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Wednesday, April 19, 2023


Here we are, mid-spring, and I'm noticing that our garden produce from last season is almost gone. This is the last of the pumpkins that I grew. I harvested it in late October, still green when cut from the vine. I left a really long, trailing vine for the first couple of weeks after bringing indoors. And I kept all of the pumpkins in my cool storage room (about 52 to 54 degrees F from late October through early May). The homegrown ones all did well. Of the pumpkins and squash that I purchased, I had a couple of squash (but no pumpkins) that went soft in my storage room. I brought this last pumpkin out to the kitchen counter over the weekend to remind me to cook it up in the coming week for soup, pasta sauce, pie, or pumpkin bread.

For our Easter celebration, we used the last of the garden potatoes (purple and white) in mashed potatoes. I also kept those in the cool storage room. I think doing so kept them from going soft or sprouting too badly.

I still have a little garden garlic remaining, perhaps enough to get through early May. I keep the garlic in the fridge in a paper bag and it keeps very well. I also have the last of the garden onions, the very small ones, enough for one omelet. I'll use those onions up this week, as we're also almost out of the purchased onions from the 50-lb sack.

We finished off the garden carrots, beets, and turnips around Christmas. I do have some frozen veggies remaining, mostly items like chives, beet greens, sorrel, grape leaves, and carrot leaves. I'll need to get creative in using these veggie bits. If I put my mind to cooking with them, I imagine they will be used by the middle of May. 

Remember those 2 huge bags of blackberries that we foraged and froze in September? We've been using them steadily in smoothies and as fruit, simply thawed and topped with honey. We'll be out of blackberries in mid to late May. 

What else is left? A handful or two of dried homegrown fruit, some blackberry syrup and juice, some crabapple sauce and juice, and assorted jars of jams, jellies, pickles, and preserved figs. It's definitely winding down.

It's a good thing that the garden will begin to produce regularly again soon. Our rhubarb (one of the first produce items I can reliably count on each spring) is up, but no where near cutting. We're a month away from rhubarb pies, sauce, and muffins.

I can't imagine what life and mealtimes would have been like in a period when folks had to raise all of the food they would eat not only for an entire winter, but most of spring as well. We're blessed to live with grocery stores, freezers, electricity for canning, and farmers to grow a lot of our food. We're blessed.


  1. Grocery stores are indeed a blessing!

  2. We sometimes forget how truly blessed we are to have good fpod. Thank you for the reminder!!

    1. Yes, good food. And also, for the most part, safe food.

  3. Oh yes we are. When we first moved here where nothing grows easily I was out on the ranch of a family that were original homesteaders. I asked the lady what they grew to live on through the winter. She pointed to a south facing hill and said “cabbage”. They actually had a sauerkraut factory in later years. Cabbage, turnips, potatoes and carrots would have been what they had for winter since that’s about all that grows in this very short growing season. Other things grow, but don’t store easily.


    1. Oh my! I can't imagine spending the winter eating primarily cabbage. I suppose adding in carrots, turnips, and potatoes is better than just cabbage.

  4. I've thought about this before, too. It's interesting to contemplate what food we would eat if we didn't have food shipped to us year-round.

    1. Imagine never having a banana, or for some areas oranges, or coffee, or chocolate. I know we'd do our best. But the variety would be lacking. And I'd be tired and cranky most days.

  5. Itadakimasu!! My husband and I say this before our first bite every meal to express our gratitude for the food before us. Similar to a prayer. Also to express appreciation to the preparer, and all the work and sacrifice involved in bringing food to the table. This applies to everything we have. I cannot live the quality of life that I have based on my effort alone. Lots to be grateful. Certainly food that we grow makes us feel less dependent and more self reliant. Lili, you've done exceptionally well providing at least half or more of the food you've consumed.

    Happy Thursday,

    1. That's beautiful, Laura. Thank you for sharing.


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