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Planting fall Crops

August 3rd, 2015

A month or so ago, someone said they couldn’t believe that I didn’t can vegetables for winter eating. I used to can, but I no longer go. I grew up in a canning family, we canned everything under the sun and ate on it all winter long. I guess I’d just rather eat a little more seasonally and I’d rather spend my time in the garden rather than in the kitchen over a canning pot.
canning_tomato_soup 2
Over the past five or so years I’ve been working on growing a wider variety of vegetables  in smaller amounts and in different seasons. Trying to expand the season that I’m harvesting from the garden rather than using from the pantry. I also try to grow things that don’t need preserving, more root vegetables, cabbages, and the like.
cabbages 1
So far I’m doing well with my efforts, we’ve been eating only garden fresh vegetables for the past five months and will continue to do so until at least late November. Once I have a greenhouse we should be able to shorten the hunger gap a little more. I’d also successfully grow chicons, which we can harvest in the dark days of Dec-Feb. Yesterday I planted a lot of things that will feed us in Sept-November: broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes that you pull and hang in the basement, beets, carrots, herbs, and many other things.
planting fall crops 1

planting fall crops 2

planting fall crops 3
There are a few things I will always can, tomato soup, roasted tomato passata, tomatoes, and a few jars of jam for Mr Chiots. Other than that, you’ll find me in the garden.

Do you can your garden vegetables? Do you grow cold hardy or heat tolerant vegetables to harvest during your off season?

10 Comments to “Planting fall Crops”
  1. KimH on August 3, 2015 at 5:08 am

    I do can some of my garden produce.. I make sure I have a few jars of summer squash to put in stews and soups.. I have loads of tomato products of all sorts, and a few preserves as well. I can meat as well so that there is always something shelf ready to eat here, just in case.
    I prefer to freeze my green beans though.. one of those funny things. :)

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  2. Lemongrass on August 3, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Beautiful head of cabbage. I do not can, but I freeze as much as I possible have to. I also dry my herbs for the off season. I enjoy growing in season and like you enjoy spending more time in the garden.

    Reply to Lemongrass's comment

  3. Chris on August 3, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Nope, don’t can much either…I do like to pickle things though!
    Beautiful photos BTW!

    Reply to Chris's comment

  4. Melissa on August 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I have only commented once before, saying “welcome to our great state of Maine!” I recently discovered your Podcasts and think they are smashing!

    Melissa Watership

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  5. Kyle on August 3, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I can lots and lots of tomatoes, some cucumber pickles, and just enough strawberry preserves to get through the year. What I have done is more freezing. The food still tastes fresh but without the salt or sugar.

    Reply to Kyle's comment

  6. katy on August 3, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Me too! or me either? I am trying to grow less quantity but more variety so we can eat well seasonally. You are one of my biggest inspirations in this :) I freeze berries to make jam throughout the year and I freeze tomatoes to make your passata (the ONLY tomato sauce I have ever liked – and so easy!). That’s about it. i appreciate your blog :)

    Reply to katy's comment

  7. Beth in Ky on August 4, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Have you posted your tomato soup (canned) recipe?

    Reply to Beth in Ky's comment

  8. Nebraska Dave on August 4, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Susy, you know me. I don’t preserve much. I am just the grower. I love to grow it and give it away. Most of my gardening is strictly experimental in nature and many things are still in the perfection stage. The bucket tomatoes did fairly well this year but the soil still needs to be lighter and maybe strictly professional potting mix instead of my mix would be the answer. For the wicking action to take place a very light water retaining soil has to be used. My mix this year had a tendency to pack down. Roots grew out the bottom of the buckets into the rain gutter which would be an awesome place to fertilize the plants. Because of the confinement to a five gallon bucket I suspect I should have fertilized more than I did. The tomatoes tended to be small the size of a plum. Some were tennis ball size but most were smaller. They were really tasty though. The plants just seemed to be a little anemic so I’m planning to being better at having a routine feeding system in place next year. It was the same with the cucumbers. My gardening is more about new ways to grow things than stocking up the pantry for winter dining.

    Have a great fall planting day. Oh, by the way your tomato soup recipe is still taped on my cupboard door from two years ago. It’s awesome. I’ll be making more of that for sure.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  9. Kristen on August 4, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    I can tomatoes and freeze pasta sauce. I also can bread and butter pickles, some peaches and tons of jam (hello Christmas presents). We freeze our green beans. I also freeze fruit as my son prefers smoothies over sandwiches in his lunchbox. I always think I want to extend my harvest by planting by fall but somehow in the midst of summer I lose my enthusiasm for it. Maybe this year!

    Reply to Kristen's comment

  10. Samantha on August 7, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Wev always just canned our tomatoes and made pickles, thou this year we moved and our neighbor has a beautiful apple tree and I think I will try to can some of them

    Reply to Samantha's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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