Finishing Up the Garden: All of the Rest of the Garden

At the risk of boring too many kind readers–and myself–the garden has to wrap it up. Sadly, it will probably really wrap up shortly anyway.

Collard greens, a calcium powerhouse for those of us whose body rejects dairy!Collard Greens

  • I have a new perspective on collard greens thanks to my favorite collard green recipe, 1-2-3 Collard Greens.
  • Like the Swiss chard, these greens were beyond proliferative.  However, when the white moths and grasshoppers came, they wiped them out in about 7 days.  I read that you should have empty birdhouses around your garden so that wasps will build their nests there.  The wasps eat those moths, or maybe their eggs.  I tried peppermint spray.  Seemed mildly effective.

Cantaloupe, a lovely fruit.

  • Ten ripened at once, and it was a ten-day cantaloupe fun-fest. Two more are hanging on, hoping winterCantaloupe holds off long enough for them to be eaten.
  • Usually you build mounds for these to help with drainage.  I didn’t.  Took up too much time.  Worked okay this year.


  • Our tomatoes have bottom rot, apparently from lack of incorporating calcium (for any number of reasons, not just a calcium deficient soil).  We slice it off and salvaged what we can.  Next year we’ll take measures to address this issue.
  • However, we still have tons of tomatoes thanks to friends and our cherry tomato vine.
  • Dry them and sauce them.

Brussels, bug-ball city.

  • These are going to need some research because bugs seem to like them. Now I know why the store’s organic Brussels are so Brusselsmuch rattier looking than the non-organic Brussels. Frightful for such a delicious vegetable.  Definitely need to provide more care to the Brussels, but they are still coming on!
  • My family all likes Brussels a lot.  I have a post on different ways to prepare them:  Brussels Two Ways.
  • Let me give you a third!  Just cut them in fourths (I really have found this to be the best size to make them a little crispy) and toss them in some olive oil, garlic powder, and salt/pepper.  Roast, all spread out thin, on a cookie sheet at about 375 degrees F until many are golden brown.  Mmmm.  Let your kids have the brown, crispy ones, and they have a high chance of being a Brussels convert.

Cucumber: Peeled, sliced, and salted. Easy.  Can you see it hiding in the plant, the withering plant?Cucumber plant

Beets, beets, beets:

  • Cooking beets is easy. Just wash them off, cut off any “long” stuff, and submerge them in a pot of water to boil. Or place them on a cookie sheet and put the oven at 375 degrees F. When they are fork tender, just let them cool and use your hands to rub off the peels. Any stubborn peel, just slice of with a knife.
  • When you plant beets, you’re supposed to go back and thin the seedlings.  My husband was too lazy to do it, and it breaks my heart to pull out a perfectly good plant.  So we discovered that unthinned beets give you tiny, miniature sized beets.  No biggie.
  • The tiny beets grew close to the surface, crowding each other, and so we had to dig them up all at once.  I froze some, fermented some (er, not so good to me), and the rest shriveled up and molded in the refrigerator.  I felt very irresponsible.
  • And our favorite salad:  Balsamic Glazed Beet Salad.Bell peppers

Bell peppers:  Great in everything, tomato sauce, fajitas, and yes, liver.

Sweet potatoesSweet potatoes:  The bunny rabbits ate the tops of these.  Just in time I threw some mesh wastebaskets over them.  Saved them from the bunnies, but then the vines grew through the mesh baskets.  So I had to leave them on!  Oh, well.  Seems to be working fine!  I have never grown sweet potatoes.  So this is fun.  (Yes, I know they are not GAPS-legal.  I don’t eat them except as a rare cheat.)

Zucchini, pick them small please!

  • They, to me, are best picked VERY small.  As this point they have no seeds, are crispy, and serve as a cracker quite delightfully.  My husband and kids like them with hummus!
  • What to do with lots of zucchini?  Many ideas for zucchini and the best zucchini ever.

Kale chips may be old news, but they still don’t fail to please.

  • Had to save my kale from the bunny rabbit, too!
  • Kale chips recipe.
  • If you really are reading this, what do you do with kale?  I’ve got quite a bit left.Kale


  • We managed to get about 9 pumpkins.  I will be doing some pumpkin posts and will not make too many comments here.
  • Pumpkin vines take over the whole garden.  They grew into the tomato cages and had a pumpkin extravaganza.
  • These pure pumpkins are for cooking!!  The kids want to carve them, but they’re MY BABIES!


  • Got a smattering here and there.  This was our first year, so I expect more out of the plants next year.

Radishes and arugula:  Kapoot.  Didn’t grow.

My favorite?  All of it!  Good-bye garden.  Until next year!Pumpkins

8 thoughts on “Finishing Up the Garden: All of the Rest of the Garden

  1. Julie

    Love that you will be doing some pumpkin posts! We grew quite fond of pumpkin a few years ago when the littlest was just learning to eat big people food…He was the first child I actually made all my baby food from scratch and so, he was also the first child that got to enjoy pumpkin (ever so much!!) as an 8 month old in so many different purees…lol! Anyway, since then, I have saved pumpkin seeds (two years straight now) going through the whole process…AND forgetting I had them until it was too late :/ Oh well, there’s always next year, right?!

    This was our first year to do a garden and even though it was only about 10×12, it was overwhelming and exciting all at the same time for me as a newby without even one green thumb! (Lots of lessons learned for next year though!)

    Lastly, I love how you keep prodding us with your liver nudges, lol! I have never tried it, and I honestly don’t think I ever will (yes, even after reading your “tasty” version, lol) … unless, of course I was starving in the wilderness. However, not in the wilderness of Alaska or somewhere cold with polar bears, bc if you fight one of those and live to eat its remains, the liver is too high in vitamin A it can kill you! (or so I hear, anyway… unless, it was kidney…hmmm….) no matter, I will just stick with abstinence 😉

    Have a great week!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hi! Happy “just-about” October! We love pumpkin seeds, and I’m enthusiastic to hear you’ll try those. (Wink.) I’ll keep needling on the liver–and, yes, skip the polar bear liver for the trivia you mentioned! Since we buy our meat directly from the farmer now, we receive all of the meat–liver, soup bones, heart, tongue, all included by request. It is hard for me to eat the organ cuts. But I think two things which alleviate my mental suffering: 1) They have particular micronutrients and amino acids not found abundantly in other foods that my body appreciates. 2) I will show my appreciation for the life of the animal by respecting all that it has to give me. I’ve never been a big meat eater; I’ve always lived on flour carbs. So this is new-ish for me. (I was not vegetarian, but I always liked those choices on the menu better.)

      1. Julie

        No, I hear ya on the why and the fact that you were brave to try it! I’m just not to that level ((dare I say it? …Yet)) haha… I was also the person who told my husband, “I will NEVER EVER homeschool our children (we had friends that did at the time I said this), so don’t ever ask me to or expect me to!” Little did I know what my future held…lol!
        Anyway, I’m somewhat hoping this commitment to “never” with liver sticks, and that there will be another way to get those things one day 😉

        But, then again I also told my husband I’m not too into self preservation (in other words, if I have to eat a bug to survive, I’m probably gonna die…jk… but seriously, lol). I have always favored the flour diet also, and would actually love to be vegetarian, if I knew how to prepare delicious things (no, I haven’t read your latest post yet, haha).

        Plus, where I live, in the deep south (I mean deep, deep, southeast Louisiana), it is almost sacrilegous to avoid crawfish (the only bug I’m willing to eat, but of course we don’t refer to them as that here), crab, and other types of “boils”… So, here I think it would be acceptable to be vegetarian, on the understood knowledge that all types of seafood are allowed…lol!

      2. Julie

        Oh, and I agree that you are honoring the animal! It is a shame that we as Americans don’t do this more (me included)…the native Americans did know a thing or two and tried to teach us how to honor the earth, but the stubborn folk here thought we knew it all, and now look at our crazy chemical filled world! (I watched an interesting documentary last night on Netflix called, Commercial, worth the time to watch for sure…they also offer it for free online if you google the name)

      3. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Personally, after much reading, meat/broths in the diet seems best, so I’ll probably never be vegetarian. I would like to eat less meat once I trial this GAPS program for my GI. However, we LOVE crayfish (and seafood in general). I first tasted them on a trip to New Orleans, and I was a huge fan (of the crayfish and New Orleans). We buy them occasionally frozen. They are most beneficial. I had to smile about you being in DEEP Lou-zi-ana (did I get that right?). We interviewed at Opelousas and also down near Morgan City. The food in Louisiana is spectacular. But I’ll tell you, news travels like greased lightning! The people in Opelousas already knew about us from some people in Morgan City. Crazy! That’s the South! What a rich cultural place!

      4. Julie

        I have heard a few others say that also ab not being vegetarian… But, around here it is kinda hard to find/buy meat that is organic (that is one of my main concerns as far as meat is concerned), so I think avoiding high amounts is key! But, we def eat more than our fair share (I wouldn’t mind adding more seafood to our diet) 🙂

        Yes, you were in my backyard then… News does travel fast here (esp in certain fields) …When and what were you here interviewing for? We live on the Northshore so ab 30 mins from Nola (new Orleans, la) aka nawlins … Yes Lou-zi-ana is right 😉 That’s how we say it 🙂

        We do have the BEST food here, which is why we are so fat as a state….we just can’t get enough, lol!

  2. Pingback: The last of the summer garden | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.