Remember a while back I shared some photos of my crooked little country garden?
Seriously, it's a jungle. I can barely get in the gate now.
The Morning Glories have taken over the fence around the garden.
And the arbor.
And the gate.
I'm pretty sure one was on its way up my leg while I was standing there trying to open the gate.
But you know what? I'm ok with that.
I love Morning Glories. Love, love, LOVE. And when I look over to the backyard from my deck in the mornings, the sight of all those bright purple flowers bobbing in the sunshine is just the ticket for starting the day off on a bright note.
Seriously. Summertime in the country, right here.
Before long, the jungle of green and all the bright colors will be replaced with dried up brown, and the gardens will be bare once more.
For now, I will enjoy every out-of-control moment in my crooked little country jungle.
Beside what's going on outside the fence, there's lots going on inside the veggie garden as well!
The red onions are practically jumping out of the soil at this point. However, since the tops haven't begun to wilt, I'll leave them for another while, and hopefully I'll have some really nice sized onions to store for the winter.
We've been able to harvest fresh lettuce all season long - it's been wonderful! My sweetie's garden had the early season lettuce, while mine was being eaten by slugs. Now my garden is producing lettuce like crazy, and we can re-seed at this point for late season eating.
I can't stress how lovely it is to go out to the garden to gather the evening's salad. Heaven. Fresh lettuce out of the garden has a taste that is simply incomparable to supermarket lettuce.
The zucchini and yellow squash are still producing like mad. No sign of any eggplants, though - I think they got smothered by the extremely robust squash plants.
We've got cucumbers galore....and tons of baby cucumbers on the vine.
The beans have climbed to the tippy top of the bean pole and are flowering and producing like the dickens. I should have a great stock of assorted dried beans at harvest time!
And FINALLY, at long last, we are harvesting tomatoes.....and tomatoes....and MORE tomatoes!! I am certainly not complaining, I can't wait to make more awesome roasted tomato soup for the freezer, as well as a huge batch of easy peasy tomato onion butter sauce. It's absolutely wonderful to come home from work on a chilly night and pull a container of home-made sauce out of the freezer. Within minutes, I've got a saucepan of summer goodness to ladle onto heaping bowls of steaming pasta.
It's all about stocking the freezer, for the long winter months ahead. All the hard work we put into planting and nurturing the gardens, and harvesting and preparing the fruits of our labors for the freezer...it's all worth it on a cold snowy day.
And to think it all began with tiny seeds brought to life in my utility room.
This girl from New York City can't get enough of that thought - it blows my mind.
The larger heirloom variety tomatoes have yet to ripen in my garden, but they are coming along very nicely, mingling with some beautiful Nasturtiums that popped on through the garden fence for a visit.
These little orange Sun Gold Tomatoes are sugar sweet. It's hard not to just eat them all right there while working in the garden, warmed by the sun.
The ripest ones went into a cucumber & tomato salad last night, but there are many more waiting for me to give them the attention they deserve.
Some of our garden fresh veggies went into another huge batch of Zucchini Corn Chowder last night.
In addition to our home-grown veggies, there was some locally grown fresh corn that needed to be used.
Yes, please - I love corn!
Half the corn went into the chowder, and half into the freezer for another day.
One of my biggest struggles at this point is finding containers WITH lids to freeze all this goodness!
I'm curious - where do the lids disappear to? Do they go to the same place as lost socks?
I managed to round up a random assortment for last night's soup, and there are 12 containers of chowder in the freezer now, just the thing for a quick and healthy meal.
I had to enlist my daughter's help in dealing with the absolute mountain of fresh green beans. She sat at the counter and trimmed and sorted beans for ages, fortified by a cold glass of Pinot Grigio. Family time!
Like mother, like daughter....I have my trusty compost bucket by my side while chopping veggies, as well as an ice cold glass of bubbly Prosecco!
At the end, we had a good stockpile for the freezer. I don't blanch the beans, they are simply washed, and trimmed, and put in freezer bags when they are completely dry. Make sure to squeeze all the air you possibly can out of the freezer bags....I actually portion them out in smaller freezer bags, and put those smaller bags inside a larger bag. Double protection against freezer burn.
This morning I started another batch of home made chicken stock, as I have plans to make some more soups this weekend.
You can find my instructions for making chicken stock in this post. My chicken stock is never the same twice....it depends on what I have on hand to throw into the crock pot. Today it was 2 chicken carcasses, 2 onions, 1 head of garlic, some mushroom stems from the freezer, celery, carrots, and some fresh herbs from the deck: thyme, sage, rosemary, marjoram, and dill. Last thing I threw in was a handful of whole peppercorns and some Vermont Country Seasoning.
Love that stuff.
The broth will cook on low in the crock pot for a minimum of 24 hours to let all the flavors develop.
By tomorrow afternoon, it will be ready for use in my next experiment.
Because, there's still this to deal with.
And that's in addition to the tomatoes....and the tomatoes I haven't picked yet....and the harvest my sweetie pulls out of his garden every single day.
This is Sweetie's harvest today, photo taken on his cell phone and sent to mine. Look at those gorgeous leeks and carrots - I love it!
I think there's going to be another batch of Summer Garden Bolognese this weekend as well.
Wow, I'm going to be busy.
I think I need a sous chef.