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GARDEN Of BLESSINGS – October 19, 2015

GARDEN”S END . . . BOUNTY OF BLESSINGS! – October 19, 2015
I have learned that as often as I pick the Swiss chard, parsley, lettuce, kale, spinach and many herbs through the summer, they grow back better than ever. So now, whenever we just can’t use all of these greens through the growing season, I pick, dry and powder them in my blender to store in little baggies for winter’s use. I generously use these powders in all of the soups, casseroles and any other meals I prepare. As well we add them to our shakes.

So just in case you still have some of these vegetables and herbs in your garden, you may want to preserve them as well to enjoy through the winter.

This post was triggered this morning by a newsletter on the amazing health benefits of Swiss Chard written by George Mateljan at WHFoods.org. I am so thankful for all the greens that our garden produces, but as well I am thankful for people who are willing to do research so we can be encouraged to use as much of this produce as possible for the health benefits of our families.

NUTRITIOUS GREENS
There was a time at garden’s end when I would dig up & discard the last of the Swiss chard, kale & parsley greens so the garden could be tilled for the winter. That was before I realized how very nutritious and beneficial they were. Once I learned of their value to our health, I began to share the extra with friends & family & nothing goes to waste.

Each winter I now have bags of powders made from 200 leeks that take up about a 12 cubic inch space in the freezer. Then there is about double that space with bags of other dried & powdered herbs and vegetable leaves with more than enough to use and share through the winter.

COLLARD GREENS, PARSLEY & KALE in SALADS
This was the first year that I planted a row of collard greens. I used the leaves through the summer in a mixed salad with kale. If the spine was big, I cut it out on the kale as well as on the collard greens. Then I rolled some of these leaves up and sliced them about 1/8 of an inch thick. I mixed in a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and allowed this to sit for a half hour. Then I added any other vegetables and the dressing. This salad went over very well.

I also picked these leaves and froze them to add to smoothies through the winter. I will definitely be putting in another row of collard greens and kale this coming year. When they first came up I powdered them with a mixture of flour and cayenne pepper to keep the bugs from eating the leaves. When the plants got larger, it seems the bugs moved on to some other tasty greens.

As each vegetable quit producing through the summer, I removed the plants from the garden and tilled up the space with my hand tiller.
Then when everything was out last week, Melvin used the garden tractor tiller and tilled much deeper. It froze quite well that evening so I feel the potato bugs and any other slugs that may have been lurking in my garden were brought to the surface in tilling and would have frozen as well.

NEXT YEAR’S GARDEN
I am making plans for next year’s planting. A friend grew her cucumbers on a fence this year. It saved so much space, but as well, the cucumber vines didn’t spread and cover up the next row of vegetables.
I grow the peas on a fence, but next year I will do the same with cucumbers.

I am so thankful for the blessings of a garden. Winnie