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  • Writer's pictureAdele

The Strathma Patch - The Harvest

As we begin to bundle up, and slowly make our way into winter, I thought I'd share with you the final update of the Strathma Patch! Better late than never!

In my last post, I mentioned that we had started to harvest some of our produce, such as zucchini and beet greens! Well, we were lucky enough to harvest zucchini throughout the summer, and they were delicious! We also harvested the beet greens from when we thinned the beets, which were also very tasty.

Thinning the beets worked out well as it reduced competition and allowed them the opportunity to grow larger. Here's a photo of the beets we harvested!

Throughout the summer, the tops of the carrots looked small and, I was anticipating relatively small carrots that wouldn't amount to anything--but I was happily surprised! Overall, the carrots grew to a decent size, with the odd one being short and stubby. They also had a great taste--you can't beat garden-fresh carrots! I took home some beets and carrots and made borscht, a Ukrainian beet soup. The soup turned out excellent with the fresh ingredients and I was able to freeze some to enjoy at a later time.

The cabbages, unfortunately, didn't grow very large (so sad!) I was planning to write a blog post about making sauerkraut, but with the cabbages being so small, I decided not to go ahead. At home, my family grew cabbages, and we were able to harvest enough for three large mason jars. However, the ceramic crocks I ordered to make my sauerkraut in, did not arrive on time so I was left using a mason jar technique which I found online. It went terribly wrong, the sauerkraut went rancid and had to be thrown out. Lessons were learned, and I'm looking forward to trying again next year!

Another veggie that did not grow very large were the potatoes. Our harvest was small to medium-sized potatoes. I think part of the reason was that they were planted too close together. In the spring, when we planted the garden, we hadn't considered that we would eventually need to hill the potatoes. I've only grown carrots in a raised bed before, so I didn't think of leaving enough room to hill the potatoes later in the summer!

Thank you Lauren for harvesting the potatoes in such a spooktacular outfit!

Overall, I was happy with the outcome of the first year of the Strathma Patch! It was lovely to come to work every morning and start the day in the garden--it's very relaxing. I was so glad we were able to use the Patch during one of Strathma's Outdoor Activities and that the Strathma Explorers had an opportunity to get their hands dirty and harvest vegetables to take home. It was a great summer and I can't wait to see what Strathma decides to grow next year!

Thank you so much for following the Strathma Patch blog posts. We hope you've enjoyed digging into it with us! We look forward to starting this journey again in the spring. Until then, I hope you stay warm with this Victory Garden Chowder and have a cozy winter!



Victory Garden Chowder



- 1/4 cup butter or mild drippings

- 3 medium onions, peeled and chopped

- 2 slices green pepper, chopped fine

- 2 1/4 cups cut green beans

- 3 medium carrots, scraped and sliced thin

- 5 medium potatoes, peeled and grated

- 3 cups boiling water

- 4 cups milk

- 2 tsp salt

- Black pepper to suit taste

- 6 oz. cheese, grated

- Seasoning salt


Melt butter or drippings in soup kettle. Add onions and green pepper, and simmer 3 or 4 minutes. Wash beans and slice thin. Prepare carrots and potatoes. Add beans and boiling water to butter and onion mixture, and cook for about 15 minutes. Add other vegetables and cook about 15 minutes longer, or until all the vegetables are tender. By this time most of the water will be evaporated. Add the milk to the chowder, stirring carefully; heat just to boiling. Add salt, pepper and grated cheese; remove immediately from heat and stir until cheese is melted. Serve piping hot, with a sprinkling of seasoning salt on each serving. Serves 6.

For more recipes from this cookbook, check out the War Time Canada webpage!

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