It's Cool to Plant These Veggies Now

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By Deb Quantock McCarey

Contributing reporter/Nature blogger

I like to eat veggies I have grown myself year-round.

That's why I'm planting more spinach, lettuces and radishes now in August to lengthen the good healthy eats I already have going -- those new potatoes I have been growing since mid-spring, and hearty curly kales, swiss chards, kohlrabis, brussel sprouts and broccoli.

And, not to forget are those varieties of squashes and pumpkin I planted from seeds in early summer.

This is why I am hoping to have a bumper crop of the heartier veggies I can use for an array of soups we can eat that day, or freeze for later.

For me, and probably everyone else, finding new ways to prepare my home-grown cool, to warm, to cool season produce is really the reason I grow it.

With the swiss chard I have sauteed the leaves and chopped stems in oil and garlic, then added a touch of fresh honey.

Oh, that is so good.

I snubbed baby beets until I tried serving them up warm with goat cheese on a bed of fresh kale and herbs I harvested from my out-the-back-door reclaimed container garden.  It's a wash basin that through the season has been working very well.

If my snap peas give me another go-around, I'll try tossing them in with fresh chopped mint and figs, and pumpkin seeds, all of which I am growing this year, but have yet to see them produce fruit.  

And, we like our fresh spinach tossed with fresh strawberries and slightly salted cashews -- drizzled with poppyseed dressing.  All of these ideas I picked up from the back of my Vegetable Garden Wheel.  It's nifty.

The curly kale I planted in April is still going strong, so kale chips are on the menu tonight with sauteed, or cheese-stuffed squash flowers.

An Italian friend, who is also a gardener, and doesn't like to eat zucchini, turned me on to its edible blossoms.  

Served crispy and  hot, these appetizers melt in your mouth.

So, I  do think  it is very cool to sow some salad seeds now -- pun intended -- and reap all of goodness they bring later, before the first heavy frost arrives.

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