Friday, August 19, 2022

The Life of a Backyard Farmer- Small Batches


Let me tell you it's been quite a year in the garden.  This rain total is way down for our area.  I'm not sure anymore if we are still in drought status but we have to be close. We are supposed to get rain this weekend. I hope it doesn't pass our area by again. You know we've had these years before and I wrote about the drought in 2016 here.   

This year, with our on and off rain, we have a low yield so far on my prized tomatoes.  What looked like a bumper crop quickly dissipated.  Oh, we have tomatoes just not as many as I would have hoped and they are not as big as usual.  This is a life of a backyard farmer.

So, as the tomatoes ripen I bring in and set them on my counter each day until I have enough to can.  After three days I finally had enough I figure for 2 quarts but I canned 2 1/2, so I'm good!  Sometimes you have to make do with small batches.  

So, with those small batches from the garden I hope to fill my canning shelf again.  Now not to say the shelves are empty because last year we had a pretty good crop and we still have quite a few jars left.  That's why when I get a bumper crop of anything I can till I'm sick of it because you never know when you'll get a year that is like this one.  

Now the whole garden is not a complete bust.  The cabbages are ready to be picked.  I see cans of sauerkraut in my future and coleslaw.   Also, we pulled up some of our red potatoes and we are excited.   Oh yeah, the zucchini, want some?

My backyard garden is still a gold mine that's for sure after looking at prices at the markets.  So, I'm happy and thankful for the food we are getting!  

If you are growing something in your backyard, how is it coming along?

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Cheryl Kimbley said...

A strange year for sure. I keep freezing batches of tomatoes until I am ready for canning.
Your shelves look lovely.
We are supposed to get rain for about 3 days as well. We are in slight drought now - the recent rains have helped a little.

Little Penpen said...

Your canning shelves look so pretty.

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Cheryl, I hope we both get the rain this weekend. It will help a lot. Freezing sounds like a good idea.

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Thankyou Little Penpen, They have held up for a lot of years.

Belinda said...

Your canning shelf is beautiful, Vickie. We didn’t plant a garden this year, but have in the past. There is nothing like opening a jar of your own food that you’ve canned yourself. Small batches is the way to go in years like this when there isn’t enough rain to have a big bounty. Hopefully you will get some rain soon.

Lana said...

Very little rain here too so we are hand watering but it has been far too much work for very little. But, the squirrels have made out like the bandits that they are. They wiped out all the first crop of tomatoes and were starting on the second when we went out and picked them all still green and have been ripening them in a paper bag. Only one zucchini and a few peppers and green beans. I am seriously thinking of not bothering at all next year. We could have bought a whole lot of produce for the money and effort spent.

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Thanks Belinda, They said we would get rain for the next few days but they have said that before. You know how that is. It's still worth it though.

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Lana, Those squirrels are so cute but they are little devils when it comes to food. We got one peach out of 12, the squirrels ate the rest. I believe in sharing but they got a higher percentage.
We just went to a fruit market and couldn't believe the prices, $10 for a `10 pound bag of potatoes, $1.99 a pound of tomatoes, $7.00 for a dozen ear of corn and most of the places around here are at the same price. Very expensive here so I'll guess well try to get the most out of it that we can.

Lana said...

Ouch! Those prices are crazy! We went to the salvage store this afternoon and got green peppers 2/$1, tomatoes.99#, onions .59#, cabbage .39#. They had big baking potatoes for .59# but I didn't need them
Maybe I should have gotten some. Every time I start to feel complacent I see how high prices are getting and decide to press on.

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

oh what deals Lana! I wish we had such a good store here..You know at those prices I might consider not having a garden too! I love gardening though and watching things grow so there is that but still I understand your comment.

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Belinda, I thought of what a rough year you've had and I think it would have hard to have a garden.

Kathy said...

Your canned veggies look so good! Won't those veggies taste good this winter.
It hasn't been the best gardening year for us either. We've had rain, but it has been so hot that things haven't produced. I've had lots of blooms on the zucchini plants but few zucchini or cucumbers. I must be doing something wrong. So glad to have some tomatoes to eat anyway although something has been taking a bite out of some maters. I'll take my critter instead of the Bear that ransacked my cousin's corn. Yikes!
Hope you have a great weekend with some rain and fun.

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

ok Kathy, we are good with squirrels and groundhogs. Bears are too much for me!
I was watching a garden video on youtube this morning about droughts and growing a garden. I might have to start using some of her suggestions if it keeps this up. Like drip irrigation and a shade cloth. It's just so hot nothing will grow. I'm pretty sure nothing you are doing is wrong.