August Abundance: Notes from the Kitchen Garden…
Mid August is always a busy month in the kitchen garden. Abundant cucumbers, summer squash, beans, tomatoes, peppers, herbs and onions must be harvested and put up —frozen, dried, pickled and/or canned— at the peak of freshness. Late summer chores in the potager include watering —especially during this extended dry spell we are experiencing in New England— weeding, monitoring and managing pests, succession sowing for short-season fall crops, and of course, daily harvests. Some of my stand-out crops this year include cippolini and sweet onions, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, romanesco broccoli, arugula, cucumbers, and finally —after last season’s meager crop and fears about late blight— gorgeous, fruitful tomatoes. Read more about the highlighted crops by clicking on each to return to a previous blog-post.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s a good idea to make notes for next year; jotting down harvest dates, this season’s plant successes and failures, troublesome pests and current plant family locations to assist you with next year’s crop rotation. Carrots look stunted or forked? Maybe it’s a good time to raise your beds, giving them more root-room. Lush growth in your garden but little or no produce? It could be time to test your soil pH and fertility. Plants petering out? Sow some quick turn-around crops like lettuce, arugula, beets, peas and beans for a fall harvest. If you live in a cold climate, now may be a good time to begin constructing hoop-houses to protect your crops from frost and extend the growing season (see post on hoop house construction here). If you are making your own compost, be sure to turn it regularly, keeping content balanced with layers of fresh ‘green’ kitchen scraps and pulled garden plants, dry (such as straw and paper) and brown (mature compost).
And busy as we gardeners tend to be in August, I like to slow myself down by pulling out the camera and taking a close look at the beautiful colors, textures and shapes in my late summer potager. Here are some highlights from my morning garden walk and daily harvest…
Romanesco Broccoli in the Potager
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes Ripening in the Garden
The Beautiful Edibles – Nasturtium and Pansies in the Potager
Ripening Butternut Squash Along the Kitchen Garden Fence
Yellow Summer Squash and Haricots Verts
Red Hot Chili Peppers in August
Morning Glories Along the Potager Fence
Orange Blossom and Early Girl Tomatoes in August
Basically Beautiful – Orange Blossom and Basil Salad
Garlic Harvest – Hard Neck Music, Continental & Doc’s German Garlic Drying on the Terrace
Haricots Verts, Calendula, Tomatoes, Arugula, Nasturtiums and Alpine Strawberries Bask in the Late Summer Sun
Blanching and Freezing Haricots Verts from the Kitchen Garden
Shiitake Mushrooms Harvested from the Mushroom Garden in my Forest (See Tutorial Post Here)
Summertime Herb Harvest – Rosemary, Thyme, Sage and Mint
An Armful of Fresh-Cut Flowers Makes for a Different Kind of Treat in the Jar
Late Summer Abundance in the Potager
Late Summer Chaos in My Kitchen (read about building this homemade kitchen island here)
Gourmet Potatoes, Chard, Cucumbers, and Nasturtiums in the Potager
Article and photographs â“’ 2010 Michaela at TGE
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3 Replies to “August Abundance: Notes from the Kitchen Garden…”
Oh Michaela! The sights, the sounds, the smells wafting from your photos… It’s to die for, THANK YOU so much! What beauteous bounty! And is that a shell spoon that I spy, tucked in under the sprigs of Rosemary on your kitchen island? Beautiful! (Speaking of which, I LOVE the woodgrain!) Gotta go back and find out what type of wood you said you used, Hemlock, I think? And, of course, excellent advice as always: what a massive post!
– Why thank you Deb! Yes, that is a shell spoon. It’s a family heirloom and I love it for serving little sprinklings of chopped herbs or cheese. The wood used for the island is reclaimed douglas fir. It was rubbed with three coats of raw linseed oil, and then after it dried, the top was rubbed with beeswax. I love how it has deepened to a warm hue… much like cherry wood. It’s nice to hear from you (oh and thank you for the very amusing video link you sent via email… I may have to figure out how to work that into an upcoming post) ;) xo M
Red chillies are really looking hot…..and oranges blossom too…vegetables are looking so fresh…nice posts….
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