Behind the Scenes: September 2019 – A quick recap of some of the homestead happenings that occurred this month, including: wrapping up our gardening season and our produce preservation yields!

What a busy month! I feel like September just blurred into one never-ending day of harvesting and processing food from the garden! The month started out hot, but we knew we were in a race against time, despite the warm temperatures. Sure enough, by the end of the month, we had our first frost!

Our garden was truly amazing this year! By far, it was our largest and most diverse garden yet. I grew everything from seed – a true labor of love! We also canned, dried and froze more food this year than we ever have! Our freezer is full, our kitchen shelves are full and we have boxes of canned good stacked up in the spare bedroom! It was a fantastic garden season!

Garden Season Wrap-Up

I feel like no matter how many years I do this, I will never be 100% prepared for the first frost. There will always be food that needed to be harvested and seeds that needed to be saved. There’s just no way that we can do it all! But, this year for the first time, I felt a true sense of peace and accomplishment at the end of the season. 

We have a “last night before the frost” tradition that has become almost sacred to me over the past few years. We light the fire pit that’s located in the garden and we spend the evening in the crisp fall air harvesting the last of the produce. Then, we just sit around the fire and enjoy the garden. We savor the last night of the garden in it’s full glory and reflect on the hard work that brought us all this bounty.  It’s the perfect way to mark the end of a season and the beginning of something new and different. 

2019 Garden Harvest Season:

I try to keep track of everything we preserve each year using the Preservation Log from the Homestead Management Binder. Below is everything I have recorded on my Preservation log for the year! 

September 2019: Hand holding jar of canned tomatoes

FYI – This isn’t an exhaustive list. It doesn’t include the entire harvest because we eat from the garden all summer long. This list is primarily what we preserved for our winter food supply. I haven’t included our herbs, our tinctures, our grain harvest or other items like that. Plus, we still have several baskets of veggies to process! We also have lots of beans and grains drying!

Also, I just plain forget to write everything down no matter how hard I try! I’m sure if I went through all my canned food and my freezer, I’d find lots of things that were left off the list! Still, this is a pretty great look at what we preserved this year! And, if you want to learn more about how much of our own food we are able to source from our small homestead, you can check out this post.

2019 Harvest Preservation Totals:

Item Amount Preservation Method
Garlic Scapes 1/2 gallon bag Frozen
Weedy Greens Pesto 10 half pints Frozen
Beet Relish 17 half pints Water bath
Mint Syrup 8 half pints Water bath
Apricot Chipotle Sauce 16 half pints Water bath
Apricot Salsa 35 half pints Water bath
Apricots (frozen) Around 30 pounds (I lost count!)
Cucumber Pickles 14 quarts Water bath
Cucumber Relish 22 half pints Water bath
Cucumber Relish 6 pints Water bath
Pickled Green Beans 8 pints Water bath
Tomatillo Salsa 3 pints Water bath
Salsa 35 pints Water bath
Pickled Carrots 8 pints Water bath
Carrots (frozen) 19.75 pounds Frozen
Corn (frozen) 10.25 pounds Frozen
Sun-dried Tomato & Garlic Seasoning (recipe here!) 1 quart Dehydrated
Garlic Powder (Recipe here!) 1 pint Dehydrated
Roasted Roma Sauce 10 pints Water bath
Fire Cider (Recipe here!) 1 gallon Vinegar Infusion
Apple Sauce 5 pints Water bath
Apple Pie Filling 7 quarts Water bath
Apple Peel Syrup 5 half pints Water bath
Eggplant Parm. 5 meal-sized bags Frozen
Quiche mix (Recipe here!) 4 quarts Frozen
Beans, Good Mother Stallard 1 quart Dried
Beans, Red Kidney 1 half pint Dried
Garlic Basil Tomato Sauce 6 pints Water bath
Tomatoes, whole cherry 11 pints Water bath
Tomatoes, crushed 4 quarts Water bath
Tomatoes, crushed 13 pints Water bath
Tomato Soup 6 quarts Water bath
Tomato Slices, dried 3 quarts Dehydrated
Eggplant, chopped & dried 4 pints Dehydrated

September 2019: Woman canning tomatoes

Seed Saving:

Life is funny. Ten years ago, I said I wanted to eat clean and know where my food came from, but that I would never be a gardener. Five years ago, when I was in the midst of learning everything I could about gardening, I said that gardening was fine but that I’d never go as far as saving seeds.

Well, guess what we started doing this year! Yup, seed saving!

As it turns out, I love seed saving! It’s fascinating, addictive and it gives you almost-instant gratification! I can’t believe how easy it is. And you can get soooo many seeds from just a few plants! Frankly, I have no idea why I waited so long to start seed saving! We just saved a handful of different seeds this year. I definitely know that we will be saving way more seeds next year now that we’ve tried it out!

Seeds Saved in 2019:

  • Okra
  • Marigolds
  • Radishes
  • Tulsi
  • Calendula
  • Watermelon
  • Arugula
  • Peas
  • Onion
  • Yard Long Thai Beans
  • Anise Hyssop

September 2019: Hand holding marigold seeds

That’s a wrap for our 2019 Garden Season! How was your garden season?
Let us know in the comments!