Plentiful Harvests

Once again, we're preparing the backyard garden to be thoroughly deconstructed.  We just sold our patio table set so our back porch looks a tad bare.
I'm sad to see it go but we needed to remove some weight from our household goods that will be shipped.
I can say now, in hindsight, I am so glad I never put a massive amount of effort into beautifying our front yard as the military housing development here just delivered a letter to us earlier this week advising that we needed to "remove the vegetable garden" in the front yard. We actually never managed to grow too much out front. The most we've gotten to grow out there is Red Russian kale and Southern collards, both of which looked more ornamental.  Now the most we have out there is herbs so I was just a bit confused upon receiving the letter.
No matter, we'll be gone soon anyways.
Sweet potato vine
I did manage to harvest a nice selection of items today from the garden. I have never grown sweet potatoes and this past spring I had a sweet potato that had gone bad so instead of throwing it away, I threw it into a canvas bag of soil to see what it would do.

Cut the bag open. 
The top sweet potato is the one that was rotting this past spring. The bottom ones are all brand new sweet potatoes! Nice!
Our Sunchokes are getting really top heavy and are now decorated with really lovely yellow blossoms. I had no clue they would get this big!
I'm wondering what these look like UNDER the soil! Do we have buried treasure?

All told this was the backyard harvest.
Heirloom tomatoes, pepperocini, one jalapeno, bunch of sweet potatoes, handful of purple tomatilloes, 1 white eggplant, bunch of Thai Basil and bunch of Sweet basil

Earlier this morning the three of us made a quick trip to our favorite local orchard, Lohrs and took advantage of their PYO Apples.  
We walked away with 43 pounds at .80 per pound.  The price of growing apples obviously has risen by .05 in the past year because last year they were .75 per pound. This year we got a bit less than we usually get but then this year, we're not making apple sauce, apple chutney or apple butter with them.  Instead the apples will be used in making fruit leather and apple chips.
Since we were really close to the farm store we also snagged one bushel of peaches for $12. Those will be going into the dehydrator as soon as there is room. 
These type of snacks are really nice to have while driving on the road, across country.  Fresh fruit is much messier, while apple, watermelon and peach chips and fruit leather are so easy to pack up into ziploc bags and are so much better for us than the usual truck stop fare of chips, pretzels and candy.  

In past years, I have worked on developing my canning skill.  This year, I have become a pro at dehydration of fruits and vegetables. 
So that being said, off I go, to work on those apples. I have an idea to make a caramel apple fruit leather. I am wondering how it will turn out.  

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