There’s still something to be said for a small harvest. A minimal harvest is better than no harvest at all, right? In my busy weeks and days I don’t have to struggle with making too much time to pick, clean, prep, and cook or preserve what is coming in as the summer winds down. Granted, I didn’t feed my family with an abundance of meals made from our own garden this year like I’d dreamed, (thank you for that, critters!) but I did supplement several meals with side dishes, snacks, or lunch additions this summer.
Right now a yummy pear crisp is browning up ￼all bubbly in the oven and smelling quite welcoming. It will taste good with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce for dessert tonight.
I am getting ready to try my hand at herbed, dried cherry tomatoes – also from the oven – my plan to preserve and use a bunch of those prolific cherry tomatoes falling off the vines right now. The ducks love snacking on them too when they get a chance!
I have discovered that it is possible to dry green beans that have gotten too big or started drying on the plant (who am I kidding? Or those that got dry sitting and waiting for me to do something with them.) They can be shelled and used as dried beans. So that’s a great plan for those errant beans that continue to come in through the fall. I’m thinking some warm, cozy soup will be good when the weather starts to cool. Also seeing some possible pear butter in our future.
I was able to harvest some red potatoes and onions this weekend too. Not many. I am hoping that the Yukon Golds did better, but some fried potatoes and onions sound pretty good right now!
With our meager pickings this year I can’t help but think of our pioneering ancestors as they trod across the country, heading west, with few belongings to their name. Talk about a difficult living by simple means. I think the innate desire to feed my family from scratching the ground surely comes from the blood, sweat and tears of those who came before us. Sure I whine and fuss and become easily discouraged by the groundhog dining his way through each and every squash I have planted for the last two years. But imagine the devastation of losing an entire crop that your family is relying on to put food in their mouths, clothes on their backs, and money for supplies and animal feed into their hands, destroyed by locusts, a tornado, disease, prairie fire, or drought.
Yes, it could be far worse than bringing in a small harvest. Each year that I put research, effort, time, and money into a garden I am learning. What grows and what doesn’t. What makes things easier, or becomes a big headache. And what keeps pests and critters away or isn’t worth the investment.
But one thing I know for certain, it is always worth the effort to try. Providing for and feeding my family is satisfying and is something deep down in my make up. Especially in these uncertain times. It is important to have knowledge and ability to grow and store your own food. If you can hunt, fish, preserve produce, or even barter, you will be better off for it. And it is always worth the effort to learn!
“Give him a generous farewell gift from your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress. Share with him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you.”
Deuteronomy 15:14 NLT
🌽🍎 I began this particular post a while back and have edited it to better reflect our times. In my effort to move forward with my blog, I will be updating and posting some previous drafts that have not been published, as well adding new material more often. If you follow my blog, please reply below with any subjects that you would like to see me write about regarding the quest to live a simple lifestyle. Thanks!🥕🥬