August harvest.

August has been another busy month on the land. There are so many things to harvest and process so that they will keep for the coming months. One unusual and tasty vegetable is the strawberry spinach, Chenopodium capitatum, which we grew from seeds in the spring. The red “berries” taste sweet and fresh in salads and the leaves are good in stir-fries.

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Our dehydrator has come in handy for drying herbs. We like to have a large stash of sage, camomile, mint, stevia and tarragon leaves to use in cooking and teas over the winter months. We have written about our dehydrator in this and this post. It is such a useful machine and well worth the investment. Once the goods are dried they store at room temperature eliminating the need for freezing or chilling, thus reducing our electricity use.

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We are also happy to see our brussels sprouts fattening up and the red cabbage, ready for harvest.

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We were met by a lovely sight one afternoon while venturing down the garden. As many as ten peacock butterflies could be seen on the mint flowers. We grow mint as a groundcover in large areas and it is wonderful to see the amount of bumblebees and butterflies it attracts.

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This is the probably the most colourful time of the year in the beds around our main circle as the late perennials are coming into their peak. The blue of the sea holly is especially beautiful. We take pictures in the main four directions once a month to get an idea of how the garden matures and develops over the years. You can find them all in the category, elemental circle.

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East

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South

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West

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North

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At the start of the summer the weather was very dry and we thought the apple harvest would suffer but now we have a decent amount of apples. We will make dried apple rings out of most of them, a firm favourite for school lunches.

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Now we are looking forward to September, a month in which to harvest even more delicious food and get the garden ready for colder times ahead by adding mulch and weed out some opportunistic plants. The evenings are drawing in, the trees are slowly starting to change colour and the teapot is being put to good use. We like this time of year, things move to a slower pace and there is a little more time for reflection and contemplating.

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6 thoughts on “August harvest.

  • Are those the flowers of the strawberry spinach in the first photo? I’ve only seen pics of it with the fruit. Amazing photo of your daughter (I assume) with the cabbage, so much energy in that photo and I love it! Wonderful butterflies! And what a show of the blue flowers – how they stand out! Thanks for the great post!

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    • They are the fruit of the Strawberry spinach. They resemble a small piece of broccoli or cauliflower in appearance. The taste is not to everyone’s liking but I enjoy eating them. The photo is indeed my daughter, she is autistic and loves the tranquillity of the garden and growing our own vegetables. She used to be terrified by bees and butterflies and most other animals and creatures but now she is enjoys them all. Nature is a great source of nurturing. I’m happy you enjoyed the post! 😊

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  • I love the sea holly and can’t believe the lack of success of growing it in my own garden where I thought the climate would be ideal. What a lovely post…so nice to read about successful gardening when so many people are having difficulty maintaining their gardens due to adverse climate conditions. Great photo of your daughter…yes, gardening is so good for the soul.

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    • We are just very lucky to be gardening in the west of Ireland I guess. The climate change has not hit us as hard as many other places, at least not yet. I think our success is also down to mulching everything continually. I hope you will eventually succeed with the Sea Holly. There are a few different varieties avaliable. Ours have been there for five years now and new seedlings keep popping up. 😊

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  • There was one year when we got SO many beets all at the same time in August. I do not remember how or why that happened. It was funny though. We really should time them for a slower time of year. They are spring and autumn vegetables for us; and definitely not something that we grow in summer. Those that grow in spring must be pulled quickly before the weather gets warm, and they bolt. Those that are ready in winter can wait a bit longer. In August, we did not know what to do. We pulled than and pickled them with all the other craziness going on.

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    • It is not always easy to time things right and not end up with gluts. We have so many courgettes at the moment. I try to be creative with them and also to give some away. Chard and Kale is also abundant. Maybe we could put an order in for some extra days in September, to have time for it all? 😂

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