Despite Bert's arrival during prime gardening season, we are pretty pleased with our harvest. We were excited to make tomato sauce for the first time this year, as well as juicing some tomatoes. We also froze plenty of strawberries, blueberries, corn, spinach, and loads of bell and banana peppers. Onions, carrots, and potatoes were successful again. Our peas were so-so, but our big flop of the year was the green beans. The neighborhood rabbits ate them as soon as they sprouted so that was a total bust, even with multiple applications of our homemade rabbit repellent and another kind we bought.
On Sunday afternoon, while Bert napped and Keith worked on the apple tree area (more on that as we finish things up), I pulled out the weeds that were taking over the garden, as well as the tomato plants. This is what we are left with:
It's like a tomato battlefield with some serious carnage. In the top photo, you can see that the peppers are still hanging on so we'll let them go for a while yet. Soon we'll get everything pulled out and Keith will turn the soil over to help things compost during the winter.
In an effort to use up the last of the good tomatoes, Keith made some sort-of-salsa. I say that because he was just winging it, looking at a recipe and some online instructions about freezing salsa. Basically, salsa won't keep its consistency when frozen, so he threw tomatoes, peppers, onions, herbs, spices, whatever was on hand, into the food processor and blended it all. We'll try using it for chili and whatever else we can come up with.
He also performed a little surgery on our tiny pumpkin. No, not on Bert. On Bert's pumpkin. He wanted to save the seeds from it for next year. We also saved seeds from a butternut squash I cooked up for some baby food.
As the garden dies down, our rose bush gave one last "hurrah."
That brings our gardening projects to an end for the year, although we are already talking about what else we want to grow next year and where to add another bed. So maybe gardening is really a year-round endeavor. Especially when you get to enjoy the things you've grown all through the winter!