After I posted pictures from my parents' garden, there were a number of questions about how they manage such a large garden and what they do with the yield.
(lettuce and asparagus)
My parents have been gardening pretty much all of their lives, and spend a lot of time gardening in the spring, summer, and fall. They even add sand, manure, etc. to their garden so things grow well! My siblings (and I, when I lived at their house too) help a lot with the weeding, since my dad likes the garden to be as nearly weed-free as possible. ;)
This time of year, my mom is very, very busy doing up food from the garden. It's a lot of work to care for a large garden and to grow so much of their own food. My mom has always taken the summer off from homeschooling, because she spends the majority of her days working. Her leisure time is very limited, particularly in the summer and fall.
My parents either can, dehydrate, or freeze all of the extras from their garden. Some things like garlic, onions, and potatoes are stored in their basement for use all winter.
Most of their vegetables (green beans, peas, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, etc.) are preserved so that they are eating food from their garden nearly all year! My mom does buy lettuce in the winter, and some fruits, but the majority of their food is from the garden.
(sugar snap peas and sour cherries)
I can remember each year there were several nights when my mom would stay up almost all night working on canning vegetables, sometimes sleeping for ~30 minutes in between taking jars out of canners!
When we weren't busy doing up our own food, we were often busy with food that someone else had and didn't want. If anyone offered us free food, we would go and pick it and bring it home to can or dry.
I can remember staying up "really late" (after midnight) helping my mom and dad peel and core fruit to be canned. It was fun to stay up extra late at first, but by the third or fourth night, I was begging to get to go to bed. :)
I'm no where near the gardening-expert that my parents are, but I feel blessed to be able to call them with questions! :) They are also very generous and have shared a lot of fresh food from their garden with us! :)
And yes -- all of the pictures with this post were of my kitchen sink this week! We are so blessed! :)