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Thursday, August 27, 2015

From my garden, August 2015

This has been a great month for garden produce for us. I haven't bought any fresh fruits or vegetables all month long. In fact, the only fruits and veggies I've bought this month were a little bit of dried fruit (for fruit and nut bars) and some canned and frozen veggies for fall and winter use.

But for our consumption in August, our garden and orchard (plus a few free bananas here and there) has provided all that we needed.

So, for the month of August, our garden provided:

  • 2 heads of cabbage
  • lots and lots of lettuce
  • uncountable numbers of tomatoes
  • over 50 pears
  • about 30 quarts of blackberries (about half are frozen still)
  • some summer squash and zucchini
  • some Swiss chard
  • some kale
  • a few baby carrots
  • lots of green, waxed and Romano beans
  • many cucumbers, eaten as salads (I still need to make some pickles)
  • just a couple of beets
  • 2 meals of baby potatoes
  • a second harvest of watercress (early spring is when the main harvest of watercress is ready)
  • lots of herbs -- sage, oregano, thyme, basil and rosemary
  • a few handfuls of blueberries at the beginning of the month
  • about 10 red apples
  • lots of rhubarb
  • about 200 shallots
Our most prolific veggie has been tomatoes -- we've eaten fresh tomatoes just about every day of August, followed by pears  and blackberries (3 or 4 times per week, each).

I prefer to use the cabbage, fresh, in slaws, with our garden cabbage. It's very tender and delicious. I'll use market cabbage in fall in cooked dishes. In fact, while we have fresh produce from the garden, I prefer to use most of it, raw, in salads, as is, or lightly steamed. Fresh produce has enzymes, which are mostly destroyed by cooking. These enzymes help with digestion, in breaking down what's eaten. Plus, there's the vitamin C content in fresh, uncooked produce. This time of year, I don't buy traditional vitamin C foods, like oranges. But uncooked blackberries,  tomatoes,  cabbage and watercress are all good sources of vitamin C.

The peppers, eggplant and pumpkins/squash have still not produced anything pickable. One more month, so we'll see if I can get much of those veggies out of our garden.

I am making my plans for next spring's garden. Do you have any suggestions for other veggies I could plant, that have done especially well for you?


  1. Wow, Lili, that's awesome! :) You must be so happy!

    No veggie garden here, this drought year; but in the past, we've had really good luck with radishes and peas, in addition to wax beans and some other things you're already growing. I can eat peas straight off the vine while I'm weeding... they're so delicious to me! :)

    I'm NOT a good gardener, so if I've had good luck with something, it's easy to grow! LOL

    Take care-- Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      Thank you. I am tickled that we could get through this entire month w/o buying produce.

      I think I will do more with peas next year. Thanks for the suggestion. I did grow snow peas this year, but our soil dried out too quickly for them. Maybe after I amend the soil this fall and next spring things will do better. I am like you -- I snack on veggies like peas, while I'm out in the garden. You're right, they are soooo delicious!

      have a great day, Sara!

  2. That's very impressive! Good for you! I was going to say Swiss chard but I see you already grow that. Have you considered winter gardening? Not sure of your zone but I love the blog Mother of a Hubbard and she has had impressive results in zone 6 (with minimal coverings) and inspired me to do more in the fall/winter/very early spring. I am in a 7 so figure it should be slightly easier here, lol. We had amazing results with North Georgia Candy Roaster squash this year but I don't know if that is zone-compatible for you.

    1. Hi Cat,
      Thank you.
      Years ago, I read a book titled Year Round Gardening. The author was from the PNW, in a slightly warmer part of the NW, but still the same thing with rainy winters, and all. Thanks for bringing this idea up with me. It has got me thinking about maybe trying to do more this winter and into early spring. I'm not sure what will be possible for me. I've planted lettuce, chard and kale for fall and early spring. I hope I got it in in time.

      I'll check out that blog, too. Thanks for that. I think our squash would do better if I worked on the soil. I'll look into that squash.

      Thanks for your input! Hope you're feeling better. Take care of yourself.

    2. Thank you for asking! I am! I had had a (very rare for me) headache for 2 days and felt it would never end. Much better now and went for a wonderful hike this morning, even spotting a large elk at the very end. I am feeling refreshed.

  3. Hello,

    sigh. still unable to post on my Personal computer, hopes it works with the iPad. On the computer it asks to prove I am not a robot but does not bring up,the pictures and question.
    I envy your temperatures and the possibility of starting earlier/ending later in the shoulder season. also wondering if you can cold frame through the winter?
    I planted two cherry trees this year and hope to continue to expand my garden with fruit trees.
    How about grapes?You could plant them over a fence or arbor?
    I would like to try cantaloupe.
    In my city I met a fellow who wouldl put a bee hive in my backyard.We talked briefly about doing this and sharing the honey. He sells at craft sales and labels his honey with interesting names from the parts of the city where he has his hives.

    1. Hi Teresa,
      I have grapes, but they need a better support. that's on a project list for a future year. Right now there are 3 small clusters of grapes forming. I've seen loads of grapes on some people's vines, when on a large, overhead structure. So, that's in the plans.

      I hope your cherry trees do well for you! Having the fruit trees really is a savings for us. I'd like to try melon some year, too. Do you think you'll do the beehive? That could be a nice source of both honey and pollination for your fruit trees and veggie garden. Every once in a while, we do talk about keeping bees. There's a spot on our property, far enough away from neighbors and our own house that I don't think they' be a problem, but would help with pollination for our garden, as well as give us some honey. Still thinking about it, though.

      Good luck with expanding your garden!!

  4. How wonderful to have a bumper tomato crop and so much garden vegetables!! We make do with our potted veggies and even that proves quite a savings so I can imagine with a garden full. We have year round gardening so there is no that we may use our backyard again and may be retiring soon. Not sure when but we debate about the date, as early as this January or next.


    1. Hi YHF,
      Just think of all you'll be able to grow, year round in your garden. I envy you! Best of wishes with your plans to retire. I can imagine it's a tough decision to nail down a date. But you'll get there!

  5. Hi Lili,
    Someone else mentioned radishes, they do well for us in our little flower bed garden & they come up quick, usually about a month after planting they are ready. We usually do some in the spring & again in late summer.

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      Thank you for mentioning the radishes. I plant them in spring, but not in fall. I'm going to plant some this afternoon where the peas were. SO, thanks for that!

  6. Do you have extension agents or some sort of government agency that has literature and gives advice about gardening? That might be a good place to ask about other things you might grow and the information should be geared toward your local climate.

    I don't think I saw broccoli or cauliflower on your list. They like the same conditions as cabbage, so you could probably add those (if you like them).

    1. Hi live and learn,
      yes, I should contact the extension agency about what else to try! Good thinking! I may try broccoli again next year. I've done it in the past. The cabbage turned out well this year, and we didn't have much trouble with cabbage worms. Thanks for the suggestions -- both broccoli and cauliflower should do well here!

  7. As I was doing some planting for our fall garden yesterday, I got to thinking that I didn't remember sugar snaps being on your list. Just checked and see that thy aren't. Those do well even here (until it gets consistently hot) in the spring, and can be planted again in fall. I planted many more this time around and got my strings tied up to the trellis yesterday. Typically, I haven't planted nearly enough and my children eat them all before they ever make it in the house. :) You could also do a snow pea for adding to stir fry.


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