Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer Garden Spa

Gone are the nice cool mornings I mentioned back in the spring. They seem like dreams I might of been having before I woke up this summer, predawn morning to venture out into the garden. Muggy, no breeze, it feels like a dirty, dark sauna out here. I wonder if there is a market for summer garden, spa treatment?
Despite the heat and rather dry conditions this year, we have had a productive summer season. The first round of organic tomatoes were smaller and less numerous than last year but were plentiful enough to keep up with demand at the Inn. We do have another round of tomato plants beginning to make little green fruits, but they are in need of some moisture. Being planted later, they did not get much of an opportunity to establish their roots before the heat really set in. Butternut squash is doing well and will be ready for some warming soups this Fall. We will also have several watermelons to serve on our fruit platters at breakfast in the near future. Bell peppers, pumpkins, and apple gourds are still holding serve, but are not going to amount to much without a break from the intense heat and lack of rain. The Indian corn seems to be the favorite of the varmints, and has mainly served the purpose of distracting them away from the other vegetables, at least for now. Speaking of varmints, what does one do with a skunk caught in a live trap? Hmm, just wondering.
Of all the veggies, I have enjoyed our cucumbers the most this summer. We have been utilizing these by making lots of pickles. Bread and butter, sweet gherkins, and dill have all turned out great. The bread and butter recipe has been the most popular with guests though. I am including the recipe for those on our cuisine blog.
So keep an eye out for pickles and other home grown items on our menus in the coming weeks and months. We will also be planting a fall crop of organic salad greens toward the end of the month, and turnips for roasting this winter. Of course, the Dekalb County farmer's market has been there for us all summer and more than made up for my shortcomings in the garden. Stop and see them on the courthouse lawn every Saturday morning. I might see you there if I am not in my garden spa.

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