Too much food is a good problem to have. This is the mantra I have been repeating to myself for the last 3 weeks as our garden is just exploding with an enormous amount of vegetables. At the end of August we were ahead of last year in terms of production, and the first two weeks of September have been nuts too with only small signs that things are slowing down.
We have had unseasonably warm weather, and it has been dry enough to have to water, which is also unusual . The beans are off the chain – we have harvested from the same patch more than 4 times, with about 5 pecks per harvest being gathered (oh, did I mention that’s just from 1 patch? Because there are 5 or 6 others too!). Up until last week everything seemed to double in size every 24 hours. We have absolutely scrambled to harvest and clean, and then either sell, preserve or give away produce that is ready to pick before we are! It has been exhausting! And it’s a great problem to have! I would say we have seen success this year, and would be hard pressed to think that we might be able to top it next year.
We held 2 canning classes, one of which is in the community where we hope to be building home gardens next year. Half of the attendees were community members who are not currently participating in Grow, which is encouraging. Everyone learned a lot, and both of our canning teachers were fantastic. We also held a composting class and have a heart healthy cooking class planned for next week which just sounds like it’ll be delicious (and educational too) (and we’re following it with a pesto-making party because we have too much basil as you know). We have managed to utilize our extension agents and also the hospital outreach to get these classes done at no charge, which is great!
So, we’re swimming (furiously) along right now….milking the very last of this incredible summer and the amazing garden it helped grow. Once things settle down it will be time to take stock and make a “lessons learned” chart for next year (there are many), so that we can take every opportunity to improve. It’s quite possible that my next blog will highlight some of the takeaways in hopes that we can help other sites too!
P.S. The pictures above show what came out of a few hours of harvesting on Sept.1!!!