Monday, August 1, 2011
The August Harvest Calendar
I go to the market early now, before the white glare and scalding heat of high summer take hold for the day.
The rhubarb is long gone, and strawberries are thin on the ground, but the familiar players of late summer are starting to stack up.
Young eggplants, without any of their autumnal bitterness yet. Truly good tomatoes.
Tangles of sweet-smelling string beans.
And bunches of garlic, cured for the winter already.
There are fragrant mountains of lettuce, perfect for cutting through the heat in refreshingly cold little bowls of green gazpacho, laced with sherry vinegar.
The lemony twang of purslane cools and calms too.
And there are still peas, though they'll disappear soon before their second harvest in the early autumn.
Even the flowers are looking a little sultry these days. Pillowy beds of hydrangeas.
Lazy jumbles of sunflowers.
And carpets of chamomile. The scent alone leaves me ready for sleep.
But who am I kidding? August is about the fruit.
The cherries are all but done now too, and there will be no more raspberries until the second harvest in September and October. New crops this month also include cauliflower, celery, leeks, winter squash, turnips, blackberries, cantaloupes, and prunes.
Crop notes are available in the sidebar harvest calendar over there on the right all month. The information comes from a guide published by the CENYC, which runs the Greenmarket & New Farmer Development Project. To familiarize yourself with what's in season where you live, I advise a visit to your own farmer's markets at least every couple of weeks. And ask lots of questions – no one knows which crops are at their peak quite like the people who grow them. To locate markets near you in the US, check the Zip or City Quick Search at Local Harvest.
Happy summer and happy August!