In early June, our garden looked like this:
Full of plants protected by buckets looked like this:
A few days later, a hail storm came through, and our garden looked like this:
It seemed as if we had lost everything. Our rows and rows of green bean plants had no leaves left. Our pepper and tomato plants were completely broken down. It looked like nothing had survived. We decided to replant a few green bean seeds, and consider the rest of the garden to be a loss. It would be a small garden this year, and we would just make do.
But guess what? God is bigger than any of our gardening efforts, and He is most certainly bigger than a hail storm!! We left our broken, leafless plants alone. Within a few weeks, they had turned back into thriving plants again. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!
Not only that, we had a lot of rain this summer and fall – so much so that our garden and all the fruit trees around this area have been kicking out the produce like I’ve never seen before. So now, our garden looks like this:
So many beautiful peppers!
Our green bean plants have provided bucket after bucket of green beans. We’ve eaten them to our heart’s content – 4 months of fresh-from-the-garden green beans!!! And we’ve frozen many gallon-sized bags of beans too. We’ll be enjoying them all winter!
Our tomato plants are still giving us many tomatoes every day. Plus we’re picking spaghetti squash and honey dew melon.
An orchard nearby has had the best “apple year” I’ve ever seen. These bags keep making their way into my kitchen (and the kitchens of my friends). We’re eating all we can hold, and making jar after jar of Homemade Applesauce.
All this to say - we thought we’d be done enjoying garden produce by June after the hail storm was so destructive. The joke’s on us. We started canning and freezing produce in July. Here it is the end of October and we are still going strong. I usually have my canning supplies packed away by now. Not this year. There’s still applesauce to make and green beans to pick. I am amazed! I shouldn’t be though. Isn’t it just like God to show us in such mighty ways of His love and care for us?
Here’s a fun peek into our pantry and freezers. We have over 50 jars of applesauce, and I’ll be making more this week and next. This batch turned out so pink, it looks like I added food coloring! Nope, just straight empire apples. So pretty!
Some friends gave us cucumbers, so I made about 40 jars of dill pickles. It was a fun experiment and they turned out great!
We bought sweet corn at a road-side stand in August, and froze about a dozen quart-sized bags. Pay no attention to the fact that I desperately need to defrost my freezers. I would if I wasn’t so busy canning and freezing produce.
I’ve stuffed bags of green beans in our freezers as I’ve found room. Pay no attention to the fact that I desperately need to re-organize my freezers. I would if I wasn’t so busy canning and freezing produce.
Our peach tree did pretty well this year, so we canned about a dozen quarts, and froze several bags of sliced peaches for smoothies.
As you can see from the above picture, I’m no longer organizing the jars as I fit them into my pantry. I’m at a point of simply trying to find room for it all. Dozens and dozens of full jars of produce! It is so exciting!!
I’m so grateful for the bounty and for God’s sense of humor. There may have been a hail storm, but that didn’t stop God from giving us one of our best garden years ever! Go God!