2022 Garden Harvest

Our Vegetable garden did very well this season. Harvesting season can be somewhat overwhelming, especially in late summer and early fall. I've come to realize that most of my mid to late summer days is usually spent in the kitchen canning and preserving. I always say once gardening season wraps up canning and preserving season begins! It is a lot of work, but enjoying all the fruits and vegetables that we grew and harvested throughout the year makes it all worth it. 

Today I want to show you how everything turned out for the year and what we actually harvested. Some things did great while others didn't produce anything at all. Gardening is always ongoing learning experience, but it's so much fun. The photo above is our spring garden in the early stages. If you would like to see everything we planted check out our 2022 Garden Tour post

This is our Spring garden in Full Swing! We also have 3 smaller raised bed gardens to the left that are 6x3 feet and filled with Onions, Elephant Garlic, Regular Garlic and a Herb Bed,  

The corn did really well and this was our first year that we actually had corn to harvest!!! Normally the rodents clean out the corn just before it is ready to be picked, but this we stayed on top of it and we won!!! We use the block method to grow our corn since we are in a raised bed with limited space and it helps to increase pollination. We plant ours in a 6x6 foot area of the bed. We tend to get storms in the early summer here in North Texas, so this year we will be adding cattle panels in rows of 3's so it won't blow over or seriously bend the corn stalks.  

I was so excited to finally freeze some corn for the winter. I think we grew peaches and cream corn and G-90. 

If you're not sure how to freeze corn check out this tutorial from 40 aprons. 

Radishes and lettuce were the first to be harvested. Next year I will be growing lettuce in 5 gallon buckets. Just Romaine and Butter Lettuce. We had so much lettuce it was overwhelming.  

Tomatoes and corn are the two hardest crops for us to grow, but this year we hit the jackpot with both!!! The varieties we chose were Paul Robeson, Amish Paste and San Marzano tomatoes. 

The paste tomatoes did amazing and produced so much. 

We picked and picked and picked! 

The Paul Robeson are such a beautiful tomato variety with such a good flavor. I just sliced them up and ate them with salt and pepper. 

For the paste tomatoes, I grew them for spaghetti sauce and salsa, so as the tomatoes grew I just rinsed them cut and "X" in the end and tossed them in large freezer bags. When the season was complete we had over 35lbs of tomatoes! I made a batch of  Salsa and a batch Homemade Spaghetti Sauce. I did the same with our garlic, onions and bell peppers. 

We used what we wanted and then made sure to freeze some chopped for spaghetti sauce and salsa. It is so satisfying making homemade spaghetti sauce using home grown tomatoes, garlic, onions and peppers. There is just something special knowing you grew all of it on your own. I had so much tomatoes I had to use my pressure canner pot just to cook the spaghetti sauce. 

The Bell Peppers did beautifully as they do every year. 

We grew some green and yellow bells this year. I don't have a photo of the yellow ones. 

Our jalapeno plants produced clear into late summer and early fall. 

So we had plenty for salsa, pepper jellycowboy candy pickled jalapenos and shared plenty with friends. 

The size of the jalapeno were really large and some of them were really hot! 😰

By far this was the best green bean harvest we have had. Normally we grow the Bush Blue Lake Beans, but this year we tried a new variety. 

We grew Contender Bush Beans and they did not disappoint! We were able to grow green beans in the spring and a second crop in the fall. I canned so many green beans that I have plenty for Winter. 

As usual our big producer our the Boston Picklers. They seem to do well every year. 

We picked cucumbers every day once they came in and I canned batch after batch of Dill Pickles , Bread & Butter Pickles and Spicy Pickles. 

More cucumbers and peppers. 

Zucchini and yellow squash. Our yellow squash seems to do better than the zucchini squash for some reason. 

 The garlic and onions did pretty good. 

So we had plenty for the fall and winter once they were cured and stored.  

Our potato crop did OK and we have seen better years, but I can't complain too much because getting anything is a blessing. 

We had white and kennebec potatoes. 

We used a utility rack in the spare bedroom to cure the potatoes and onions for storage. 

Not as much garlic as we would of liked, but it was something. 

What can I say about the Okra except that it always does us proud. Okra love hot, humid weather so Texas is perfect for growing okra. This is our second year growing the spineless okra and it is so good. 

My grand daughter was so proud that she wanted a photo with the okra. 

We picked and picked and picked. 

Okra is a huge producer so we had bags and bags of breaded okra I think we ended up with about 7 gallon bags of breaded okra to freeze. 

When summer is in full swing we have to start shading off the garden or the heat will burn it all up.  

This is normally what our garden looks like in the heat of summer when the temps are well above 100 degrees. They are shade clothes that get in sunlight so the plants get plenty of sun. 

The poor tomatoes were hanging on through August so it was hard, but they made it. 

Same for the jalapenos and bell peppers. They needed to be shaded as well because the heat will just dry them out. 

Once everything was harvested from our spring garden we were able to plant a few Fall crops. We planted another round of corn (didn't do well at all). We are thinking it wasn't enough sunlight. We planted Honey Nut Squash, more Contender Bush Beans, Beets (which did not grow, so we will try again next Fall). We harvest some carrots, but I think we picked them too soon, so next year we will wait until we get our first frost then we will pick the carrots. 

Here are the baby Honey Nut Squash just starting to grown. 

We harvested the apples from one of our trees. We have 5 but some are still new and getting established. 

They were really good in size so I was able to can some apple pie filling. 

The pears were smaller this year, but I was able to make salvage some and make some Pear Preserves

This was our first time growing the Honey Nut Squash and we loved it. It is just like Butternut Squash but smaller and sweeter. They grown to about 7 inches and turn a deep orange when ready to eat. We harvested these just before the first frost, because I wasn't sure if they would survive. I picked them because it stated that the squash will continue to ripen and deepen in color after picked. 

This was our first year growing sweet potatoes and it is definitely a labor of love and very time consuming. You have to start the slips from an actual organic sweet potato and then plant the slips into the soil. Sweet potatoes take about 6 months and the green foliage grows everywhere. 

We learned a few things for next year so we might try again. We did get some nice sized sweet potatoes, but not a whole lot.  

The green beans did beautifully in our fall garden just like in spring so we had plenty more to can this year. 

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