Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Monthly Garden To-Do List: July/Aug

Finally!  Harvest time: Tomatoes, Basil, Cucumbers, and Zucchini!  Try to keep cool out there!

One of our favorite mid-summer meals is steak with a Cal-Prese salad (Tomatoes, Basil, Avocados, and an Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinaigrette).  Nothing beats garden-fresh tomatoes (and having a use for all that basil!).

We also love making our own full-sour dill pickles.  We use the recipe from The Joy of Pickling but there are a ton of recipes out there. 

Our wild plum trees are ready just about this time of year.  There are at least three varieties: deep red, yellow/ green, and red.  We use a cherry pitter to get the pit out, and eat these by the handful.  They also make fabulous jam, sorbet, and torte.

HOT out there!

This was our 3rd year harvest from our Dapple Dandy Pluot tree, the most fruitful in the garden.  For perspective, we planted a dozen trees that same year, and the next most fruitful had 6 fruits.  This bowl shows less than half of what the tree produced that summer.  And they were delicious.

The kids debated the peaches from our Saturn Peach tree's harvest (which didn't "Saturn" but was delicious)-- which was best.  

We have had great luck with alpine strawberries, both in red and alpine (white) varieties.  These don't travel well, but fall off the plant in the garden and are delectable out of hand.

Both pf these buckets are full of August apples- from an early-season tree.  Keep an eye out.  Also look for the sunflowers and their varieties.

Our chickens love the long days and reward us by laying almost daily.  Here is a mid-summer cucumber and zucchini as well.  Make sure to pick both before they get too big.

Figs fruit twice per year- once on old wood in late spring, and once on new wood in late summer.  We like to plant our trees and use live mulch; in this case, we used strawberries on rocks with lavender at the corners.  The strawberries crowd out weeds, and the rocks make a nice landing place for the berries (to keep the slugs at bay).  The lavender helps attract bees for pollinating.

What's Ready?

  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Melon
  • Nectarine
  • Onion
  • Peach
  • Pepper
  • Plum
  • Pluot
  • Radish
  • Strawberry
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomato
  • Turnip

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