It is true to say that August is the month of plenty as a vegetable grower. Every Wednesday my car is getting fuller for the delivery into town and there is always a time around this part of the year that I say “I should really get a van” but just seem to get through until September with just enough room in my car. Our market stall has been great for reducing deliveries as we get to sell everything right from the garden its grown.
This has been a fantastic year for beetroot so far with a stand out variety called ‘Boldor’. It is an orange beetroot and is so much sweeter than the others, a new favourite. We have grown a lot more kale early in the session which has been extremely popular. Normally we save it for autumn and winter but with more demand we are sowing it all through the year. Cucumbers can almost be overwhelming with how many they produce, I harvested 25 cucumbers from 8 plants last week and feared they all would not find a home but at the market people started talking about how good they were and that was that, all sold! Word of mouth is the best way to sell produce, having people together sharing recipes, inspires people to try something new. Globe artichokes have always been a hard one to shift but at the last market there was one advocate who convinced the crowd by singing their praises. Soon the last of this year’s artichokes were gone.
Another thing I notice about August is that there seems to be two sides to the garden, depending on how you look at it. If I’m feeling positive, I will notice how great the flower beds look, how many great looking cabbages there are ready for harvest that week. If I wake up on the wrong side of bed, I will notice the negatives. The peas haven’t been great with too much rain at a key time, our potatoes have blight so lots of work cutting the tops off and our apple trees are almost bare of fruit because of the early frost. The key thing to remember is that a vegetable garden is always a working garden and is not supposed to look perfect. There is good and bad mixed in the whole thing and realising that makes the whole place so much easier to enjoy.