Tag Archive for vegetables

How to Store Garden Produce

Have you ever looked around your kitchen after a harvest and thought, what in the world am I going to do with all of this produce? You wouldn’t believe how many foods can be stored at room temperature and how long they will last. You CAN store it all.

Have you ever taken the time to find out how each type of food is optimally stored or do you just do what Mom used to do? You can extend the life of your fruits and veggies exponentially if you store them properly and you will be able to save more of it for use later.

USDA and DHS do not allow childcare providers to serve home canned food to children, so canning will not be covered here, but there are so many other ways you can store food, and if you know how to safely can, have at it, there will be one more for you!

  • First of all, let’s talk about all of the amazing produce that stores perfectly well at room temperature for months and months.

proper garlic storage

Garlic: Once garlic is cured for a week or two in a well ventilated, warm area, it can be placed in baskets, braided and hung on the wall, or placed in panty hose and tied to separate each clove with a knot until next year’s harvest. This works best with soft neck garlic.

storing sweet potatoes and winter squash

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes need to be kept dry, and cured in a 90 degree, well ventilated area for two weeks. Then they can be placed in boxes or baskets that are also well ventilated and stored for months.

properly storing produce for long lasting

Winter squash: Winter squash can be stored at room temperature for several months with no special treatment.

Make sure when you are storing food at room temperature, you check it for bad spots because if a piece of food rots, it may cause the food around it to rot.

Potatoes: White potatoes can be stored in a cool, dark, well ventilated place for several weeks until eaten.

  • Shorter life produce that stores at room temperature

Apples and pears can sit in a bowl in your kitchen at room temperature for several weeks. So can citrus fruits and onions.

Tomatoes should NEVER be refrigerated. It ruins the flavor of them. They can sit on your counter for several days or be dehydrated or frozen. Click here to see how to make and freeze your own amazingly wonderful tomato sauce. Click here to see how to make your own healthy rotel. 

Bananas of course should never be refrigerated either and last for a few days at room temperature.

  • Dehydrating

Many foods can be dehydrated and stored in an air tight container for months or a year. Grapes, bananas, and other fruits are very tasty dehydrated. Vegetables such as corn, peas, onions, tomatoes and others can be dehydrated and used later in soups and stews. Greens and herbs can be dried for later use as well.

Dehydrated tomatoes make a great topping for salads as well. Hot peppers can be put on a string to dry at room temperature and last for a couple of years.

storing dried peppers

I make a green powder every year from greens in the garden and use it throughout winter to sprinkle into the kid’s food to enhance the nutrition of it when we are eating grocery store food because the garden is dormant. Click here to see how I make green powder and dry herbs. 

dried herbs and greens, storing onions and avocados at room temp

  • Refrigeration

Grapes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and most other fresh produce can be stored in the refrigerator in your crisper drawers for several days, or up to weeks for things like apples, pears, plums, and citrus fruits.

crisper storage

To make your asparagus last as long as possible, stand it up in a cup in a small amount of water, it will stay fresh longer than you think. The same is true for cut herbs and greens. You can extend the life by several days.

properly storing produce

Produce should not be wrapped tightly in plastic. Produce needs to breathe, so use cloth bags, or plastic with ventilation for storage. Greens and lettuces can be rinsed, allowed to dry and wrapped in damp paper towels to reduce the chance of going to waste before you can use it.

  • Freezing

Many fruits and vegetables can be blanched or boiled for 1-3 minutes depending on the type of produce, dried completely, and then frozen in air tight containers such as zip lock freezer bags, mason jars, plastic containers or whatever else you have on hand. Green beans, peaches, blueberries, greens that will be used in a casserole. Okra can be blanched, cut, breaded and frozen on a cookie sheet and then placed in an air tight container. Most fruits and vegetables will store in the freezer for 3-6 months or longer.

In addition, you can shred carrots, onions, squashes and other foods and freeze them for use in soups, sauces and casseroles later.

Click here for further instructions on how to freeze produce for storage.

There is no sense wasting your time and money buying or growing your produce if you will just end up throwing it in the compost pile, or worse yet, sending it to the landfill. Plan well and try to only buy the produce you need for a week’s meals. Try to grow the amount of a food that you can use, although that’s a pretty tall order I know. It’s not easy to calculate what will produce for you, but you can always give it a try based on last year’s production. In the end, Mother Nature will do what she wants.

I love learning new ways of storing foods that will help me get the most for my efforts in the garden. How do you store what you grow?

Don’t forget to Pin this post for later!

How to Store your Garden Produce

 

 

Month by Month Vegetable Garden Planting Guide

Month by Month Vegetable Garden Planting Guide

Do you ever wonder when in the world to plant your vegetables? I’m here to help with my vegetable garden planting guide. My Little Sprouts and I try our hardest to grow as much of our own food as possible. We like a wide variety of food, so we plant a wide variety of food. It’s hard to keep track of what to plant each month, so here is a guide to what you grow when.

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What’s Growing on in the Garden in May?

The May garden at Little Sprouts is rockin and rollin. Plants are growing like crazy. We are finding a lot of slugs and rabbit damage as well. Our cucumber, cantaloupe, squash, and watermelons are being eaten to the ground as fast as they germinate. Silly rabbits, there will be more food if you stop that.

Here’s a short tour of what’s growing right now.

Video produced by Ever Change Productions. Check it out here.


We’ve been picking lots of lettuce, kale, asparagus, radishes and carrots, and a little bit of dill, kohlrabi, bok choy, spinach, cilantro, strawberries, onions, and potatoes. So far, this month we’ve harvested 22 pounds of fresh produce. Pretty good for a group of preschool kids! The kids have gotten to take home greens and lettuce and a few took home cilantro. We have eaten all homegrown veggies for lunch this week. That’s a great start to summer!

may garden, another potato bedThis is one of our potato beds, they look great this year! Growing potatoes has been quite elusive for us so we are excitedly hoping this is our year!

may garden, butternut squashHere is a close up of our butternut squash bed. Let’s hope the rabbits don’t see this!

may garden, herbsThe herb tower is going strong! There is mostly thyme growing in there. But we also have some tarragon and oregano.

may gardens peppers and butternut squashThis is one of our hot pepper beds. We are growing jalapeno, habanero, ancho, serrano, and mucho nacho this year. Mr. Kent LOVES hot peppers.

may gardens tomatoes and volunteer potatoesThis is a bed of tomatoes that has several volunteer potatoes growing in it. We harvested them this week to give more light to the tomatoes and got 2 1/2 pounds of new purple potatoes. Yummy!

may gardens, asparagus, flowers, mint, dill, ground cherries, green beansThis is a shot of our small asparagus bed, our barrels of flowers and mint and our green bean bed. The far barrel is growing ground cherries-we hope!

may gardens, blueberry patchHere’s a shot of one of the blueberry bushes we planted this spring. They look good so far.

may gardens, blueberry

This is a close up of our dwarf blueberries. They have fruit again this year. We can’t wait for them to get ripe!

may gardens, dwarf blueberriesHere are all four of them, they are growing in one of our front flower beds.

may gardens, broccoli, peas, cilantro, flowers, jerusalem artichokesThis is the cucumber bed. It has a couple of broccoli plants, some peas on the back that will burn up by the time they grow up, and a lot of cilantro volunteer plants from last year. I guess cilantro reseeds itself. It’s yummy, so I don’t mind!

may gardens, butterfly row, fennel, dill, wildflowersThis is the butterfly row, the first bed has tiny fennel plants, second one has dill and a few shards of swiss chard. I guess the rabbits have been eating those seedlings as well, the next bed has wildflowers, and the last one also does including milkweed for the monarchs.

This row is full of caterpillars that we can observe. It’s a very exciting part of the garden. If you want to check out what we grow for the caterpillars, click here.

May gardens, canteloupeThis bed is supposed to be full of cantaloupes, but mysteriously from 4 different seed packets not a single seed has germinated. I don’t know if something is eating them as soon as they “hatch” or if every seed packet from every company is a dud? We reseeded again yesterday to try again.

may gardens, cool season crops, broccoli, spinach, onions, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, chinese cabbage, bok choy, cauliflowerHere are the cool season plants, onions, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, and what not.

may gardens, jerusalem artichokes, ginger, lettuce, onionsThis bucket has Jerusalem artichokes, the bed next to it is ginger, then the following one is lettuce and onions. We have inter-planted several beds with onions for deterring pests that think onions stink such as cabbage looper worms.

may gardens, kale, onions, artichoke, beans, lavendarThis is one of our kale/onion beds. We have two of them.

may gardens, lovage, carrots, broccoli, flowers,This is lovage and carrots. Lovage is a perennial herb that is reminiscent of celery. The bed next to it has flowers and the next one is supposed to have pumpkins, but like the cantaloupe, we’ve had no luck so far.

may gardens, okra and prepared sweet potato bed not yet plantedThe front bed pictured here is growing okra. We have lost about half of the seedlings to rabbit attacks, but half are still growing, so maybe we will get some okra. The bed next to it is empty, but will contain sweet potatoes when the slips arrive.

may gardens, onions, cauliflower, carrots, radishesThis bed is full of broccoli and onions. The one in the back ground is onions.

may gardens, three sisters, corn with drying beans, butternut, zucchini, and pumpkinsThese beds are our three sisters experiments. We are growing corn, beans, and squash in them. the front bed will have black beans for drying and butternut squash, the middle bed will have black beans and zucchini, and the back bed up against the fence will have chick peas and pumpkins. Three sisters is a planting method used by the Cherokee Indians to interplant corn for a trellis that is a heavy feeder, with beans that need to climb and add nitrogen to the soil, and squash that lays on the ground shading the roots of the plants and blocking weeds.

may gardens, sunflowers, kale, onionsThis is another kale/onion bed with sunflowers along the back.

may gardens, strawberry bedThis is our front yard strawberry bed. We re-dug and re-planted it this year because it was overrun with grass and we couldn’t get it out. Don’t mind the toy snake, it’s supposed to be chasing birds away from our berries.

may gardens, strawberry plantHere’s a close up of all the berries on our plants.

may gardens, potatoes, this is our year!Our big potato bed. I really think this will be our year for potatoes. Really this time!

may gardens, plumsHere’s a close up of all the plums on our plum tree. This is the first time it has put fruit on, so we are hopeful we will be eating plums this year. We still need to do more thinning on all of our fruit trees. It’s a work in progress.

may gardens, peach treeThis is one of our two peach trees loaded with fruit as well. Last year the fruit on all of our trees froze in a late killing frost, so this is a hopeful time for us. We also lost our big pear tree in a wind storm that we have eaten hundreds of pears from every year. It was a sad, fruitless season. This year everything is looking great. Cross your fingers!

may gardens, onions, garlic, asparagusThis bed has onions on one side. They are Egyptian walking onions that will reproduce indefinitely. The other end of the bed is garlic and the bed behind that is garlic as well. The other bed is our large asparagus bed. We have been enjoying asparagus a lot this season.

may gardens, watermelonThis is another bed waiting for sweet potatoes. Yum yum. We have two sweet potatoes left from last year’s harvest, so they have fed us well.

may gardens, wild blackberriesAnd this is a shot of some of the wild blackberries that are all over our field next to our garden. They do produce and we hope to beat the birds to a few of them this year.

Growing your own food is delicious and healthy whether you grow a little or a lot. It’s so much fun to make food happen with your own efforts and a lot of help from God. Please don’t be intimidated by all the space we have to grow, we had just as much fun in our first 3 x 10 raised bed. Even if you have just a few pots to grow in, you can do great things.

What do you have growing in your neck of the woods?

 

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Delicious Brussels Sprouts

Most of my kids love Brussels sprouts.  My family likes them and they are one of my very favorites.  When I was a kid I hated them, but most people over cook them and that makes them really really not yummy.  When they are lightly cooked and fresh tasting, they are amazing!

We planted some Brussels sprouts in the spring and it took forever for them to produce so we cut them down in the heat of the summer.  Any greens, or cole crops can become bitter when harvested in the heat.  For my Brussels sprouts, a quick blanch was all it took to take the bitterness out of them.  If your sprouts aren’t bitter, no need for that step.

I cut down four stalks of Brussels sprouts.  This is what they looked like piled in a wheel barrow.  Before I started growing them, I never knew how they grew.  I was amazed that the plant was this big!

I cut down four stalks of Brussels sprouts. This is what they looked like piled in a wheel barrow. Before I started growing them, I never knew how they grew. I was amazed that the plant was this big!

 

I cut the leaves off of the stalks.  This is how the little sprouts are growing down in there.  So cute.

I cut the leaves off of the stalks. This is how the little sprouts are growing down in there. So cute.


 

Then I used a sharp knife to cut them off the stalk.

Then I used a sharp knife to cut them off the stalk.

 

I washed the sprouts and prepared a pan of boiling water to blanch them in.  I added salt to the water which also helps remove bitterness from greens.  I blanched them for 3 minutes.

I washed the sprouts and prepared a pan of boiling water to blanch them in. I added salt to the water which also helps remove bitterness from greens. I blanched them for 3 minutes.

 

Then I plunged them into ice water.

Then I plunged them into ice water.

 

Once they had completely cooled in the ice water, I drained them.  They are delicious at this point.  You can make them into a salad or just eat them plain like this.

Once they had completely cooled in the ice water, I drained them. They are delicious at this point. You can make them into a salad or just eat them plain like this.

Next I cut one piece of bacon into small pieces and browned it in the skillet.  I added the Brussels sprouts and sautéed them in the skillet for about 2 minutes until they were just tender, but still bright green.  I use salt and pepper to taste.

sauteeing brussel sprouts

Brussels sprouts are delicious raw, boiled, sautéed, or roasted.  I have never tried them any way I didn’t like them except for over cooked.  I know some pretty picky eaters that enjoyed them with this bacon method.  I cook a lot of vegetables with a piece of bacon for flavor because it helps picky kids take interest in them.  But I cook them for my family and my kids without bacon and they still enjoy them.  Just salt, pepper and olive oil and throw them in the oven until they are lightly brown on the edge, or grate some parmesean cheese over the top as they finish roasting and that is delicious as well.  If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, try cooking fresh ones yourself and if you don’t over cook them, I’m willing to bet you will like them too.

Garden Glory-Sunflowers!

My little sprouts and I harvested over 70 pounds of produce this week AND a table full of amazing sunflowers.  It’s been a very productive week in the garden.  Some of the tomato plants are turning brown and our cucumbers are dying.  I’m not exactly sure why, but it’s sad to see them go. 

On Saturday while the kids were gone I took the time to trim some things up in the garden that were out of control.  I harvested a bunch of herbs for drying.

On Saturday while the kids were gone I took the time to trim some things up in the garden that were out of control. I harvested a bunch of herbs for drying.  This is thyme and oregano.  I also harvested some lemon balm, bee balm, and tarragon.

This is a big CHAIR full of basil.  Even though it had flowered, I took it off the stems and ground it up into pesto and put it in the freezer.  I had over two pounds.  And I didn't even put a dent in what's out there, I just cut what was blocking the walkways.

This is a big CHAIR full of basil. Even though it had flowered, I took it off the stems and ground it up into pesto and put it in the freezer. I had over two pounds. And I didn’t even put a dent in what’s out there, I just cut what was blocking the walkways.

basil

I also harvested 8 pounds of greens including swiss chard, spinach, and this kale.  I washed and stemmed it and dried it in the dehydrator.  Then I ground it up finely in the blender to use as a nutritional enhancer in the kid's food.

I also harvested 8 pounds of greens including swiss chard, spinach, and this kale. I washed and stemmed it and dried it in the dehydrator. Then I ground it up finely in the blender to use as a nutritional enhancer in the kid’s food.

Brussels sprouts are tough to harvest WITH the kids because I had to saw the stalks down and cut the sprouts off with a knife.  They have helped me pick the sprouts off one stalk at a time, but with several, I thought it was safer to do it without them.  I harvested 4 stalks and got 3 pounds of sprouts.  They are one of my favorites.  The kids liked them too!

Brussels sprouts are tough to harvest WITH the kids because I had to saw the stalks down and cut the sprouts off with a knife. They have helped me pick the sprouts off one stalk at a time, but with several, I thought it was safer to do it without them. I harvested 4 stalks and got 3 pounds of sprouts. They are one of my favorites. The kids liked them too!

I harvested all of these beautiful hot peppers to make pickled peppers for Mr. Kent.

I harvested all of these beautiful hot peppers to make pickled peppers for Mr. Kent.

I found a few more tomatillos when I had more time to really look.

I found a few more tomatillos when I had more time to really look.

Monday's harvest included lots of tomatoes and cucumbers.

Monday’s harvest included lots of tomatoes and cucumbers.

We got okra and tomatillos as well.

We got okra and tomatillos as well.

And some cantaloupe and kohlrabi, and parsley.  Yum yum.

And some cantaloupe and kohlrabi, and parsley. Yum yum.

We were planning to let our sunflowers dry on the stalks, but the birds had other plans, so we cut them down, explored them a big and laid them on a screen to dry in the shed and harvest them from there.

Tuesday we harvested some of our sunflower heads.  We were planning to let our sunflowers dry on the stalks, but the birds had other plans, so we cut them down, explored them a bit and laid them on a screen to dry in the shed and harvest them from there.

Yesterday's harvest gave us more tomatoes, melons, okra, cucumbers, a few green beans, and some more tomatillos!

Yesterday’s harvest gave us more tomatoes, melons, okra, cucumbers, a few green beans, and some more tomatillos!  (And as usual, plenty of SMILES!)

Not Interested…

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What happens when you have a great activity planned for the kids and no one is interested? What about all your hard work and preparation? What about the great benefits of the activity you want the kids to receive? I believe children should not be made to participate in activities they are not interested in. I invite everyone to join us in what I have prepared, but if a child does not want to participate, that’s okay. If several children are not interested, maybe I need to take a look at what I am planning for them. I might be missing the mark about what is appropriate or interesting. Usually once I start an activity with the kids, those who were not interested at first see that we are having fun and join us anyway, but if they don’t, it’s no big deal. And sometimes the kids who want to do something else draw all of us into their game. We are flexible.
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What do I do with the kids who are not interested in gardening? I built this giant garden for them to learn in, so they need to learn in it right? There are so many things the garden teaches it really doesn’t matter what they do in it, they are learning. I have some children who are still interested in picking weeds and harvesting and planting every day. But we have a massive garden and there is A LOT of work to be done in it. I let the kids plant until they don’t want to and then I finish it for them. I invite them to pick weeds but my husband and I spend many hours a week picking weeds so the garden can be successful. If they don’t want to pick vegetables, I have toys in the garden and a resting place for them to hang out. Everyone is happy in the garden, but they are happy doing different things. Some kids love to hunt for and watch bugs and creatures, some love to play in the gravel rocks and hunt for treasures there, and some like to pick produce every day the entire time we are in the garden. All of those are great ways to learn and they are all okay with me.
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If none of the kids ever wanted to plant or pick would the garden still be a success? Yes, because they are getting sensory stimulation of all kinds in the garden, a very important part of their development. Even if I never brought them in the garden, it’s still important for their nutrition. We have totally chemical free food picked at the peak of ripeness (most of the time) and full of great nutrients. For me, that is worth all the effort I put into the garden. And I feel GREAT when I’m eating out of the garden with them. I have more energy and I feel good about what I’m putting in my body. I know it’s worth doing for them.
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Since the garden is pretty big, there is a lot to do in it. Some children are losing interest because we’ve been picking and planting for months. That’s okay. Especially since they have already learned so much from the picking and planting they have done. Honestly sometimes I tire of picking and planting myself, but I know the amazing benefits we receive from it so I press on. And that’s my choice because I love the garden and I’m the one who wanted to do it. I’m don’t force the kids to participate. Doing that would make them dread the garden. People tell me all the time they won’t grow a garden as adults because they always had to work the garden as kids and hated it. I want the kids to come away from their garden experiences here with knowledge of how to make things grow, understanding the garden is ever changing and imperfect, and joy from the time they have spent in it. Letting them come in and out of the garden work is the best way to achieve that goal.
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The Gardens Then and Now

Gardening with kids

The gardens then and NOW, the comparison is amazing! It’s awe inspiring when you are building something to think about what it can become. But a garden, in just a few short months can go from nothing to wonderful! I don’t know why people don’t want vegetable gardens in their front yards. To me, this garden is BEAUTIFUL! When I am out walking through it alone or with the kids, it takes my breath away. It gets more and more beautiful each day!

gardening with kids, the gardens then and now

The old garden at the end of March.

Gardening with kids, the gardens then and now

The old garden today.

Gardening with kids, the gardens then and now

The expansion at the end of March.

Gardening with kids, the gardens then and now

The expansion today.

Garden Glory-Today’s Harvest! :)

At Little Sprouts, today we harvested:

1/2 pound of garlic scapes
2 pounds of peas
2 pounds of cabbage
1 pound of lettuce
1/2 pound of kohlrabi
3/4 pound of radishes
3/4 pound of onions
1/2 pound of swiss chard
and a little bit of broccoli

The oldest wanted to make it all into a cooked salad, so we stir fried the kohlrabi, radishes, onions, broccoli, garlic scapes and swiss chard for a delicious side dish for lunch! Most of the kids eat what we grow very well. We have had a dramatic increase in vegetable loving since we started growing our own. The food does taste better than food from the store, but also, kids are more likely to want to try something if they helped grow or prepare it. Try it, I promise you will see a difference. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen.
 

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We are pretty excited to be bringing in this much food within a week’s time.

The kids having an explore...

The kids having an explore…

 The kids love to look around for something to harvest or just play in the garden with the toys we have in there.

The squash is really getting big!

The squash is really getting big!

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Some of these kids never tired of planting and harvesting. They LOVE to pick anything and now that they have some experience, they know WHEN to pick most things. I even hear them telling each other when things are ready. These are lessons that will last a lifetime.

What are you growing and harvesting? Leave a comment below!

What Are My Little Sprouts Growing?

Preschool Gardening, what's growing?

Come on over and take a look!…..

The new garden

The new garden

 

The old garden

The old garden

 

Starting in the front yard, this is our strawberry bed.  Don't be alarmed by the massive amount of weeding I still have to catch up on.  I already know.  :)

Starting in the front yard, this is our strawberry bed. Don’t be alarmed by the massive amount of weeding I still have to catch up on. I already know. 🙂


 

Our blueberry patch

Our blueberry patch

 

The front yard orchard including from left to right, the plum tree, two peach trees and a fig, plus in the foreground there are two apple trees and in this lovely flower planter we have 4 rosemary plants and 8 cayenne pepper plants.

The front yard orchard including from left to right, the plum tree, two peach trees and a fig, plus in the foreground there are two apple trees and in this lovely flower planter we have 4 rosemary plants and 8 cayenne pepper plants.

 

Next the tour of the expansion area. This is a small box of wildflowers to attract pollinators and beneficial insects and our pumpkin patch with a row of spinach in the front.  The spinach will burn up soon so that will give the pumpkins more room to spread, plus they will go up and over the fence.

Next the tour of the expansion area.
This is a small box of wildflowers to attract pollinators and beneficial insects and our pumpkin patch with a row of spinach in the front. The spinach will burn up soon so that will give the pumpkins more room to spread, plus they will go up and over the fence.

 

This is a row of broccoli sharing a bed with some corn that didn't germinate very well.

This is a row of broccoli sharing a bed with some corn that didn’t germinate very well.

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A row of artichokes, a small amaranth, and a row in front of lavender.  Lavender repels many pests such as deer, rabbits, mosquitos, and ticks!

A row of artichokes, a small amaranth, and a row in front of lavender. Lavender repels many pests such as deer, rabbits, mosquitos, and ticks!

 

The corn patch.

The corn patch.

Yellow squash and zucchini.

Yellow squash and zucchini.

Brussell sprouts and corn.  The brussell sprouts should burn up soon and give the corn more room.

Brussell sprouts and corn. The brussell sprouts should burn up soon and give the corn more room.

One of four potato bins.

One of four potato bins.

The watermelon patch with lavender.

The watermelon patch with lavender.

The herbs growing in the pergola.

The herbs growing in the pergola.

Cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Sunflowers and marigolds for attracting birds, beneficial insects, and repelling pests.  This is one of several boxes with this.

Sunflowers and marigolds for attracting birds, beneficial insects, and repelling pests. This is one of several boxes with this.

One of two sweet potato bins.

One of two sweet potato bins.

Swiss chard with drying beans in the back up against the fence.  We planted black beans, calypso beans, and pinto beans.

Swiss chard with drying beans in the back up against the fence. We planted black beans, calypso beans, and pinto beans.

We had never tried swiss chard before but thought it was pretty. WE LOVE IT! Yummy!

Another drying bean bed.

Another drying bean bed.

Heirloom tomatoes of different varieties that we grew from seed.

Heirloom tomatoes of different varieties that we grew from seed.

A bed of kale that is taking FOREVER to grow!

A bed of kale that is taking FOREVER to grow!

More sunflowers with nastursiums.  They are beautiful and edible and draw pollinators and beneficials while repelling pests.

More sunflowers with nastursiums. They are beautiful and edible and draw pollinators and beneficials while repelling pests.

Our winter squash bed.  We are growing butternuts and acorn squash.  There is cilantro planted in here and in our summer squash and pumpkin beds to repel squash bugs.

Our winter squash bed. We are growing butternuts and acorn squash. There is cilantro planted in here and in our summer squash and pumpkin beds to repel squash bugs.

More tomatoes interplanted with radishes, lettuce, and carrots.  We also have basil in each of our tomato beds to see if it makes the tomatoes taste amazing like we read it does.

More tomatoes interplanted with radishes, lettuce, and carrots. We also have basil in each of our tomato beds to see if it makes the tomatoes taste amazing like we read it does.

Kohlrabi and more drying beans.  We don't have a trellis for these beans so we planted them with sunflowers so they can use them for support.

Kohlrabi and more drying beans. We don’t have a trellis for these beans so we planted them with sunflowers so they can use them for support.

One of five beds that don't have anything planted yet.  We put extra leaves in them to compost them down while we wait.  We ran out of time and money this spring.

One of five beds that don’t have anything planted yet. We put extra leaves in them to compost them down while we wait. We ran out of time and money this spring.

The okra bed.  Good times!  The kids are super excited about this one!

The okra bed. Good times! The kids are super excited about this one!

The monarch waystation.  Planted with seeds from a kit for giving monarchs a place to rest.

The monarch waystation. Planted with seeds from a kit for giving monarchs a place to rest.

Wildlowers to attract butterflies and a broccoli, dill bed for their caterpillars.

Wildlowers to attract butterflies and a broccoli, dill bed for their caterpillars.

Bulb fennel for butterflies to lay eggs on.

Bulb fennel for butterflies to lay eggs on.

Next, onto the older and smaller garden, we have a wagon of sage and our lettuce bed that has peas on the side and bush green beans growing up in it.  The lettuce will burn up soon.  We have eaten or shared over 25 pounds of lettuce out of this bed.  Crazy!  But fun!

Next, onto the older and smaller garden, we have a wagon of sage and our lettuce bed that has peas on the side and bush green beans growing up in it. The lettuce will burn up soon. We have eaten or shared over 25 pounds of lettuce out of this bed. Crazy! But fun!

The garlic bed with peas growing up the side and a small box of spinach that bolted while we were on vacation, so we are letting it seed out.

The garlic bed with peas growing up the side and a small box of spinach that bolted while we were on vacation, so we are letting it seed out.

Our old pear tree, it has fire blight disease and we can't trim enough of it to save it.  :(  We have harvested hundreds and hundreds of pounds of super delicious pears off this tree over the last 15 years.  So sad.

Our old pear tree, it has fire blight disease and we can’t trim enough of it to save it. 🙁 We have harvested hundreds and hundreds of pounds of super delicious pears off this tree over the last 15 years. So sad.

A barrel of carrots and a barrel of swiss chard with a gerber daisy in the middle.  He he.  Plus a bed of garlic with peas on the side.

A barrel of carrots and a barrel of swiss chard with a gerber daisy in the middle. He he. Plus the bed of garlic with peas on the side.

Our first asparagus bed, it's 2 x 4 feet and there is a barrel of zinnias growing next to it.

Our first asparagus bed, it’s 2 x 4 feet and there is a barrel of zinnias growing next to it.

A barrel of peppers plus a 3 x 10 bed of supposed to be green beans with peas on the side.  But there are some volunteer plants in there.  I'm thinking they could be cucumbers or maybe some kind of squash or melon.  They are flowering so we will see soon enough.

A barrel of peppers plus a 3 x 10 bed of supposed to be green beans with peas on the side. But there are some volunteer plants in there. I’m thinking they could be cucumbers or maybe some kind of squash or melon. They are flowering so we will see soon enough.

A bed of tomatoes with basil and a row of peas on the edge.  Someone around here REALLY likes peas...it's me.  :)

A bed of tomatoes with basil and a row of peas on the edge. Someone around here REALLY likes peas…it’s me. 🙂

One more green bean and pea combo.

One more green bean and pea combo.

The stock tank is growing arugula, some other lettuces, and a brandywine tomato plant.  There is a small 1 x 2 box of lavender and one of spinach in front.

The stock tank is growing arugula, some other lettuces, and a brandywine tomato plant. There is a small 1 x 2 box of lavender and one of spinach in front.

Our chocolate mint.

Our chocolate mint.

Two herb towers.

Two herb towers.

Some miscellaneous wildflowers, lettuce, and lemon grass.

Some miscellaneous wildflowers, lettuce, and lemon grass.

And that’s the grand tour. The largest beds are 3 x 10 feet, narrow so kids can reach the middle. The ones along the fence are 2 feet wide, so they are 2 x 2 or up to 2 x 10. The ones made of salvaged privacy fence are about 6 feet long. If you want to check out how we started the garden, click here.
I hope you enjoy it!