Blackberry Farm

Friends of the Farm

August Harvest Time

Here at Blackberry Farm, August is our official garden month, it is the time when we celebrate the fruits of our labor and take full advantage of the many crops that are  ripening in the field.  Beginning in July our chef’s are busy in the preserve kitchen making strawberry, blackberry, raspberry and blueberry preserves, jams and jellies.

Much of the cabbage that was grown this year has been shredded and packed into crocks where it is fermenting its way into sauerkraut, which will be used during the fall and winter season.  As they become more plentiful, tomatoes and beans are also canned.  Tomatoes are canned whole, quartered or made into sauces featuring fresh herbs such as basil and oregano from our cutting garden.

When okra begins producing it requires picking almost daily and produces far more than chefs can use fresh on a daily basis. So the surplus is made into pickled okra, which is a great favorite with guests.  Green beans are also pickled and are referred to as “dilly beans”, which are an old southern favorite.  Pickling cucumbers are also producing faster than we can make use of. The excess portion of the harvest is converted into dill pickles, making good use of the dill, garlic and hot red peppers from the garden.

During the month of August our gardens feature sweet corn, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, summer squash, okra, beans, carrots, and just about anything else you could imagine being grown in the vegetable garden.

If I had to rank the number one favorite among our guests it would be tomatoes, for they top the list when it comes to the last garden tomato of late summer until the first tomato of the following season.  On any given year here at the farm we feature anywhere from 25 to 50 heirloom tomato varieties, and on tomato tasting days during August we feature only the fresh heirloom tomatoes and sea salt if desired.   August is the month to fully appreciate the wonderful fresh flavors of summer and to preserve those flavors for the coming winter months when those warm days of summer are but a distant memory.

John Coykendall, Master Gardener