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Is there any other beauty than going to the garden to collect the daily harvest ? Well, I suppose I could come up with a few more -still, how blessed I am. Collecting the garden harvest – be it a few strawberries or a collection of veg and handful of eggs is a pleasure I do not take for granted. And it doesn’t come without hard work. It’s ever so easy to go to the supermarket and buy your organic veg and cage free eggs and I do it too. The backyard farm doesn’t always cover ALL our needs. However, when it does for even just a meal here or there I thank our Creator for His goodness and mercy and the ability to work the land. And every single bite of that home grown natural harvest tastes of pure joy – the flavors are out of this world. No horrible chemical pesticides or artificial anything. Real food – I’m so glad it’s making a comeback.
Has it made a comeback in your backyard too? That could be in a few containers, some raised beds or a full blown market garden ! I’ve done all of those – each one brings with it good and healthy work and joy from your labors. In Africa, we can grow and harvest all year long. Something is in the garden all the time – that’s just one of the wonderful aspects I find in living here. Believe it or not, there are less bugs than I remember back in the midwest of the USA. The season of planting, growing and harvesting is a continuous pattern which opens up a rich environment with which to experiment. The African women are tremendous growers of veggies. I’ve much to learn from them and their growing seasons in this tropical climate below the equator.
One of my favorite aspects of the backyard farm is bringing it all in to my harvest kitchen. I’d love to find a wooden sign one day to hang over my countertops saying either ” the daily harvest” or “harvest kitchen”…..maybe I can get the hubby to work on that for me. Those are my kinda presents.
So what can be harvested? Ahhh the beauty! Honestly and truly, everything we ever needed is available in nature. That goes from veggies, meat, the soil to grow them, fruit and seeds and water and herbs and from those we get a natural harvest of goodness and daily needs.
Of course alot depends on your climate and geographical location, growing zone etc… I live in a tropical climate so we easily eat within our seasonal calendar. At the moment there are avocados a plenty. Growing right on our own tree. So we eat, share, make guacamole, have avocado toast or in a salad and when the last one falls from the tree we can feel satisfied until next year.
Even though I grew up in the midwest of North America, I have come to appreciate the different growing seasons of a tropical climate below the equator. So while we still celebrate my native Thanksgiving in November, I have learned that pumpkins grow in Zambia in our rain season and are ready for their natural harvest from March – May. I harvest them, bake them to enjoy at home and freeze some for that blessed November day.
An on going supply of strawberries is a blessing even if we only get enough for a handful to throw into a smoothie. Worth the effort in my book in both delicious nutrients and edible landscaping ! Something that is probably thought less of as a daily harvest might be seed saving. Every single growing thing has a seed which can be harvested and we shouldn’t really need to buy new seeds for anything we already have growing on our backyard farms. Most are quite easy to save and collect, others take a bit more patience and work. One of the easiest that I find is collecting chive seeds. When the chive plant flowers, their pretty purple blooms will eventually start to dry up. Grab those and rub them between your fingers and the seeds will fall right into your hand. It’s almost too easy. I find it magical.
Herbs are easy to keep growing for so long, almost indefinately and keep close to the house for an easy kitchen harvest of herbaceous flavor – a last minute pluck of basil or thyme. I keep a huge bushy lemongrass plant by the veranda for several purposes. Read more about those purposes in my post on how to harvest homegrown lemongrass.
My last two examples of the daily harvest for this post are the memories that a backyard farm harvest can make and that it isn’t limited to fruits and veg or even eggs, but meat too !
A few year ago we were again moving homes. And while it’s super convenient ( and yes, delicious) to pick up the phone in those hectic last moments and order a pizza delivery, this time we didn’t. I ran out to the garden to harvest the last of the veggies, brought them right into the kitchen and onto a pan for a last meal in our home from the garden we planted with our own hands. An extra step, I’m sentimental that way.
And finally, I know that not everyone desires to raise ALL their own food and certainly not their own meat. Once in awhile we raise about 15 or more broilers, or meat birds to harvest as well. Presently our broilers are hanging out during the day in the sun, eating weeds and bugs along with their grower pellets and in a week or so we’ll harvest them too, into our freezer for Sunday dinners, soups and roasts !
I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit more about the daily harvest around here in our tropical climate at African Garden Homestead. What do you harvest? Leave a comment below and let me know.
For more items we use for harvest, storing and using on our Homestead check out our Must Have Market. Looking for a special kind of herbal harvest? We use essential oils which are harvested from herbal plants and fruits and distilled into oils for use in cleaning, purifying the air, calming and aiding the bodies systems. Read more at the Essential Oil info page.
Thanks for reading & Have a lovely day !