late summer harvest from my tiny urban farm

Here are the survivors of my own sporadic home gardening attentions, the slug attacks, and a very dry August! I swear, I take better care of my clients’ gardens, but my own often gets a little droopy looking in the hot summer weather when I’m most busy. (I also plant a lot of things in planter boxes and pots since I rent in the city, requiring more vigilant watering.) So these taste all the sweeter for toughing it out so that I can still call myself an urban farmer.

ON THE MENU:

Ground cherries look like golden, marble-sized tomatillos in individual paper-lantern sheaths. With a sweet/acid flavor they make an excellent salsa fresca with red onions and some sweet Sungold tomatoes. And those are basil flowers, pinched off to encourage more leaf growth. I’m still waiting to pounce on the basil plant for a big batch of pesto, but it’s probably about time.

This assortment didn’t all make it into one meal, but it inspired several delicious separate ones:

The kale and fresh eggs from a neighbor went into an omelet with basil & onions from the garden.

Prunings from a huge parsley plant went into a delicious parsley pesto with some sour cream, fresh ‘fromage blanc’, a little olive oil and S&P (no garlic).

Two bags of pilfered plums from an overgrown tree in a neighborhood greenbelt went into a crisp, some are pickling in balsamic vinegar, and the rest got dehydrated into prunes.

Sungold tomatoes don’t last long in a bowl on the kitchen table, no need to do anything with them they’re so sweet and delicious.

Ah, yes, tomatoes– what is the epitome of hope if not the thousands of Seattlites planting tomatoes every spring! After a humbling visit to my parents’ lush, northeastern gardens during the height of corn, peach, bean and tomato season, it’s extra gratifying to pluck a sun-ripened tomato from my special Siberian hybrid tomato vine in the northwest. Greenies go into the frying pan or get pickled.

Artichokes from earlier this summer — they are space hogs but so dramatic and fun that they’re worth it to me. Now they’re looking fluffy & spiky, playing off the later perennials and sunflowers.

Summer sun drops in a jar, are canned peaches! Blanching and skinning them is just one step of many, but probably the most fun. We put up two boxes of Eastern WA peaches and made a lot of peachy desserts. I almost got tired of them but they’ll be a welcome injection of summer sweetness later.

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