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