Tomato overload with lots of dehydrating and harvesting berry crops

Hey Hey! Brian here for the weekend update on the urban homestead. If you’ve been keeping up on the blog and our Youtube channel you’ll know Paula and I have been running full speed to keep up with the tomato production this year. I knew this would be a heavy year for production with the 66 tomato plants, but WOW! This has been a crazy amount!! Finding time to update the blog and film the videos makes for a busy weekend…but that is what makes this so fun, sharing the results of our efforts with our online friends. 🙂

So, lets get started with the update:

  • Harvesting and dehydrating tomatoes
  • Harvesting Blueberries, Goji berries, and Blackberries
  • Harvesting lettuce and microgreens from the Salad bar LED grow area
  • Feeding the compost worms
  • Purchasing homestead elliptical machine
  • Videos

Harvesting and dehydrating tomatoes
Again we had another table full (see in our Youtube videos) of tomatoes. Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! Giving Paula a break from this week’s canning activities I took it upon myself to do some dehydrating. So, this means slicing a bunch of our Montesino F1 grape tomatoes and Pink Boar tomatoes then getting them on the Excalibur’s dehydrator trays. I actually enjoy the slicing and putting these on the trays…maybe because for me it’s a treat, but with the amount Paula has been doing it’s work. 🙂

Harvesting Blueberries, Goji berries, and Blackberries
Coming to the end of summer means final harvests for the blue and black berries, but the Goji’s are hitting their peak production. Paula doesn’t like harvesting the Goji’s because the spiders love making their fall webs in the water fall flowing branches to catch unsuspecting insects. I don’t mind the little guys, just brushing them off as I go. So far we’ve gotten 2 quart bags of Goji’s from our two bushes. Blueberries and blackberries are filling both freezer drawers in the kitchen fridge (about 8 quart bags of each). Soon it will be time to transplant our blue berries from the front yard and side yard to the new blueberry island on the upper hillside (made possible by the irrigation additions last weekend).

Harvesting lettuce and microgreens from the Salad bar LED grow area
Now that we’re ramping up the microgreens and lettuce production under the house in the three LED grow areas it was time to get onto the harvesting to start the rotational mix flowing. We final cut two flats of chard/salad mix (and put them out to the compost pile), cut another two flats, seeded two more salad mix trays, and rotated all up the shelves. Right now with the outside lettuce/kale/chard and the indoor grows we’re getting enough greens for salads 4-5 nights a week.

Feeding the compost worms
This is a weekly occurrence with the amount of veggies we’re eating out of our gardens and the fruit waste after we do our canning and dehydrating processing. The worms happily take all of this and make some excellent compost that will be used in our indoor grow tent for the tomato plants this winter and then next spring on the garden beds to help wake them up.

Purchasing homestead elliptical machine
Paula and I headed down Saturday morning to look at some rebuilt/used exercise equipment, specifically a Precor EFX 835 elliptical machine. Paula and I have always had a strong drive to make physical fitness and important part of our lives. Being in our mid-40’s to early 50’s we are in no way “fitness junkies” anymore (getting older and and realizing we don’t have anyone else to compete against other than our selves makes that bitter pill a little easier to swallow 🙂 ). Anyway, adding one of these elliptical’s to our existing exercise equipment for our physical health was a priority for the urban homestead. We found the one we wanted and it should be arriving on the homestead early next weekend (likely Friday afternoon). With this added piece of exercise equipment and eating our healthy veggies Paula and I are putting into place a healthy lifestyle allowing us many-many more years to spread the word of homesteading.

Video: Helping out with homestead dehydrating tomatoes

Video: Tomato jungle update

Video: Elevated garden box update

Video: Grow tent update for mid-size LED tent with salad and microgreens

Video: Grow tent update for large LED tent with tomatoes, basil, and some spinach greens

Video: Salad bar LED microgreens grow area update

Video: BLT breakfast with home grown veggies

Video: Saving tomato seed on the urban homestead

Urban Homestead Backyard Photos

Right view of urban homestead backyard

Right view of urban homestead backyard

Center view of urban homestead backyard

Center view of urban homestead backyard

Stone patio and lower garden box view of urban homestead backyard

Stone patio and lower garden box view of urban homestead backyard

Stone patio and lower deck view of urban homestead backyard

Stone patio and lower deck view of urban homestead backyard

We’ll that’s the update for this weekend. From both Paula and I we want to wish you a happy week with the closing out of fall it’s our busiest time of the year with our gardening and fruit harvests. Talk to you soon. 🙂

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