October is harvest time, and I've been meaning, for some time now, to show off some of our harvest. We've worked harder this year to get more out of our efforts, and I think we've done a pretty good job. We've learned a lot along the way, and I think we may have an even more bountiful harvest next year. That is if we, mostly I, can stay motivated. My husband is always motivated and does most of the work. I follow around in awe, trying to do my best, and to not get in the way too much. (Until it comes time to cook it, then you better get out of my way.)
Our first success was our potato harvest. We discovered that russets grow very well here, but the blue potatoes, not so much.
As you can see from the picture we also had beets and carrots. An excellent year for both, except for the tragedy that befell my carrots. I had tons of huge king carrots ready to be pulled. I didn't have time to pull them before leaving for a 3 day weekend. When I got home, all but a couple had been snagged by a nasty little gopher. I was having fantasies of blowing the little jerk up like the caddy from Caddyshack. Oh! and let's not forget the plums I harvested from the plum tree down the road. I was swinging like a monkey from the limbs to get these. My husband harvested a bunch of yellow plums from an old tree just off our property as well. They were good to eat, but didn't make the best jelly. I need to work on that.And the beautiful rainbow chard you see above has been the most incredible plant in our garden this year. This picture was taken in August. The same plants don't look much different now in late October. I have harvested tons of leaves off of these. Unfortunately my kids have decided they don't care for it. I personally love it with a little olive oil and basalmic vinegar. I have found I can successfully hide it in frittata's, and they'll goble it up.
Below you can see our first full harvest meal.
Chard and potatoes from our garden and a roast from the pig our friend raised and my husband helped with the culling.
And the final result....
The next harvest dinner was a salad and herbs from our garden, beats, beat greens and cod that my husband caught.
Then there were the trout we brought back from Medicine Lake. Man was that tasty!
And a harvest breakfast. Home grown potatoes, beats and carrots and eggs fresh from the coop.
Then there were the huckleberries! This was my first harvest from the little bush down the road. I made some very yummy muffins with this.
Then! My husband went berry picking! (And I forgot to even take a picture of all the black berries I picked - 7 lbs worth!)
That's a lot of huckleberries! And below is what my fingers looked like after cleaning them for a pie. They didn't go back to normal for a week!
And here's my very first huckleberry pie. I'm so proud!
And then we finally did it. My husband and his friend, who raised the pigs, killed and butchered one of our goats. Actually 3 of them. We were able to sell two, so we made a bit of money off of them. So we had a wonderful goat curry along with some zucchini pancakes made with the neighbors' zucchini and our fresh eggs. To top it off a yummy zucchini bread. My mom's recipe of course.
And finally! For our most recent harvest dinner. A friend of mine at work is married to a guy who is a bear hunter and I lucked out and got a couple of bear roasts from them. I haven't eaten bear in years, and I've never cooked it. I wasn't sure how this would turn out, but I was more then pleasantly surprised. We've wiped out our potato and pea supply from the garden, so those are store bought, but the chard (everlast chard) is from our garden and the bear is from Humboldt County. It turned out very good, if I do say so myself.
Before - it's a very pretty pink before you cook it.
After a nice long roasting:
And the final delicious meal
It's been a tasty harvest! You just can't believe how much better food tastes when you grow it, hunt it and fish it yourself. The hard work makes you appreciate it all that much more, and it is so much more fresh and nutritious when the source is only 100 feet from your back door. Yum!