Garden Harvest

Welcome Fall with Garden Harvesting

Phyllis Lifestyle 10 Comments

Have I told you about the garden we had? A couple of years ago, we decided to start growing vegetables right outside our kitchen. This time of the year during the fall harvest is the perfect time to try your hand at gardening and see if you have that green thumb.

For our garden, we transformed a flower bed that’s between the driveway and retaining wall. We removed the plants and established the DePiano vegetable garden.

We had visions of grandeur of the bountiful harvest that would be ours. We bought seeds and plants galore. Our gardening friends gave us tomato plants and asparagus. We were up and running.

Out popped the little seedlings, and we just couldn’t believe our good fortune. Every seed had come up and this promised to be a phenomenal harvest. The squash plant sprouted first and before long the little squash appeared. Next, the green bean vines made their debut. The okra was last, as it had to be planted when it was warmer.

We also had a bumper crop of jalapeño peppers. What has Neal thinking? He took those to work to share.

One morning we went out to see how our crop was progressing and everything was gone! What? Everything had disappeared except the okra and jalapeño peppers. I’m sure the rabbits, chipmunks, and possibly some deer enjoyed the delicacies. Apparently they don’t eat okra or jalapeños.

So we became okra farmers. The next year Neal planted 70 okra plants in our little bed thinking that should do it. Little did he know that he would be harvesting okra twice a day. Oh my goodness, did we have okra! Anytime anyone came by, we loaded them with a large bag of okra—and we still had okra to freeze for later.

I cooked more okra that year than I can remember. This time of year, during the harvest of fresh fruits and fall vegetables, I love to go to farmers’ markets and select wonderful things to cook. Roasting has become our favorite. I roast butternut squash, onions, okra, potatoes, beets, and any root vegetable.

I simply peel and cut them into large chunks and place them on a cookie sheet. Then, I coat them with olive oil and roast on 350 degrees until they are done, which is usually 30 minutes.

Enjoy the harvest by trying new recipes. It’s a great time of year for a trip to the farmers’ market! 

What are your favorite ways to cook with garden vegetables?

Southern Suppers

Comments 10

  1. It was quite the awakening when we moved from our Florida home to N.C. We live in a large neighborhood; however, we are surrounded by woods and a lake. When you think that deer will not eat a certain plant, then the next year they decide that they love it. Currently we see a family of 4 deer munching out on our lawn at all times of the day and night…Spraying has not helped lately when they are hungry. So the last of the flowers are eaten and the cypress are now topiaries! Glad you had a bumper crop of Okra. As my builder said, the only thing deer will not eat is concrete! We love farmer’s market veggies and have an abundance of them here in NC …. love to cook them in so many ways. Happy Fall!

  2. I love home grown vegetables, but also am just as happy to buy ours from the little farmstead near our home! And roasting vegetables makes them so sweet and delicious. Sorry about the “just gone!” of your garden. So disappointing!!

  3. It is too bad concerning your experiment with growing all different kinds of vegetables. I do not have deer or rabbits in my area, squirrels are a problem. Once I put a corn husk on the front door. The squirrels came up the stoop and chewed on the corn husk. They even chewed on the fake pumpkins on the railing garlands. The real pumpkins also get chewed and opened, there is a mess of pumpkin seeds left on the front stoop.

  4. Ants are a problem,too. My late father planted strawberries in our back yard one time. When he went out to pick them, the ants had eaten most of them.

  5. It is too bad about the animals eating your vegetables. Squirrels are a problem. Any time a bulb is planted,you can be assured the squirrels dig them up and eat the bulbs. It is frustrating to say the least.

  6. Ah, okra, one of our very favorites! Very sorry we weren’t there to share that bounty with you!
    Unfortunately, we haven’t had a garden in years; but, friends and farmers’ markets supply many wonderful treats. Tomatoes, green onions, new potatoes and green beans are some of our favorites. We especially enjoy the grilled corn on the cob that our neighbors frequently gift us with just at supper time!
    Your sheet pan roasted vegetable assortment sounds wonderful! I read yesterday that beets and beet juice are supposed to be good for you. Phyllis, you mentioned roasting them which I have never tried but will certainly do so now.
    God is good to give us such a bounty of wonderful fruits and vegetables to enjoy…

  7. I live in an urban area which is blessed with an organic farm not far from my home. They offer fresh organic vegetables year due to their greenhouses. Also there is a farmers market in the center of our city from Jul to the end of October. I love to make salads and soups with the fresh vegetables and greens.

  8. My brother used to have a beautiful garden. Even when he lived in Southwest Texas he managed to make things grow. He used to make the best pickled okra ever! I didn’t inherit the family gardening gene, so I always depended on him for produce and I loved it!

  9. Congratulations on the garden. Even my parents, who lived in the middle of a mid-size city, had trouble with wildlife. Mostly opossums and raccoons, but also deer. And it wasn’t rural at all.
    At one time, everybody had a vegetable garden. It’s the best way to get organic produce, it’s good for the body, good for the soul and better for the environment than another expanse of grass. I really want to plant one–we just grow a few things (tomatoes, peppers, grapes, raspberries, herbs) in small beds, but I’d like to tear up some lawn and make a real potager. You are just reinforcing my intentions!
    As for the harvest, which like yours comes from the farmers market at the moment, I regularly roast cubes of beets with potatoes, along with some garlic and rosemary, all tossed with olive oil. Everybody in the family loves it, and it’s a great way to slip in some high-nutrition beets.

  10. I love the Farmer’s Market. I started canning a few years ago. I love to can tomatoes, jam, apple and peach pie filling. I like to support the local farmers.

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