The Last Big Garden Push

The Last Big Garden Push

Here it is, the last significant harvest out of our garden!
The quart jar gives you an idea of the volume of the harvest. These ten Brussel Sprout plants were harvested Thursday afternoon, rescued from the snowy garden, and you can see some of the snow still clinging to the leaves on the plant furthest left. The first step in processing these plants was to remove the leaves and the Brussel Sprouts from the stalk of the plant. That was Attila’s job!
Attila handed the leaves off to me, so that I could begin the long process of dehydrating them. While I started on that element of the job, Attila sorted through the Brussel Sprouts, cleaned them, blanched them, and we bagged them for the freezer, in 2 cup portions. As you can see, we ended up with 8 good sized packages for the freezer, a meal’s worth in each one. In additon, we served fresh from the garden Brussel Sprouts for one late night snack, and two meals. So 22 cups of Brussel Sprouts harvested from the ten plants in our garden. That is about two servings per plant.
Because the freezer space is full, we were forced to thaw a frozen turkey to make space for these Brussel Sprouts. This weekend we enjoyed a full course turkey dinner, with leftovers for the week, diced meat in the freezer for casseroles, and a big pot of soup from the bones.
Our winter greens.
You could see how many leaves there were on the ten Brussel Sprout plants. Brussel Sprout leaves are tough and chewy. The taste is good, but the texture is undesirable, at least that is how we feel about them.
For two days the house was filled with the aroma of Brussel Sprout leaves roasting in the oven. It was surprising how these tough, chewy leaves shriveled to almost nothing when roasted at 250F for about forty five minutes. They smelled delicious, and tasted wonderful. After drying, the leaves were crumbled into a bowl, the midribs discarded. Then the crumbled leaves were put into the blender and powdered. That huge tote full of Brussel Sprout leaves yielded this much powder. It doesn’t seem like a big yield for two days work, but a teaspoon of this delicious powder in a soup will be plenty to enhance the flavour.
I ask you, where can you buy powdered organic roasted Brussel Sprout leaves, at any price?



Date: 1:00 PM EST Sunday 10 November 2019
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 7.1°C
Dew point: 1.6°C
Humidity: 68%
Wind: WSW 28 gust 41 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.”
Emo Phillips


  1. WendyNC

    Maggie, your quote gave me a good chuckle. Thank you!

    Powdered organic Brussel Sprout leaves. Who knew? I can see how they would work in a soup, though. I continue to be awed with your creative thinking.

  2. Wendy, thanks! We strive to use everything we can out of the garden, and with anything we purchase. So I did some research to see what was actually edible out there. I found out that rhubarb leaves are poisonous, don’t eat those. I found out that dandelion leaves are edible but taste horrible, the taste test wasn’t fun.
    The brussel sprouts though, seemed a good candidate for giving it a go. I had some in a stir fry in September and they were innocuous, no particular taste. After the freeze and roasted though, they are quite tasty.
    We can’t afford to buy organic vegetables at the grocery store, so any nutritious organic option we can find is OK with us. But of course it has to taste good. With cabbage and brussel sprouts, and swiss chard, they all taste better after a hard freeze! So much to learn about the garden, and food!

  3. Teri

    I was reading the other day that brussel sprouts aren’t nearly as bitter as they used to be. I’ve tried telling DH this, hoping he would give them a try but no luck yet.

    I did convince him to try roasted asparagus when we first met and he ended up loving it. He now wants to eat it more often than I do. And he’s even come to like steamed asparagus, which he supposedly hated at one time.

  4. Teri, our Brussel Sprouts are not very bitter, they are a Heritage Variety I think. We will definitely be growing a bigger crop next summer if things go according to plan. I like Brussel Sprouts, but they are not my favourite vegetable. I will say though, that vegetables grown in our garden are better tasting than the ones we buy in the stores!
    I love asparagus, but have no plans to grow it, not yet anyway.

  5. If someone asked me I’d nominate Brussel Sprouts as one of my favourite vegertables but only if they are steamed. Non of this modern day frying or roasting or even BBQqing for goodness sake
    It’s been eye opening to see how much your garden has produced this year. All your (both yours and Attilas) effort really has been rewarded. Now to settle back and enjoy it!

    Keep warm while you do so!

  6. Cathy, you and Attila! Attila loves Brussel Sprouts too, and he was pretty pleased with the harvest. He is the gardener here, my two raised beds yielded some lovely Spinach, Beets, Peas, Peppers, and Beefsteak Tomatoes, but the bulk of the garden harvest came from Attila’s carefully tended beds.
    I haven’t tried Brussel Sprouts steamed, just simmered in water, so I am going to give that a try!
    Just as the last bags of produce went into the freezer, the Brussel Sprouts, a jar of tomato sauce, and the first jar of canned red peppers were opened. We are smoothly swinging from production to consumption, lol.

  7. Bex, lol, I wish! We don’t have access to organic fresh food here, at a price anyone on any kind of a budget could afford. $80 for a bushel of organic tomatoes, if you order them a year in advance! So we are trying to get access to good food as best we can, and every little bit helps. Necessity is the mother of invention!

  8. Margarett

    Hello Maggie: I loved your SNOW movie. When I was age 9-12, we lived in Minot, North Dakota….Daddy was stationed in the Air Force, and we lived on base. I saw and lived enough snow to last a lifetime! I also learned to ice skate. Here in Dallas, we might get one or two snow events annually…..usually just have ice storms, which closes down everything. We didn’t even have an ice storm last year. Both of my parents were from very south Alabama, so when he retired, we moved home, to a small town called Opp…25 miles from the Florida line. Daddy had purchased a house in the early 50’s….he rented it while we traveled everywhere….there were 8 of us kids, and we all were born in different states. When my Mother died, and we were going through her things, we found the amortization schedule for the house….payment was $44/month. It was all hand written. I have and treasure 6 quilts made by Mother and her 2 sisters. My Mom was a true seamstress….I never had a “store bought” dress until I graduated from nursing school. Nearly every Easter dress was hand smocked, and my three sisters and I always had matching dresses. I never liked sewing, but I love needlework, including crochet. My next oldest sister makes quilts and knits. Us other three girls are all nurses. I am not sure how my parents managed all of us….all 8 had a college degree…it was simply expected. Three of my siblings have passed…thinking of family is difficult. I may have already told you that I lost a son 2 years ago. Pulmonary embolism. He was a twin, and his death has been especially difficult for his twin sister. On to other things…Mike left on Thursday for a motorcycle trip. He bought a 3 wheeled trike several years ago, so I feel that he is safer than when he had the 2 wheeled Goldwing….even though he was a motor policeman for a period of time in his career. I HATE motorcycles…I call them “donor-cycles”. And I have never ridden with him. You will be proud of me. I spent yesterday making my chicken stew and froze 12 quarts. Thought of you while cooking. Today, I am watching ALABAMA football, my Alma mater, crocheting Meredith’s Afghan…sitting around in my pj’s. A quiet Saturday. Stay warm, my friend.

  9. Margarett, North Dakota sounds cold! I have spent most of my life living near enough to the Great Lakes to feel their warming effect in winter, and cooling effect in the summer. The down side of living east of the Great Lakes is the lake effect snow, our Country House saw an overwhelming amount of snow. Where we are now feels almost tropical by comparison, lol.
    Eight children! Wow! I am the eldest of six, one year apart, and that was pretty intense, so eight, well, just wow.
    I like yarns and fabrics. I am very good at sewing, and yet I do not have a passion for it, so it is purely a matter of pragmatism for me. I like crocheting, and I find blankets are my favourtie type of project, so far. My Mom tried a lot of things too, smocking, crocheted cotton dresses for my sister and I, tatting, embroidery, sewing, knitting, lacemaking, just about any hand craft. She is much better at all of these things than I am.

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your son, so challenging. I cannot even imagine.

    I lost my brother in August of 2016, and that was very difficult.

    Motorcycles, scary contraptions. A friend of mine traveled across the USA and Canada, coast to coast, alone on a motorcycle. She is a much brave soul than I am!

    That Chicken Stew sounds so good! 12 quarts! That is a lot of Chicken Stew to make all at once, just think of all those quick and easy and delicious meals.

    Your Saturday sounds wonderful!

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