Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Garden and Summer Highlights

It's hard to believe that it has been 2 months since I posted an update. We have been busy with our garden and with life. Here are a couple pictures that I meant to post and some recent pictures of the garden.

At the peak of summer things looked pretty good. We had some bald spots in the garden with some experiments that didn't work out, but we had a lot of success in the garden as well.

The bald spot in the foreground on the picture above is where we tried to grow amaranth. This just did nothing. Maybe the Montana nights are too cold. On the other hand, the quinoa grew 5 feet tall and we are letting it dry right now so that we can harvest it. We also discovered that the leaves of quinoa are nice to eat as well. The sunflowers did great. Next year I might devote a bit more real estate to the sunflowers.

A mix of veggies harvested from the garden and greenhouse. We had some colorful dinners this summer.

This past weekend we got a few truckloads of composted horse manure from our neighbor and spread it on the beds (we're not quite done). We also planted a winter cover crop of various things that we plan to grow now, and till under in the spring.

We've still got some cool weather crops growing in the garden. Recent nighttime lows have gotten down in the low 20's. Eventually we'd like to have some row covers, but can't afford that quite yet.

Below is a picture displaying some of our harvest. We got about 35 pounds of honey. Jeff is making mead and we're using the rest as presents and for baking. If you've never tried baking with honey, give it a shot. It's very easy to modify a recipe to use honey.

In the jars are some dried soybeans, huckleberry jam, garlic-pepper jelly, buckwheat honey, wildflower honey, and green tomato relish. We didn't get any ripe tomatoes from outdoors this year, but we did get about 20 pounds of green tomatoes. We've been eating green tomato pie and I made 12 pints of green tomato relish. I would recommend both of these if you've got green tomatoes to deal with. Here are the recipes I used:

Green Tomato Pie

Green Tomato Relish

Our cayennes from the greenhouse are drying. Pretty soon these will be flavoring our chili.

More later...


  1. nice garden...One key consideration while setting up a herb garden is picking the correct location

  2. I had to smile as amaranth does so very well for us but I have never been able to get quinoa to grow at all.:)

  3. Maybe we'll trade grains! I actually only grew amaranth because I saw your post about it. Is there a specific variety that you would recommend for us to try next year? As for the quinoa, we grew these seeds (not purchased off of amazon though):

  4. I believe it is called "Hopi Red Dye" and that I originally bought it from Thyme Garden Seeds. I would be more than happy to send you some seed as I have lots left over from last years collection...I was going to grow a whole row of amaranth but changed my mind. Let me know if you are interested.:)

  5. So nice to see you posting. I was a tad worried that you had an unhappy first gardening year. (That's just the lame over-protective mom in me.) Bald spots? I think my whole veggie garden was a bald spot this year. :D

  6. Thanks for the concern Kate! We just got busy and I kept waiting to post pictures - wanted to weed first, wanted to have some winter squash to show off, etc, etc. We're already excited for next year and are expanding the garden area to include a larger berry patch.