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.

And peppers.

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.


And riotous.

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!



Beatrice said...

What lovely produce you have there.

Barbara said...

Down here we never see blueberries marketed like this. They only come in a tiny plastic punnet. I buy them when they are are a reasonable price and put them straight in the freezer.

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

Barbara, Lucy would live on blueberries if I let her. Thank goodness they do freeze so well.

tribecachef said...

I'm going on a stone fruit diet for the month.

Gloria said...

OMG I love your August Harvest Calendar, I love all, I hav eto wait by the sweeties, for our mext summer, love the pictures Amanda, Have anice and lovely week, gloria

Anonymous said...

Fabulous photos. I especially like the sugarplums!

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

Beatrice, we are lucky! This month and the next two are truly an embarrassment of riches.

Tribecachef, I'm tempted to do the same. Let me know how that works out for you...

Gloria, thank you! It's so hard to see the other hemisphere's seasons isn't it? It always makes me jealous.

Sally, they're so pretty and so delicious, aren't they? I've been going through them at an alarming rate.

Chez Loulou said...

That carpet of blueberries has me mesmerized! We don't often see them in the south of France (and if we do they cost a small fortune!) and I miss them so.
I love your monthly harvest calendars!

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Wow. Amazingly beautiful. I'm hungry.

Janet said...

Let's have a sugar plum recipe next!

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