Gardening Tips: Eat Well in August and September | Chroniclers


Tropical Storm Henri came and went in quite a mysterious way as parts of our area were inundated with 6 inches or more of rain i.e. Tannersville and elsewhere in Greene County while ‘a few miles away, like my house, the total precipitation was less than 2 inches. The rainy summer has been good, in general, for our woodlands and especially good for those of us who will not be using our precious well water for the garden. One downside is that local mosquito populations were able to breed often. Mosquitoes only need a fraction of an inch of standing water to lay their eggs, and even persistent puddles, which only last a few days to a week, will suffice as breeding ground. Now is a good time to inspect your property for such spots and get rid of any standing water you see. Birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, old tires, clogged gutters and even rain gauges need to be emptied every time it rains. If you appear to be inundated with mosquitoes, it is very likely that they are coming from within a hundred yards of your home and not from a pond, stream, or other body of water that has fish in it. Remember, ticks aren’t the only blood-sucking pests that can transmit disease.

Yellow jackets, hornets and rogue wasps, now freed from the work of their brood rearing, with their dead queen, feast on my hummingbird sugar water and all the delicious snacks I leave unattended outside . Guess I can’t blame them, but I wish they would stay away from my open beer can! I once got stung on the lip by a drunk yellow jacket in the box and it almost cost me my life.

Last week I mentioned that I harvested my first ripe tomatoes and now pick half a dozen, or more, a day. I ate BLTs almost every day. Now my latest favorite treat is tomato slices on crusty bread with a slice of mozzarella cheese and a leaf of fresh basil, topped with a drizzle of olive oil. I also eat sweet corn at least five times a week. My zucchini plants are still producing, I am so overgrown with green beans and green beans that I now tear the whole plants out of the ground to make harvesting easier.

All of these crops reward the crop by producing even more, which reminds me of an old comic called Lil ‘Abner, created by Al Capp. There was a creature called “Shmoo” in the early 1950s. According to the legend of Shmoo, the adorable creature died in sheer ecstasy when she was stared at with hunger. The Shmoo loved to be eaten and tasted like any desired food. Everything that delighted people delighted a Shmoo and they reproduced so quickly that it was impossible to miss them. Far from being the salvation of mankind, the Smoo has led to the complete abandonment of any desire to work or to perform any work at all. They must have been exterminated to save the world from too many good things!

Unfortunately our gardens may look shmoo like right now, but soon, too soon, they will expire on their own. In the meantime, we can enjoy the healthiest food available anytime of the year. No one loves meat more than I do, but I can be a happy vegetarian in August and September. Fortunately, we can also freeze, dry, process, and store the good stuff we now have for winter treats. Home canning probably won’t save you money on your food bills this winter, with a new canning jar costing over $ 1 each, but the taste of home-processed foods. and the memory they can evoke are worth it.

I stopped weeding my vegetable patch about 2 weeks ago which all gardening experts agree is a bad idea because now is the time the weeds are going to all sow and it will ensure a new harvest for the next year. I don’t care and the point is, my garden soil already has enough of a weed seed bank to last for a century, even though I’ve pulled out every weed I see. Now is harvest season and there is a lot of work to be done to put the food away, if you so desire. Enjoy the fruits and vegetables in your labor as the days get shorter.

Our gardens are a lot like our lives. They speed up as the days grow shorter, rewarding hard work with satisfaction with achievements and successes, or sometimes failures that inevitably must happen. Each year is a learning experience with so much potential for the future, until the freeze finally puts an end to the effort.

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