Sure, it’s tempting just to park yourself on a lounge chair and just gaze at your burgeoning garden. But with a little extra effort, you can get more out of your late-summer garden.
Here are seven ways to make the most of your August garden.
1. January herbs. Take the time to pluck some choice herbs and store them for the winter. On the day of a January blizzard, you’ll be able to whip up some pesto that will give you a taste of summer and remind you of the better weather to come. You can freeze or dehydrate herbs. Find tips here:
2. Instant gratification. If you’re looking for some instant gratification, consider planting some easy-to-grow vegetables, such as mesclun lettuce and radishes, in containers. They’re a cinch to plant, they’re low maintenance, and you can harvest them before it gets cold.
3. Bumper crops. Gardeners are always anxious to hand off their overload of zucchini. Plan ahead by finding great ways to use the surplus. Recipes abound for breads, salads, pasta toppings. And don’t forget about saving it for later (ponder that January snowstorm again) by freezing or canning it. Here are spots for recipes:
4. Share the bounty. Donate excess produce to local food pantries. Find nearby pantries that accept vegetables.
5. Gleaning. Consider getting a group together to do some gleaning or join an existing group. Gleaners volunteer to pick and distribute produce that would otherwise rot on the vine. Learn more here:
6. Harvest your seeds. Especially if you’ve enjoyed some particularly tasty tomatoes or vegetable, pluck and save the seeds for next year. Learn how here:
7. Meals in a jar. Enjoy your bounty in a creative way by jumping on the meals in a jar trend. You basically layer fresh ingredients in a Mason jar and tote them to school and work. Or you can go the canning route for longer-term storage.
Either way, you’re eliminating plastic, reusing glass, and the lunch fare looks pretty enticing. For recipes and info, see: