Thursday, September 5

Farming in the White House


This year the garden has been incredible! We owe that, in no small part, to the amount of time that Mr. White spent studying seed catalogs, perusing which varieties would be best for our growing season and climate, and generally taking the entire thing very seriously. The majority of our produce was started from seeds, which sat in our dining room from March on. All of which were either heirloom varieties or organic, specifically seeking those that were non-GMO.

What have we had going on this year in the garden? Tomatoes, carrots, apples, yellow squash, tomatoes, green beans, apples, beets, tomatoes, and garlic and tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. Lots of apples. Our goal was to be able to get enough tomatoes to can our own sauces and salsa, and perhaps try to make our own ketchup.

DSC_0242As for the apples, we still haven’t picked anything off the trees. Matt has several crates of apples in refrigeration to turn into cider, and we’ve already canned a dozen quarts of apple sauce, and turned another half-dozen into apple butter {a favorite of Matt’s}.

We probably have enough apples still in the tree to fill several pallets full of apples. Next up is canning apple pie filling, or something along those lines for cobblers, crisps, and pies. The kids have just been picking apples up off the ground {I check them} and eating them. They are delicious! We, of course, have no idea what kind they are.

I also attribute a large part of the success of our garden to not being inundated with squash. Matt planted all of the squash in other parts of the yard, away from the delicate things, giving it room to just go crazy, which it will do with or without ones permission.

The other side of this is that I will actually venture into the garden, since the chances of seeing a snake amidst the raised beds is less likely. I do not like snakes. The one day we were in the backyard, barefoot, and I heard then saw a snake slither past a few feet away. I shrieked and bolted for the deck. Only to realize I should probably grab Henry, who had been standing next to me.


The only real issue we seem to be encountering with our garden is the two little urchins that keep stealing tomatoes. They pick one, no preference as to the ripeness, take one bite of it, and they’re done. We’ve gotten over this and have now taken to using them despite the bite marks. We have a baby corral on one side of the garden, which seems to give us a few more seconds to catch them before reeking more havoc.
The raised beds were great! This is the first year we’ve had them. In the past we’ve just had a plot about 12x15’ that contained everything, and the squash got crazy. We have the tomatoes, carrots, garlic, and beets in raised beds; we actually got carrots that were bigger than my thumb…a lot bigger.

The bees have been busy! I can’t wait to see how the bees are doing. We’re probably not going to take anymore off the hives, but Matt’s going to check how much comb they’ve drawn and then decide. When it’s a hot day, if you’re down by them you just smell this sickly sweet stench in the air…so much honey! But the bees need some for the winter.

Tonight there’s a frost warning; we spent about an hour picking what was ready to pick and covering everything else. It was delicious though: The cool air, the tang of leaves and rotting apples, damp grass between the toes. The sun glowing on the mountain side as it began to set. Perfection.

How’s your garden doing?
Did you notice, you even got a glimpse of me in my muck boots Winking smile I tell ya’ the pinnacle of fashion around here!

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