Garden Overload

Well, I think our summer garden is close to being over.  We've had an absolute overload of spurge of that has take over.  I think when you pull out one plant, a bajillion more pop up in its place.  Darn them!  AND, those dang squirrels have killed it as well.  For the winter garden, we will have to figure out something to take care of those little buggers.  Chris went out one day a few weeks ago to water it and noticed a small hole.  Well, if anyone knows how squirrels work, they burrow and dig out big GINORMOUS tunnels underground.  Once the water started flowing down that row, there was no turning back now.  The hole swallowed all the water and it just got bigger and bigger and bigger.  We normally just turn the water on and go out about an hour later and turn it off.  Well, after an hour or so, none of the garden had been watered, because of this squirrel hole.  Chris told me about it, I didn't believe him.  The next morning we went out there so he could show me how big it was.  He was able to step into the hole and he was in above his knee before his foot touched the bottom.

This is the hole a few days after we discovered it.  It has now eaten that entire tomato plant that is in the picture as well as a jalapeno plant that is in the next row over.  Pretty much can't water those rows because the hole just keeps getting bigger.  

Chris said we are going to have to bring a front loader in with a bucket full of dirt because if you try and disc it before filling it in, the tractor will get stuck in the hole.  That would pretty much be the opposite of awesome.

However, there are some plants that are still producing, like the 4 Roma tomato plants and the squash plants.  The squash is pretty much done, and boy let me tell you...we have eaten A LOT of squash this summer.  I think I've made at least 2 batches of Zucchini bread and I think we were having squash with our dinner maybe 4 nights/week.  Lots of squash my friends, lots.  

However, we got tired of eating it all the time, so I heard from a friend that you can grate it and freeze it for baking with later.  Great idea, especially since we have one of those handy dandy food saver machines that sucks all the air out of the bags and seals them shut.  

Chris picked the squash last of the squash...

Just some small ones :)

And a few days ago I picked just a couple of our Romas that were ripe.

Just a few.

My goal was to do some canning this summer.  Well I never got around to buying the right equipment, and it makes me really nervous to can tomatoes, so...why not freeze them??  So, since I don't have a job anymore (well, until next week :)  Yes, it took me a day and half, but more on that in another post.  It's gonna be pretty amazing, I think) I have had time to preserve some of our summer garden to be used for later.  When we aren't so tired of eating the same thing over and over again.  

Well, 2 days ago, I grated those zucchini you saw in the picture above (not the crook neck, not sure if you can use those to bake with).  I ended up with 12 cups...holy crap.  That's a lot of squash.  I broke them up into 2 cup packages, because that's what the zucchini bread recipe calls for and that's an easy number to remember if I want to use it for something else.  Vacuumed sealed it with one of these and they are now residing in the freezer until a later date.

I only grated my thumb once.  It still hurts.

And remember those tomatoes above?  Those were just the ripe ones for that day.  There are LOTS more to be picked over the next couple of weeks.

Well, today I blanched them, took the skins off, sealed them up and threw them in the freezer.  

There is a lot of pasta sauce and salsa to be made with these tomatoes!

I think I will look back and be glad that I did all the work to preserve these fruits and veggies instead of just tossing them.  It will be nice to have zucchini bread in November and fresh salsa in December.  

If you want fresh tomatoes or vacuumed sealed ones, let me know...we are going to have enough to almost fill our freezer.  I'm not even joking.

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