OK,so Blogger is still messed up and won't let me post pictures,so I'll add a link to my list of links on the right side of this blog page so you can click on it anytime and see updated photos of what's happening around here.Just click on the top link,that's the one to my photobucket garden album,it will keep you up to date as far as photos go.
My pantry shelves are filling quickly with home canned goodies,and I just know that this winter we will have no worries about running out of some things.From the mountains of tomatoes we have been blessed with this year,I've made everything from chili base to pizza sauce...salsa,and pasta sauce,we will need none of those items for at least a year.YEAH!
My goals for the gardens are to eventually grow enough food to support us for the better part a of a year by canning,freezing and drying the foods that we grow.
Although 65 tomato plants is still WAY more than we needed,about 1/2 that I think would be enough to provide us with a year's supply of tomato based foods.
I haven't dug the potatoes yet,but plan on it sometime this week,the tops are starting to die off,so that tells me,whatever crop is there,that's all we're going to get.
I can leave the carrots where they are until the ground gets too cold,but I will probably have already pulled and frozen them by then.
Of the many things we grew as a first this year,the Kale went nuts....and I don't even like Kale,but the rabbits seem to enjoy it.So if it gets planted again next year it will be strictly as rabbit treats.
The winter squash is about done too,I don't think we have the soil just right for it,as it only grew a few,and then died off quickly.Oh well,live and learn,and try again next year.
The popcorn is trying,the stalks have been knocked down twice by storms,but there are a few ears forming,so we may at least get a small sampling of it.It needs a long growing season,so next year,if I plant it again,it will have to be one of the first things planted in the spring.What we have out there did not get planted until it was nearly July,or it may have been during the first week of July,I'm not sure.
The broccoli could have done better,but I think to get enough to make it worth freezing,we would need to plant about 8-10 plants rather than just the four we did this year.
The cabbage has done well,but I don't think we will be planting that again,as the only way we really eat it is in the form of cole slaw,and you can only make so much of it,and it does not keep.So I think that space would be better used on another crop.
This coming week we are going to be able to start pulling up the plants that are done producing,and they will be run through the shredder and added to the compost pile.
Once we start getting the garden beds cleaned out we can start adding the shredded leaves,compost,plant matter and rabbit manure/straw/shavings to the beds and let it sit all winter,tilling it in early next spring.
We are going to leave one bed empty next year,and that will be the base of our crop rotation/sheet composting project,leaving one bed empty every year,to use as a place for compost making,and then rotating them around so that every year one will not be planted,allowing the soil to rebuild.This way each bed will go three years without having the same crops planted in it,hopefully helping to prevent any plant diseases from taking hold in the gardens.