The Days Go By Slowly, but the Years Go By Fast. When people say time flies, believe them. The older I get the more I realize that time really does fly by. We’re already at the end of our garden season and it’s October of 2021. Harvest time is here and we’re bringing in the last of our crops. Loads of vegetables are being canned & dehydrated for the winter. I’ve seen more creative canning than I ever imagined possible. Cowboy Candy Relish, SweeTea Pickles in Peach, Mint, Lemon, Chai, Early Grey, and Plain ol’ SweeTea. Recipes for Amish canned corn using an acid to keep the color bright has been the latest interesting find.

Graduation party

We held our Graduation party on the 13th of September. We gave out a large variety of gardening and food preservation tools. I couldn’t find just 3 dozen of one kind of gift, so I settled on picking up many different things. I gave each family one ticket with a number on it and the other half of the ticket went into a pot to be drawn from.  Some got corn cutters, kraut choppers, water bath canners, tomato juicers and pressure canners. I wish I could have given everyone a water bath canner, but prices on things have skyrocketed this past year and pickings were slim.

We enjoyed fried chicken along with several side dishes from our gardens that our folks brought. We had to request that they get their Food Handlers License before they could bring any kind of food. Several stepped up and got their licenses and were then allowed to bring food that they’d made and serve it to their fellow members.  The license consisted of watching several videos full of detailed information and then taking a test afterwards. It was an intimidating process, but everyone who took it passed with flying colors. I was so proud of our group for going above and beyond the call of gardening!

Cover Crop Seeds

We gave out 4  pounds of cover crop for the gardeners to plant in their beds for the winter. Our mix contained Austrian Winter Pea, Winter Rye, Wheat and Oats. These particular seeds will inhibit weed growth in their gardens and be a green manure to be tilled back into the soil next spring.

This year has been an extreme challenge as far as meeting to learn and talk about our gardens, but the members were flexible and gracious. We met mostly outdoors, but had the occasional class in the school cafeteria and the extension conference room. We’re hoping next year allows for a more relaxed form of gathering and gardening. So, cheers to next year! 2022!!