It’s been a great summer at the farm this year, and I’ve been in a bit of relaxation mode the last few weeks. It’s that point in the summer when you realize that the projects you didn’t get to yet aren’t going to get done, so you may as well sit back and relax and enjoy the last few weeks of summer. But along with the recent cool nights came the realization that as bountiful as the garden was looking at the moment, the veggies were going to start looking a bit worse for wear if I didn’t get to harvesting them soon. I had already done a bit of harvesting over the last few weeks, so at least I didn’t have the whole garden to deal with. I had already made enough pesto to get us through the winter, frozen zucchini for soup and zucchini bread, and frozen a bunch of rhubarb in anticipation of making raspberry-rhubarb something or other in the depths of winter.
This weekend was reserved for harvesting and preserving the leeks, onions, chard, anaheim chilis and cucumbers. I planted a ton of leeks this year, around a hundred as I recall, and I think every last one of them survived to maturity. It would have taken me all day to deal with all of those leeks, not to mention using up the last of my precious freezer space, so I decided to harvest about 15 of the largest ones to sauté and freeze and leave the rest to harvest throughout the fall. The onions did the best they’ve ever done this year. I planted them from seed instead of sets like I usually do and I harvested around 60 onions, many of them three to four inches in diameter. I’m not sure where I’m going to store them yet, but I’m thinking of trying to store them in my garden shed. The chard also did well this year. Most of it is planted in pots in the greenhouse so I can leave that growing for a few more months. I decided to try something new this year and blanch and freeze a few meals worth of chard. I also blanched and froze the stems and maybe I’ll try throwing them in a pot of soup or beans and see how that works out.
Next up on the to do list was roasting and freezing anaheim chilis. There’s nothing like grabbing a few farm fresh eggs and roasted chilis from the freezer and making some chili rellenos to lift your spirits in the middle of winter. I roasted and froze about 5 dozen chilis and there are still quite a few on the pepper plants for eating this summer and maybe making some roasted green chili salsa. Finally, it was time to make garlic dill cucumbers, one of my annual traditions. I made them with the usual lemon cucumbers, as well as a new variety of green cucumber I am growing this year, and just for the heck of it I made a couple of jars of pickled green beans. All in all it was a very productive weekend, and I’m even thinking of making a pie with the last of the fresh picked blueberries and some of our golden plums that no longer fit in the freezer after this weekend!