Farmstead Harvest: Looking ahead for winter use

Each spring, the cycle of nature becomes clearer to me. I rejoice that I am able to partake in a way of life that has such promise to sustain us year round. I have found this way of life to be stimulating physically and mentally. Both my husband and I look forward to when we will be able to work the land full time.

As we journey down this path, I have noticed when spring arrives my focus is different than it used to be, from years ago. I no longer day dream about fruitless things, as this way of life compels an almost constant work, to provide for ourselves.

My mind now is occupied with the harvesting and storing of foods, in order to take us through the cold and snowy winter months.

The rhubarb in the photo above is our first harvest of the season. This bunch weighed ten pounds. We have one plant. There will be more to harvest through the end of June. Rhubarb does not like hot weather. I have found it to die back when the warm summer arrives, then start producing again in the cool fall months.

We enjoy rhubarb in various ways. It can be used in quick breads, muffins, stewed, pie, and jam. One draw back to using rhubarb is that it requires alot of sweetener, as it is very sour.

Please remember to use only the stalk of the rhubarb, as the leaves are poisonous. Rhubarb is a very easy plant to grow and harvest from.

I keep notes on the amounts of the fruits and vegetables we harvest off our land. In the beginning when we were moving away from store bought purchases towards homegrown foods, I kept a list of how many pounds of a certain item used.

From that list, we had a rough guide to follow. The list did not tell us how many plants would be needed to produce the quantity we desired. It has been by trial and error that we have learned.

The photo above of the bowls, contain a first large harvest of parsley and celery.

One of my goals this year, is to try and fill the glass gallon jar in the photo above, with dried celery leaves. The celery leaves are something I use a lot of, for flavoring our foods, as the majority of our meals are made from scratch. During the cold months, I make soup or stew every day.

This is the first peek at our spring lettuce. We choose to plant leaf lettuce because it has more nutrients than head lettuce. The other reason we like it, is because you can harvest a few of the larger leaves off each lettuce plant, and the plants will keep producing for a long time. I always seem to plant more lettuce than we can eat.

If a visitor stops by, they usually go home with a bag of the fresh greens, during our lettuce season. I find people really like to be offered fresh lettuce that is homegrown. The taste is great too!

I thought I'd add a recent photo of Ike and Immerson. They are doing very well and have adjusted rather quickly, to their new home here. As you can see from the photos below, each appears very comfortable in their favorite spots.

Blessings on your day!


Tammi said...

My parents always grow more lettuce than they need so they can share with people also, and your right, fresh leaf lettuce is great!

L.Howerter said...

This is my first year gardening.
My new family have been doing it all their lives. It is so much fun learning all of this stuff.
I enjoy reading your blog!

Fine Linen said...

I've never used dried celery leaves for flavoring. What do you use it in? I'll have to try it out. Our green beans are doing well. The lettuce, spinach, and basil are starting to sprout as well. I love seeing pics of all your fresh stuff. It's really inspiring. Thank so much for sharing.

lisa said...

I enjoy your blog and I learn from you..I am also trying to prepare for the winter months..I want to know where my food came from what it was grown in...Thanks for the advice on the shoes..I am going with black shoes...15 days till the wedding. I never knew about celery leaves either, it sure makes sense to me..I'm sure it flavors the soups..Thanks for sharing that.. Lisa

Karyn said...

The cat in the windowsill looks particularly cozy. He looks comfortable enough to give that look of disdain that cats have perfected!

A Farmstead Pilgrimage... said...

I thank each of you for taking your time to comment. I'm sorry it has taken so long to comment back.

Tammi, I guess growing extra lettuce is a common thing. {grin} I'm glad other's do it too.

L.Howerter, I agree, gardening or growing your own foods 'is' alot of fun. Thanks for reading!

Fine Linen, I use the dried celery when I don't have access to fresh, or if I'm in a hurry and need to short cut something I'm making, like soup/stew/pasta/potato salad, etc.

Hi Lisa, I'm glad your enjoying the posts. 15 days...Wow! Time sure goes fast doesn't it? Best Wishes!

Hi Karyn! You'd never know it now by his relaxed look, how far that little fella in the window has come.

From health issues and being
fearful of people, there has been a big change.

Blessings to you all!