Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Garden Success

Too often I dwell on our garden failures. We've had a few of those this year. The onions choked by crab grass. The blight that conquered the tomatoes. The vines that bore no grapes. The corn blown down by a storm. The ground hog who chomped our sweet potato vines.

But much of our garden prospered. I had peppers and green beans to give away. Our berries were abundant.

You have heard often about our prolific zucchini. I wish I would have kept track of how much zucchini we hauled in from those few plants.

I don't want this to be a comparison game if your garden did not do well. I know many have suffered drought this summer. But I thought I had to do a little counting of blessings.

We have never grown such nice watermelon. Not only were the fruit huge, but they were sweet and delicious. The worse thing about these watermelon is that I was winded by the time I had one carried in to the house!

Today we cut the last one. We are going to miss this taste of summer sunshine.

Our winter squash have been equally successful. I told someone yesterday that we had ten squash on our porch. My daughter corrected me by saying there was fourteen! And that is after giving some away. And we haven't even brought all of them in from the garden!

Can you guess that next you'll be reading lots of recipes using pumpkin or winter squash?

If you like such info, the watermelon seed is Ali Baba from Baker Creek. The winter squash seeds are Red Kuri from Baker Creek, Mini Green Hubbard from Stokes, Ultra HP from Stokes, and Green and White Cushaw seeds from my sister-in-law.

What are you thanking the Lord for in your garden this year?


  1. These pictures are just precious. Your children are absolutely beautiful. Congrats on the successful parts of your garden. I gave up on ours months ago. It was just container gardening but I fought aphids and the heat was way too much. Just not a successful year.

  2. Hi Gina, In the UK, we call the yellow squash butternut squash. We peel ours and have it roasted in large chunks instead of roast potato with our Sunday roast lunch. We also half it, scoop out the seeds, sprinkle with garlic, corriander and cumin and olive oil, roast until soft. Scoop out the inside and blend into a soup with some vegetable stock to make it loose enough to be soup - spicy butterbean soup -love Froogs xxx

    1. Thanks for the ideas! With all of these, I'm going to need some fresh ideas!

  3. Thanking the Lord for high yields even when everything seems like it's against it. Right now, I've got about 150 pounds of tomatoes in the freezer waiting to be turned into sauce. I feel like most of the ones on the vine are rotten, but somehow the one here and there is really adding up!

    How delightful that you can grow such big & beautiful watermelons! I'm intimidated by them and have never tried although I know to do so would make them all that much sweeter :) ♥

  4. I love your pictures! What beautiful produce and children! I grew my first producing tomatoes and bell peppers this year. I know absolutely nothing about gardening, so I am thankful for the couple of tomatoes and peppers I harvested! Next year, right? :)

  5. We did have a beautiful harvest this year. I narrowly escaped the tomato blight and mold grew in the Jacob Cattle and 1/2 of the cucumbers, but thank the Lord we still had a good harvest.

    We didn't use all of our garden space this summer due to construction, but still got to eat green beans since the middle of July... nearly every meal. We picked a bushel to put up in the freezer too. My grandson eats a lot of green beans. We also picked a few quarts of shell beans and a couple quarts of dry bean from the moldy Jacob Cattle.

    The tomatoes, however, were the most miraculous. We picked at least 1 1/2 bushel of tomatoes Jet Star and Amish Paste. I was so happy since the last 2 years we lost all the tomatoes just before they ripened to "bottom rot". This year I supplimented every week with calcium chloride and started them off with a little fertilizer and bone meal. Yea! It was so nice to have fresh garden tomatoes and be able to make some sauce this year. I think we have enough to last a couple years... for us at least.

    The sad note was we did not get any winter squash, but we still have lots from last year when there seemed to be no end to putting up squash.

    God knows just what we need before we know we need it. Even the cucumbers gave me enough to put up 7 quarts of pickles.

    I'll probably share more on my blog on Friday if I get a chance.

    Gotta try some of that "Spicy Butterbean Soup" Froogs!

  6. Gina, what beautiful pictures! And your children are so precious! What a great post. I sure wish I could say my zucchini did so good I had to give it away, but no, I hardly got any from the spring. I am growing more for fall and so far have gotten 4!! I have about 25 plants though. They are starting to bear now. I also had bad luck with my spring squash but better with the 2nd planting but for the squash borers. Ugh! Bugs! If I can't grow anything else, I can grow some green beans. I have tons out there now. Enjoy all your good food! Looks like the kids are. And I will be waiting for some more good recipes from you!

  7. In our area we call the cushaw squash a vegetable potato. Don't know why, but that is what all the old folks called it and it has only been in the last few years that I found out its "official" name.

    We make what we call a vegetable potato pudding with it. It's a dessert type dish. If you'd like I will share the recipe.

    1. Shara-
      I love to hear what other areas call things!

      And I'd love to try your recipe!

  8. Wow those are some HUGE squash!!! Look forward to your recipes as we've had an abundance of sqaush, mostly yellow and zucchini, both of which I've been creatively using. And now my butternut is producing well. Lots of rainbow chard and I'm a bit short on uses for this : )

  9. We love cushaw! I bought one yesterday on our little trip. If you are interested in a cushaw pie recipe just let me know. We like it better than pumpkin pie. Enjoy your day and God bless.

  10. Gina, this is the basic recipe that all the old ladies (most of whom have passed on now) used. Always slight variations, like some adding a few nuts or things like that -- but the basic concept was the same. We did not grow up eating pumpkin or pumpkin desserts, but had this squash in things instead.

    Vegetable Potato Pudding

    In advance, cook vegetable potato in same manner you would pumpkin or butternut squash. (baked, boiled, etc) We usually freeze this in one quart bags, but I suppose it could be canned, too.

    1 1/4 cups of sugar
    2 tbsp of vanilla, lemon or orange flavoring
    3/4 cup self rising flour
    3 tbsp of butter
    1 egg
    1 quart of vegetable potato
    milk -- enough to get thickness of cake batter
    1 cup coconut --optional

    Butter or grease a 9 x 13 pan. Mix together all ingredients. Pour into pan and bake in 425F oven until done. About 45 to 50 minutes.

  11. love the squash photos! I just cut up an enormous squash and baked it today. I'm going to make pie, bread, and now, your pumpking pudding. I'll be eager for squash recipes!


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