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What can you preserve from your garden?

Garden Share Collective – Summer February 2016


Summer vegetable garden

What can I preserve from my garden? That is generally the focus of the last two months of summer for me.

The theme of this months Garden Share Collective is “preserve“. The Garden Share Collective is a monthly online get-together of garden lovers from around the world. It is open for anyone to join in so please feel free to link up your post below. You can read about the group and the format of the topics here at Rosehips and Rhubarb. Kate, from Rosehips and Rhubarb, and I jointly host the Collective on the last Monday of each month.

Summer harvests are abundant, and constant. Preserving summer is usually literally that –  Using our home grown produce, I make batches of tomato sauce, passata, Worcestershire sauce, chilli jam, chutney and jams to stock our pantry until next summer.  Each year I make the same things and if there is still an excess I try out a few new recipes. You can find each of them via the Recipe List.

This year my summer garden has been preserving my sanity. I have been less concerned with what is coming out of it than how it makes me feel.

I have talked about how busy this past 12 months has been here a few times and if you are a regular reader you will have heard this already so I will not bore you! The thing that has taken me away from my usual focus on the garden has been that I have written my first book, Grow Just One Thing – The first step in a fresh food journey. My book will physically arrive on my doorstep from the printer in the next week or so and I am so thrilled to finally have it ready to share with the world. You can pre-order your copy here .  You will find some of the gardeners of the Garden Share Collective featured in the book, talking about how growing fresh food has transformed their lives and approach to food.

Writing a book has been an amazing journey. The writing process itself and the content flowed easily, it was the emotional demands of the process that I did not consider when I started it.  It was quite a roller coaster.   More than ever before I sought out my vegetable garden as a place to unwind and de-stress.  For me this year, as summer ends and I finally get to hold my book in my hands, I am really excited to see summer end and a new phase begin.

This year I see the beauty in the plants as they begin to wither and die off. There is something beautiful in the perfection they produce at this time don’t you think? Look how glorious the yellow tomatoes are in the image below. The plant itself is now just a stick and they are the last fruit for this plant.

Tomatoes at the end of summer

As this month ends, the slow to grow and mature eggplant and capsicum plants are just about to become very productive. Their fruit will continue well into autumn. The capsicum plant below has 50+ fruit on it. They may not all be large, and may not all mature but it will have many fruit regardless of the exact number. The zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers are about to be replaced with eggplant and capsicum.



While I have just finished saying that this year my  focus has not been of preserving in the literal sense, I have been doing a little bit of seed saving, which you could say is preserving. With less time spent in the garden over summer some of my plants went to seed due to lack of proper care. I decided to leave them in the ground to produce their seed. To be honest, this was mainly because I didn’t have the energy to re-fill the space with something else. As a result I have enough fennel, carrot and parsley seeds to keep our garden growing for years if they prove to germinate well. The image below is fennel seed drying.

Fennel SeedsI have not yet planted much to get autumn rolling into the garden. I have some seeds in, listed below and have added some seeds around the base of summer plants.

newly sprouted carrots

Planting now:

I have planted the following seeds:

  • Carrot
  • Coriander
  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Rocket
  • Spinach

Harvesting Now:

summer garden harvest

So many cucumbers! Oh my goodness I am getting sick of them….

  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Herbs: basil, chives, lemongrass, oregano, parsely,  mint, sage, vietnamese mint
  • Kale
  • Rocket
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Jobs in the garden this month:

  • Remove summer plants that are finished
  • Add compost to the garden beds
  • Test and store seeds collected over summer
  • Plant some more autumn seeds
  • Spend some time wandering in the garden with nothing in particular to do

Are you still harvesting summer produce? What are you preserving?

Have a great month. Next months Garden Share Collective theme is : COLOUR

Join us via the link below and tell me how your summer garden is progressing or preserving?



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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Bek March 3, 2016, 3:48 pm

    Nice work. Peak production and still so much to come!

  • Rosehips and Rhubarb (Kate) March 4, 2016, 10:13 pm

    I am so proud of your successes with your garden boxes and now your book. It’s no wonder you haven’t had as much time as usual for gardening. Even if the fennel and parley seeds don’t germinate you can use them as spices.

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