A Shared Harvest

I have a large vegetable garden.

vegetable garden

Ostensibly, I harvest the vegetables to put on my own table.

But, I have a few others to share with.

This is fine with me. They like the parts that I don’t.

The goats get the carrot tops.

carrot tops

Pip eating carrot greens


Phoebe gets the twisty, gnarly, split carrots.

rabbit and carrot


The hens get the weeds and the overgrown cucumbers and zucchini. Not to mention the chard leaves chewed by insects.



What the girls don’t eat gets turned into compost and goes back into the garden.

hens eat weeds


The birds and the bees get the sunflowers.



My harvest is divided up among many, but there’s still plenty for me.


Who do you share your garden with?


  1. OMG I could only wish my garden was as productive as yours. Do you give workshops on gardening? I would also love a workshop on canning. I have an abundance of tomatoes in my garden but most of the tomatoes are split or misshaped. Nothing grows like in these pictures. LOL. I already let the hens loose to get what they want in my garden.

    • I am nowhere near a good enough gardener to give workshops. I do like to weed, and I have exceptionally good compost :)

  2. I don’t have a big vegetable garden, but I share what comes out of it with my husband, my chickens and my dog. Unfortunately, this year I am also sharing my garden with an over-population of squirrels and chipmunks. This is not by choice. ;-)

    • Your dog needs to work for the treats! :) Lily patrols my garden. Alas, she hasn’t kept the chipmunks out of the blueberries.

      • You’re right! He used to go after them whenever he saw them, but he’s lost interest in the last few years. I will try to encourage a renewed interest – which I’m sure he won’t mind, since there are treats involved.

  3. My garden has been killer this year. I share the harvest with neighbors and coworkers. I always plant too much.
    Of course the girls get their share of over ripe melons, the yucky tomatoes, over grown cukes and squash. I try growing Korean melons this year which turned out not so great, but the girls are not complaining. My Roma’s have been great for canning; salsa, spaghetti sauce, chili base, and canned whole tomatoes.

    In the fall and winter the girls love collards.

  4. I share with co-workers mainly (veggies, pears and eggs) I have several “mother hens” in the office that like to take care of the single guy. So I get things in return. For example, I needed some pants hemmed, check, I have odd sized windows so the last time I needed curtains altered, check, Needed a cake baked for, check ( I bought the supplies),

  5. I share with the chickens willingly and not so willingly with the gophers. My first batch of green bean did not fare so well, sucked right down into the bowels of the earth, but the second batch is well protected in its hardware cloth planter. I share with my neighbor whose land it is, my husband , mom, and co-workers. There is chard, kale, red cabbage, potatoes, onions, garlic, 3 types of beans, 4 types of tomatoes, jalapeños, Italian peppers, pumpkins, watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, and arugula. My neighbor says “too many flowers” but I love those too.

    • Christine I got a chuckle from your post about the gophers.
      Reminds me of a incident years ago I had four of the most beautiful rows (about 15 feet long or so) of green beans you ever wanted to lay your eyes on. They were tall, bushy lots of blooms. I thought what am I going to do with all these green beans.
      Well never fear. I came home from work one evening went out to water the garden and it looked like some got in my garden and stuck long green floral sticks in the ground. Not a leaf, not a bloom, nothing but green sticks in the ground.

      • The one and only time I planted tulips, they all came up and bloomed and then bizarrely wilted. Turned out something underground ate the bulbs, so what were left were the equivalent of cut flowers stuck in the ground.

        • I never had any particular problem with tulips but the moles and chipmunks regularly thinned my crocus. And the deer loved the hostas and some of my other flowers. (Vegetable farmed at Foss Farm where escaped cows occasionally wreaked havoc!)

          • When lived in St. Louis you could buy bags of daffodils cheap from the highway department. They plant them on the hills supporting the off ramps and overpasses. So I planted maybe 150 bulbs and watched the squirrels dig up the bulb, throw it aside and plant their acorns in the ready made holes.

  6. As I’ve said before, I’m gardening in grow boxes on the deck – tomatoes only. I did manage to get the first, protected by bird netting and picked a little early. The second started to ripen and the other morning after a lot of heavy rain I looked out and no ripening tomato. Squirrel? raccoon? I don’t know. The weather was so hot for a while that very little fruit set. I have 3 little green Big Mamas that I am now watching and some others that are still tiny. I did start late but the season here in central NC is long so I still have hope.

  7. I share my garden veggies with the deer and the woodchuck that has taken up residence under my shed. His favorite is my eggplant and the deer rather like my beautiful big zucchini leaves. :) Next year it shall be called Fort Knox!

      • Kris.
        If your shed has a wood floor you need to get rid of him or her asap.
        I guarantee you he or her has packed dirt up against the floor of the shed and rot will soon set in. (spoken from experience)

      • Not stupid enough to fall for a live trap. We found out that skunks are though!

        • Thanks, Ken! I will keep that in mind. Plan B is to stink him out with moth balls!

  8. My hens get lots of my garden from lettuce, beet tops, overgrown zucchini and cucumbers. They like it better because in the fall after the frost, I open the gate and they help themselves. The birds have gone crazy on the fruit this year and although the plumb tree is plentiful the birds are getting first dibs. The dogs love to pick their own apples from the low branches. My co-workers and friends love when I bring them veggies and eggs. Has been a strange summer for tomatoes here in Reno NV this summer, lots of green leaves but not too many ripe ones.

    • I heard of a similar tomato problem in Southern California. Excessive heat can affect fruit setting and pollination. Lucky you to have a plum tree. Some fruits are so much better homegrown, and that’s one of them.

  9. Friends, family, neighbors, my chickens and the wildlife.

  10. my hens get most of my kale! I do not share my beans with them, but I do share those with my family and friends. I unfortunately seem to share my sweet potatoes with mongooses, and rats. in fact, they got all of them this year. The electric chicken fence does seem to keep them out my chicken yard, so I’m not sharing the eggs with the rats and the mongooses – cross fingers. I made the mistake of sharing my poha berries with my chickens, and now my compost is full of poha seeds. because of this, my morning routine involves pulling out Poha seedlings from all my beds every morning.

    my apologies for the absence of capital letters. I was dictating on my iPad and if I tell it to make a capital letter it writes the word “capital”!

    I would love to see more pictures of your wonderful garden, Terry.

    • I had to look up poha berries – have never heard of them! And cannot imagine having wild mongooses about. Thanks for that glimpse into Hawaii.

  11. I have 2 gardens: a big one (60′ x 42′) and a small one (30′ x 36′). The layer chickens get the buggy chard, beet, and kale leaves, plus any weeding that doesn’t contain nightshades, rhubarb, or oxalis. If lettuce/mesclun bolts, I leave it and pull stuff off for the birds. I grow a good size patch of comfrey in the big garden for them.

    I grow a whole bed of mammoth beets for the pigs. They also get some of the chard, kale and beets. The only ones not fed from the garden are the beef cows, but then, they are supposed to be 100% grassfed. :))

    The gardens supply our family with food for the whole year, and with the nutrient density improving, there’s been enough to sell on our farm stand.

  12. I’d love to hear more about your garden. By next year I’m hoping to grow all my family needs for a year of some easy veggies. :)