recipe for), I peel, core and roughly chop the apples, throw them into a pot, splash a few spoons of water in (or more depending on the size of the pot, generally no more than would make 1cm of water covering the bottom of the pot if it was empty I reckon) and cook on a slow heat. Stirring often. As I'd usually use bramleys I'd mostly also add a spoon or two of sugar. Takes about ten or fifteen minutes. And voila, stewed apple.