Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My World Is Awash in Local Produce!

August can be so bittersweet. On one hand, there's no denying that there are only a few precious weeks of summer left. On the other hand, the growing season has hit its peak, and we are surrounded by a sea of delectable, fresh local fruits and veggies.

This is what my garden cranked out for me during the week we were away:

Sweet million and yellow pear cherry tomatoes, yellow sweet peppers, jalapenos and a whole whack of green beans! These green beans are absolutely fantastic - really tender and flavourful, and the plants are yielding extremely well. They're a variety called "Slenderette" and the seed package description states "Slender, dark green, stringless 5" pods on vigorous plants. Slow fibre development." This is the first year I've planted this variety, and at first I was a little concerned about how long it was taking them to mature - it seemed like forever before they started to flower! They are supposed to be 57 days to maturity, which I think is a bit longer than other varieties. They are WELL worth the wait, however, and I will definitely be planting them again next year.

My produce co-op is also yielding a large bounty of locally grown goodies. At our last exchange in mid-July, these were the contributions:

Kale, Swiss chard, purslane, green beans, garlic chives, rhubarb, sage, basil, oregano, onions, garlic, cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, Portugal hot peppers, sweet peppers, parsley and rosemary.

As if all that weren't enough, all the local markets and grocery stores are flooded with local produce as well - sweet corn, peaches, zucchini, broccoli, and more! 

This abundance of seasonal produce is also reminding me that I'm way behind on my canning schedule this year. I'm still hoping to get zucchini relish, sweet pickles and dills put up before the sea of tomatoes comes in and I need to spend a whole day making salsa! Plus I'm tucking a whole lot of grated zucchini into my freezer so I can make plenty of Chocolate Zucchini Muffins all winter long :)

Are you as inundated with fresh local goodies as I am? What are you doing with it all? 

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