Is it worth it??

Some of my friends keep asking if it's really worth the effort to do all this. Wouldn't be easier to go to the store and buy the same produce even if it's organic and more expensive than regular stuff? And I just keep thinking you really need to taste something right off the vine or as soon as you picked it to really understand the difference between home grown and store bought produce. No matter how fast they try to get fresh stuff to the store, it will take time to package it, transport, unpack and put on the shelves. And by that time your produce isn't as fresh as it was in the beginning. And no, it doesn't taste the same. Did you know that they usually pick veggies and fruit semi-ripe so it would get transported easier and limit rotting? They spray most of the produce with ripening agent right before going on shelves to get the ripe smell/color but rarely they'd get the right taste. Even with the same tomatoes - they're normally picked green so they won't get squished in transit. By the time you get to taste it it won't be much to try - it will just taste like grass. No thank you! I'd rather take 2 minutes to harvest what I need for dinner tonight. Pick up my basket, go outside and pick and choose what I feel like having. Here's one from tonight pick. Wouldn't you want to have something like that on your table? So what did we get tonight? Here we have several varieties of tomatoes, eggplants, yellow and red bell peppers and sweet banana peppers.
And look, new variety of tomato came into the rotation - yellow Brandywine!
Just as big and meaty as regular but different color with a slight pink tinge on the top, and slightly more acidic taste. Delish in salad! Definitely worth the effort at the end. Yes, it takes time to grow them but anticipation makes it so much better.

Busy Harvest Weekend

Today has been very busy day - I had to do something with all these tomatoes that we've been getting. We've given many away but there's just way too much to keep up. Thankfully I think we reached the high this week so after this wave it should slow down. We'll have plenty for salads and such but nothing like it's been for past few weeks. Today I chopped, chopped and chopped some more tomatoes, onions, bell peppers . In the picture below you can see large mixing bowl where I dumped them after chopping and at that point it was just over 5 lbs cut up. And whole lot more left to go. I had to stop in mid-day because my hands have been very swollen so it's hard to handle knife or do much by myself. But we mixed home made salsa with onions and bell pepper, cilantro and hot peppers and canned it for winter. I'm not a very big salsa fan but once in a while it's nice to have around. We'll probably make more tomorrow as I have about 7 lbs mor of chopped tomatoes sitting in the fridge and more whole ones waiting to be taken care of at some point. I asked my honey to call his dad and see if he'll take some or maybe his brother and SIL, but his dad said he had plenty of his own and we couldn't get through to his brother so I'm stuck with this load for now. Maybe I'll just toss them into food processor and make more sauce or marinara or something.

Closer to the evening I had to take a break from the kitchen and went playing in the garden instead. Boy is it overgrown! Definitely need a good day to clean it all up. But I did pick out all potato experiments from both enclosed garden and open area. As you can see I have more fingerling's on the right side, Red Bliss in the middle - that was only 2 bushes that came out, and Yukon Gold on the left. There are some small red onions on the bottom of the picture.

Fingerling's were in the enclosed area and even though it was only about 2 square feet area it produced allot of results. Too bad I don't like the taste of them. I won't be planting them again next year. I do like Yukon but unfortunately that's the ones that got the most damage from groundhog and deer. I found many "leftovers" but not whole lot was left for me to pick. I will definitely plant more of them next year and this time in the enclosed garden. They are delicious! Well at least that's enough for two of us to eat for next few weeks. I wish my onions were bigger but they got trampled by deer who were trying to reach potatoes so didn't get to grow well. I will be planting more of them next year as well as some white sweet type.

Not a veggie actually..

Sometimes we get to see visitors around the garden that really like our produce. Like squirrels who love strawberries, deer that would eat anything green if it could reach it and groundhog that demolished my unprotected green beans. Today we got another type of visitor. One of them came around last fall and we got nice imprints because it was right after the rain. But today we got full frontal imagery.
He just came out in our back yard this afternoon while we were on the deck so grabbed a camera and took some pictures. Unfortunately he got spooked and run away so couldn't get clear shot. Isn't he pretty? I love when we get wild animals here. It's so sad that most people in cities will never get to see one upclose unless it was locked in a cage. I'd rather see one in my back yard munching on berries :) And right after him we got few more visitors. They're still small and cute with all those spots. I assume we'll be seeing them more often now that they're older and can move around more frequently.