I’ve hand selected a list of organic, hardy, heirloom veggies and herbs for a wholesome harvest and a full, healthy pantry this fall. I’ve also included some of my favorite recipes for each of these dishes.
Groceries are high these days and you shouldn’t have to pay extra for pesticide-free food. Food grown at home is a guaranteed way to know exactly where your food comes from. It’s also the best way to fill your fridge with flavor(and vitamin) packed super foods guaranteed through any and all food shortages.
All our seeds are heirloom and non-GMO. They’re also available in a pack for a discount, if you’d like to buy from us! We’re a small business located in East Tennessee. When you support us, you support our family farm. When you read and share our posts, you’re also supporting us and we thank you so much for that!
Let’s dive into the best varieties to plant this summer for a healthy harvest!
These seeds can be stored for emergencies OR grown immediately for this summer’s garden. They are heirloom, so harvest seeds after harvest from some of the veggies for a true long-term harvest.
Blue Lake Pole Beans (buy seeds here)
These beans have wonderful flavor and are excellent for canning. I cannot describe the wonderful flavor of this variety. I will not eat green beans that are not Blue Lakes as I do not like the taste. I personally only grow variety as the flavor is undefeated and they are a hardier plant. I actually grew these in the window of my apartment before I moved to our homestead!
I plant seeds in a compost/mulch mix after all danger of frost has passed. I have planted four to one container, and recycled some old fencing wire as a trellis. If you’re planting in your garden, you can (lightly) sink some t-posts and string up some fencing wire. They’ll grow along the whole trellis, or however you’d like. They enjoy lots of water, so water heavily. Keep the soil damp. You’ll need about eight plants per person for a wholesome harvest.
Note: These are the infamous “breakin’ beans with granny” beans. You’ll need to “break” them before canning or eating.
This is how I prepare my green beans. I always use an iron skillet, but use whatever you have.
Melt about half a stick of butter, two tablespoons of bacon grease, about a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper into your pan. It seems like a lot, but it’s really not. Drain half the water from the jar and pour in the remainder(along with the beans) into the pot. Let them simmer until the juice is about half gone.
How to Start your own Homestead
Marketer Cucumbers (buy seeds here)
Great eaten fresh or pickled for long-term storage. Cucumbers are a great source of vitamin K and a can be grown vertical where space is an issue. I always grow cucumbers vertically and in containers. I grew cucumbers this way on the balcony of my North Dakota apartment(again, before we moved to our homestead.)
I grow them similarly to green beans, but in a good, loose potting soil. I plant them in the big tubs from Dollar General And trellis using recycled fencing wire. Water a lot, but don’t overwater or your cucumbers will have no taste.
When preparing to pickle(yes, I slice the big cucumbers for pickling,) prepare as you normally would, except use two packets of ranch seasoning in your mixture. This will give your pickles an unbelievable taste. If you’re not a pickle lover, this will make a liar out of you!
Danvers Half Carrots (buy seeds here)
Since this variety does well in shallow soil, it is great for containers or where space may be an issue. These carrots have a full taste, but grow to only around 7”. This makes them perfect for container gardening! Can you tell I love container gardening, yet? It takes so much work out of working our East Tennessee rocky soil.
I’ve read about planting carrots later in the summer for a fall harvest, but I personally start them in May. The best containers for these are the deeper tubs from Dollar General, or even the deep kiddy pools. Poke holes in the bottoms for drainage.
I’ve raised some eyebrows with this recipe, but I promise you it is delicious. Melt a half a stick of butter in your pan. Add your drained quart of carrots to a pot, then add in 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Let simmer for about fifteen minutes after the sugar is melted.
Texas Early Grano Onion
This is a sweet onion variety. I personally like to cook sweet onions with eggs, sausage or even chicken for a great added taste. I also fry them up in a little butter and garlic for a quick snack. Onions store great in the cool part of a garage or a cool, dark cabinet. They can also be chopped up and frozen!
When I plant onions, I, again, use the larger tubs from Dollar General. I use a compost mix. I prefer to plant later in the summer for a fall harvest. I water sparsely and put my containers in a sunny spot.
I love the taste of a sweet onion. I melt a little butter in a pan, mince some garlic and slice the onions(similar to onions rings) and fry them up. I eat them this way, but I also chop them up for omelets, sausage, ground beef or even baked chicken.
Butternut Squash (buy seeds here)
Butternut squash are a hardy variety, I prefer them sliced or fried. They are delicious breaded and fried as well. I grew up on these squash. They have an excellent flavor and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
I like to grow squash because it is a versatile plant and easy to grow. I plant in five gallon buckets in a good potting soil. Don’t overwater, or your squash will have no flavor, and these have an excellent flavor!
I like to slice them and eat them right off the vine, but they’re also great breaded and fried. Slice them thinly, then dip in egg and cover with flour. Fry in crisco or I like to use a little butter and bacon grease.
I believe this will be the summer of opportunity and growth! It’s the time of transformations away from the old and in with the new. With this new growth comes change to an even older time, when life was lived simply and peacefully.
Before planting your garden this year, think of your goals. Do you want to grow a few veggies or do you want to go all out and fill your freezer? Do you want a pantry full of cans of your oan garden? I encourage you to make those goals and pursue them! You won’t regret it! Take it from me.