The garden has done pretty well this year. It has been a weird year with lots of rain and lots of hot temperatures. Some things have done great (especially the weeds) and some things not so great. Being our second year in this place, our berry production has really ramped up. We had tons of strawberries this year. We froze 6-7 gallons and sold some too. We also had a lot of them rot because of so much rain early on in the year. We also had lots of raspberries this year to eat fresh and we froze 2-3 gallons. We had mulberries as well from our mulberry tree. Our blackberries produced tons also. We froze 3 gallons of those and sold gallons also. We were also able to make 10 pints of mixed berry jelly.
The garden has been a love/hate thing this year. Weeds have been out of control with all the rain and heat, I could barely keep up with pulling them. Some of our early veggies did not do so well like onions and potatoes but the later veggies have done much better. This was the second year for our asparagus bed and we were able to get quite a bit from it and it will only get better in the future. We have been doing tons of canning the past month or so but that is starting to wind down. We canned 12 pints of pickled peppers, 20 pints of salsa, 35 pints of spaghetti sauce, 10 pints of tomato sauce, 15 half pints of hot sauce, and 30 pints of green beans. Our corn struggled a little this year but we were able to freeze 100 ears of corn. We also had lots of fresh squash, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, okra, spinach, radishes, bok choi, cabbage, broccoli, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers. We should be able to harvest sweet potatoes soon as well. I have been planting some of my fall garden and some of it is already up and growing...winter squash, more summer squash and cucumbers, and more corn.
When we moved into this new place I increased the size of my garden from our previous location by about 50%. I have come to the conclusion that this is too much and requires too much of my time to keep up with it. I am planning to reorganize during the winter and downsize a little bit. I don't want to be spending so much time in the garden and farm that it takes away too much time from more important things like doing other things with the family.
The animal part of the farm has been doing great so far this year and is growing. We had several baby goats and sheep born which have mostly been sold now. We bought 10 new weaned Holstein steers to raise through the year and sell this winter.
We also decided to try pigs this year so we got two young ones in the spring. We had never done them before and were not sure what to expect. But they have actually been pretty easy to deal with and not caused any real problems or anything. We plan to take one to the butcher in a month or so and sell the other one. I think we may continue to do some every year in the future.
And the biggest news on the livestock front is we were finally able to buy some young heifers to start our real cow herd. They will be ready to breed later this winter so I will need to get a bull for them. Then we can start having our own calves and hopefully grow our herd to maximize the use of our land.
Since we have not built up enough animals yet to eat all our grass on the farm we had our hay cut this year again. We were actually able to get two cuttings this year since we had good rain. A neighbor cuts it for us and we split the hay with him. Total, we got 32 round bales the first cutting and 300 square bales along with 11 round bales the second cutting. Our part of that should take care of our hay needs for the winter which is great. I am anxious to see how many total animals we will be able to have in the future with the great grass that we have.
We are slowly working this place into "our" place and getting the farm set up how we want it.