Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Abundant August

August is almost over but this week seems to be the peak time for harvesting of all the fruits and vegetables that have been cultivating beautifully over the perfect summer we have been having in North Van. My own vegetable patch that I planted at the end of June has been producing lots of lettuces, one (perfect) strawberry and some amazing fragrant basil to date. Today's inspection noted the following:
-many lettuces still going strong and growing scarily large considering all they have had is water and no pesticides or fertilizer
-Several green strawberries and one turning red
-loads of deliciously fragrant basil
-carrots growing well but still tiny
-zucchini flowers and some small zucchini (I planted them late from seed direct in the soil)
-spinach growing well but being crowded by cucumber plants which are growing a lot bigger than I expected
-4-5 medium sizes tomatoes, still green but heavy and weighing down the plants

I am mightily impressed seeing as it really has required very little work to produce all this lovely fresh produce and it will supplement my supermarket runs for at least another month.
Seems everyone else's gardens are also peaking this week too. When I got to work on Monday, I was presented with fresh cherries from a co-workers cherry farm (the full to the brim box of deep ruby fruit looked like a chest of jewels), fresh zucchini and grape tomatoes from another co-workers garden, glorious figs from an unknown source (they were on the staff room table with a note saying "eat me"), and then a 5lb box of blueberries from a regular patron of the gym. Quite an impressive haul before it hit lunchtime!so nice of everyone to be so generous with their growings... thank you all!
I'm taking in some fresh basil tomorrow for a patron of the gym that I was chatting with on Tuesday. She was detailing her recipe for Italian meat sauce and I was salivating at the thought of it although the weather is still too fantastically warm to contemplate cooking anything rich and intense like this dish. I told her I had lots of fresh basil and would bring her some in. I really love sharing my crop too and am always keen to hear how people will use it.
I'm afraid I have no new recipes to add as I have basically spent summer "assembling" rather than cooking and anything I have cooked is either already detailed in the blog or is a variation of that. However, I'm itching to try some new recipes once this hectic week is over and have a few things in mind, ideally using my homegrown goodies and those of anyone else I have the good fortune of sampling.

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