Bringing In The Garden Harvest

I spent a great deal of time late last week harvesting, washing, and finding homes for the considerable volume of vegetables we grew over the summer.

Late in the winter Wendy and I began scheming, and while I didn’t get around to planting ALL of the things I wanted to, or even half of them, we still got a pretty good haul of fresh foods, an learned many things about gardening.




We planted onions, three kinds of potatoes, turnips, four kinds of carrots, and beets.

Some of the things we learned:

1. Weeding is IMPORTANT. Super annoying, but so very vital to keeping your plants healthy. Competition for nutrients and sunshine will result in smaller, weaker veggies, and poorer yields. We didn’t weed much, and it definitely showed, especially with the onions and potatoes.

2. Spacing your seeds appropriately is also super IMPORTANT. We got lazy, and so many of the things were growing all willy nilly on top of each other. We thinned the carrots and turnips several times, which resulted in a waste of many seeds.

3. Despite your best efforts, nature can still kick your ass. We got hit with a very bad hail storm half way through the season and many of our plants didn’t make a great recovery. We also lost all but half a dozen beet seeds to wildlife, so our beet crop was small in comparison to what we were expecting. Sometimes you are disappointed but rolling with it is really all you can do.

4. We can grow GIANT turnips!

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This is Goliath. He grew in our garden to be 25 inches around and 6 lbs! I don’t know how we did it, but we did. And almost all of our turnips were really exceptionally large. So we can at least feel confident in our turnip cultivation skills!

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Our carrots, turnips, and the very few beet seeds that survived whatever was eating them in quantity, did very well. The potatoes and onions, not so much. Partially due to the hail, partially due to the lack of weeding.

We still got a lot of potatoes, they were mostly all small however. Also something started chewing on our onions under the ground, but we did get quite a lot that were still good, just smaller than expected.

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It was rather amazing, pulling all of our vegetables from the earth. To realize the sheer volume of food that can be produced, from a handful of time seeds, with a bit of effort, makes me feel very excited to grow more things next summer!

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Once I carted my half of the veggies home, I spent literally an entire evening washing, cutting, and putting away all of our delicious bounty. Now I have a fridge that’s bursting with produce, and many ideas about what to do with it, so hopefully there will be some posts about canning and preserving coming along.

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Next year Wendy and I will aspire to do our pre-planting planning a bit more organized (beyond just excited squealing about planting ALL THE THINGS!) and to put the things we learned this year into action.

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About the author

Mike & Cal have been backpacking around Alberta for the past decade. This site is where they share trip reports, photos, and tips and tricks for getting outside.


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