August 23, 2012

Gardening & Canning.. oh my!

My garden this year has far surpassed my expectations!  IT has been unreal even with the drought, which has affected some of it.  I’ve canned so many jars of stuff, I’ve had to buy more jars, lids and still need more!  I’ve canned 7 qts of green beans, 5 pints carrots, 3 pints green beans, 4 pints beets, 18 jars salsa,  7 qts tomatoes, 6 pints tomatoes, 15 jars pickles, 10 jars hot peppers, 3 jars Cowboy Candy, and 2 ¾ jars spaghetti sauce.  That of course does not include the 10 freezer bags of green beans, 6 freezer bags broccoli/cauliflower mix, 50 ears of corn (planning on decobbing and canning some of this) plus 3 bags of carrot sticks for snacking AND I’m no where near being done.  And of course what we've eaten fresh!

I have had countless amounts of cucumbers that ARE massive.. and I mean massive, we are talking HUMUNGOUS SIZE! Some were atleast 1.5 feet long!  Unreal.. needless to say we ate a lot of cucumbers and I made A LOT of pickles! J  I’ve picked over 100 jalapeno peppers not including the other variety of hot ones I planted.  I’ve got atleast 75 habaneros’ growing right now, what on earth will I do with them!

Many things are done, many are still growing, like broccoli, beans, cantaloupe, tomatoes and peppers.  The carrots are done, the corn’s pretty much done. The watermelon didn’t do much of anything and the tomatoes have grown beyond my control, they seriously have become crazy mutant plants that are like 4 feet wide and are falling everywhere!  Ahh.. I digress, I can’t complain I will surely have lots do with tomatoes in the next month. 

Now the weather.. oh my goodness. It went from unusually warm spring to super oober hot summer, we’re talking major drought!  90% of the corn in IL was fried due to the heat.  As were my peas, a batch of beans and my kiwi plant that they said would grow here. L  Now it’s August and we are down to the 70s, which I just don’t get. Ugh.  Hopefully the warmer weather stays otherwise I’m going to have gazzilions of green tomatoes!

So the end result of this first year of my raised bed gardening (there may be duplicates I already posted prior but they are all in one post now!):

The plan
The start

just starting out

Work in progress we are growing!
 The produce

Monster cukes!

Behomth carrots!
This was all from 1 Sat morning!

My little corn helper!

Making salsa

Habanero salsa!

Potatoes i just dug up waiting to get canned

all my canned goods
Pickles and green beans

50 ears of corn to freeze!

I think it’s fantastic!  Starting to prepare and plan for next years garden, going to have to change things up a little bit and build a grape arbor for next year where my berry bushes currently are, they got overrun by cantaloupe and weeds.  I hate (yes I know strong word)  well despise weeds!  Darn things just keep coming back!

And in between all that we took our boys to a Cubs game for Build a Bear Workshop day and even though the seats were sucky and the Cubs are horrible this year, they got to ride on a train, experience Wrigley Field (highly recommend for those who never have!) and got a FREE Cubs bear!  What better way to spend a birthday with my 9 yr old!  Next week back to school!!!!!!  Mom says YAY! Kids say BOO!  Ha Mom wins!

Well what do you all think and what have you done if any gardening this year?  I’m so going to be stocked for winter!


  1. Awesome garden!!
    I have 4 little tomatoes on my balcony

  2. wow, what an amazing garden! It is clear alot of love, time and hard work has been put into this garden.. It is beautiful!

  3. Wow, that looks so fresh and delicious, good job. I am making an indoor garden with grow lights and I am really impressed with the results. If someone is interested check this link: