Early Harvest


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Manda Rasmussen-Clauson

This year has been full of crazy surprises and events for everyone. However, being the positive person that I am, let us focus on something fun. FOOD. Now, most people may not consider vegetables a ‘comfort’ food (especially during any type of lock down) BUT for our family it has been an amazing learning experience.


“Harvest from the garden today. Lunch was fully prepared from our labors, part of dinner tonight will be a side of beets (I have more from harvest the other day) and I am preparing garden soup for tomorrow!
Being able to feed my family more and more from our own crop is VERY satisfying. Also knowing it’s so much healthier is a #momwin

That day we had Kale Salad with tomatoes, sugar peas, carrots, tomatoes & cucumber (all from the garden. Each kid CLEARED their bowl. I can’t remember which dressing each one had but I had the Italian. Such pride in the fact that they love their veggies!

Not A Fan

I can honestly say that while growing up I was NOT a super big veggie fan.  There were very few I liked or would eat.  However, as an adult I forced myself to try and add in a better variety of vegetables into my diet.  The way that worked for me was using places like Subway (this blog is NOT endorsed by the company).  While creating my salad or sandwich I would ask for a small amount of X item.  Each time I would go and order something similar I would do the same thing.  Over time I would add in more of that item, and before I knew it – I liked to eat it!  If I remember correctly I started with spinach before adding in tomatoes and then cucumber.  Now these are vegetables that I LOVE.  

However, I can fairly say…there is nothing better than an heirloom, organically grown and self harvested vegetable.  I am not sure if it is the type of seeds we bought, or the fact that it’s the taste of our hard word but holy crap everything we have been able to harvest has the best flavor!

One of my favorite things from the garden so far is the Pink Tomatoes with fresh basil.  Of course we have to have mozzarella cheese with it (but I can’t take credit for the cheese).



Now that cooler weather is here in the Midwest, we are already facing frost warnings for things outside. I feel lucky that we have been planted early, had somewhat of an earlier harvest as well.

Earlier this week as temperatures cooled, we all pitched in and started to prep the yard and garden for the hard winter ahead of us. We took out all of the cardboard, rock, as well as the fencing. While doing so, we found a decent amount of beans on our plants. Due to the fact they were so short, I thought they were done producing.

September rains and a fenceless garden.

We have had so many yellow tomatoes that I set to freeze some for soups, sauces & chili for this winter. I still need to save some of the pinks/reds but our plants are still turning a few more blooms. Additionally, there are still some plants I am not sure will grow to full term before being able to harvest.

Our current temps are below average for this area at this time of year. Usually between 55 and 72 degrees F, we have been seeing daily highs of about 60 and lows of about 45. It has also been fairly rainy, making it a dreary first few weeks of September.

What Is Left

All of our potatoes have been harvested and either prepped for winter or have been consumed. There are only a few beets & rutabagas left in addition to one or two cucumbers waiting to ripen before harvesting. Besides the few tomatoes, I am extremely curious when or if I will be able to harvest the purple cauliflower. It has flowered very quickly these past two weeks, which as made me extremely excited. There are only 3 plants that are good size and the others are still very small. I am not sure they will flower before everything starts to freeze. Although I know cabbage can be a fairly late harvest, I have not seen any signs of flowering. Big heavy stocks and leaves are strong but I am not sure when they will start to take shape.



In prep for the cooler weather and some pending projects I have been waiting to start – I decided to harvest the Portuguese lavender that never flowered (but still smells AMAZING). in addition, I cut some stocks from the English & French, Chamomile, Garden Sage & Basil. Let’s just say that with hanging to dry herbs & fresh ones in the house – it smells sooooo good in here!

Once I am finished with my projects I will make sure to share what I have done with the herbs – so make sure to check back in for that blog in a few weeks!

Fall of 2020

Many of us still are not sure what this fall or the rest of 2020 will have to bring. For many of us, 2020 has been an extremely hard year. We have been trying to lesson the financial burden of growing our own food (something we long discussed before Covid). Now, our society is facing one major crisis after another. We are simply trying to just do our part in supplying food for our children. We may not be perfect, we may not be farmers – but I have to say. We are off to a pretty good damn start for not having expereince.

What’s up next for us? Indoor plants! We are not entirely show what our plans are for this to work but with Ox by my side – I know we can do it. It won’t be much since we do not have extra space in the house but as long as it can be enough to yield a little something I will be happy.

Food & Garden Photos of 2020

As always, Thank You for reading!

Until next time,

Manda R. Clauson

Manda Rasmussen-Clauson

Manda Rasmussen-Clauson

Despite working in many different industries, she has a true passion of doing anything outside. Homesteading is becoming Manda’s new reality, she has much to learn but is excited to do so.


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