Hootenanny Homestead

A Homesteading Journey

Tag: Harvest (page 1 of 3)

Fall Gardening

There is no reason that when the plants you put in the garden in the spring start to give up you have to be done.  If you start planting as we get to August you will have another bounty in the fall.  I’ve found some space in my garden, some for happy reasons, some not so happy.  But it was time to plant the next round.
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Canning Day

An important skill for any homesteader is to be able to preserve the harvest.  I’ve written some about canning in the past, but once again, if you are going to do some canning you’ll want to do it safely.  I would recommend taking a look at the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving .  It has a ton of information on the best way to safely can a large number of different items that you might have grown.
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July Totals – Just How Much Did We Grow

Last year was our first year with really having a garden and as such there was a lot of figuring things out and trying to determine the best way to do things.  That hasn’t really changed dramatically, as we are still learning different approaches.  One should keep learning through out one’s life.  However, I am happy to say that I have remembered an improvement that we’ve implemented.  Last year we grew stuff and didn’t really have a good tally at the end of the year.
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Should I Pick This: Broccoli

As we move into the summer it is time for things to start getting ready to be pulled out of the garden.  Undoubtedly we have all pulled a number of things up so far.  Radishes and salad greens tend to be some of the first harvests, but just as we’ve done for some other garden goodies, like butternut squash and watermelon it is time to take a look at broccoli.

How Did I Grow Broccoli This Year

Growing BroccoliThis year I started with some broccoli transplants and then added a few direct seeded plants.  I can tell you that my transplants got their leaves to a rather large size, one of my missions is to see if I can use those leaves for something else.  But then again, even if I can’t I’m guessing the ducks might enjoy them.

If you are out checking your garden somewhat regularly you’ll notice a little crown of broccoli start to form.  This will continue to get bigger and form a nice tight crown.  Then you will start to wonder, should I pick it now or do I wait a bit longer.

Time to Harvest Broccoli

Growing BroccoliYou can truly harvest your broccoli whenever you see the crown form.  The longer you let it grow the bigger it will end up getting though.  Once it reaches a fairly good size you’ll want to keep an eye on the color.  If you notice that it is beginning to show yellow spots that is your signal that it needs to be picked right away.  That is the broccoli preparing to go to seed.

You’ll want to use a knife to cut off the crowns that you are harvesting but leave the plant to continue growing.  The plant will continue to grow more crowns so that you and your family can continue to enjoy the veggie all through the season.

How to Cook Broccoli

Growing BroccoliYou can serve broccoli a number of different ways.  Like anything from the garden, you’ll want to wash it off before looking to eat it.  After that, you have choices to make.  You can just serve it raw, perhaps with some kind of dip or you can cook it in any number of different ways.  Here is how we like to prepare it.

Heat your oven to somewhere around 425 (I’ve done 400 and 450 at times).

Cut your washed broccoli crown into bite sized florets.

Spread them over a sheet pan.

Drizzle with toasted sesame oil

Cook long enough, you probably want to check after 20 minutes, you want them to be cooked, some people like a slight char on the tips, others prefer to pull them before that point.

 

I’d like to hear from you, are you growing broccoli this year in your garden?  How do you prepare it?  Let me know in the comments section below.

First Harvest of the Year: Radishes

I can happily say that I have had my first harvest of things that I planted this season!  Well, kinda the first.  I had gotten some lettuce and kale plants that I’ve pulled off some leaves to add to salads.  But I have some radishes that are ready to be picked.  Mostly I planted them as a companion plant since at some point I remember reading something about the radishes helping to keep away some sort of bug from tomatoes.  However, now I can’t find a darn thing on it, so it might just be that there is nothing to it and I just sprinkled radishes around for having radishes.
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Apple Cider Vinegar: What to do with your scrapes

All week long I’ve told you about stuff to do with your apples.  From butter and sauce alone you will probably end up with a pile of apple cores and peels.  The thing is what to do with all of them?  Sure you could just toss them all into your compost.  You could feed them to some worms if you like.  Both of those are great options, but what if there was one more thing that you could do with those scrapes.  Luckily is something else you can make.  Apple Cider Vinegar!
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Apple Profiles: There is more than just red and green

Apples,  each one is different.  All those names are clues to tell you about great uses for them, or what they will taste like or perhaps where they  hail from.  The thing is there are an awful lot of them…somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,500.  Some are great to pick up and eat, some are great for baking, some, well some have great personalities.  To make matters worse, even if you were to buy an apple that you love, take the seeds and get them to grow into a tree, there is no guarantee that it will grow that kind of apple.  In fact you can’t be too sure that you won’t get a bitter little crab apple.
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Making Apple Butter: It’s Like Apple Sauce, But Cooked Longer

So perhaps you need something else to make with your pile of apples?  Already made jars upon jars of apple sauce?  If so why not make some apple butter?  It is rather simple and is amazingly tasty on fresh made honey week bread (but that might be another blog post).  If you have some apples and some spices….a several hours and a heat source, you can make apple butter.

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