Summer is a blur. When I started planting my garden in the spring, there was so much more time. As long as the peas were in by April, tomatoes by end of May, I was in good shape. Our spring was early here in Minneapolis, with us even seeing asparagus and herbs in early April. May was full of lettuce, radishes, green onions and peas. June saw strawberries, garlic, broccoli and turnips, followed by early raspberries and summer herbs. But July? Step on the gas. My garden went from a lazy twenty mph to sixty in a blink. Water, weed, train vines, pick produce, rain please, slow down! Suddenly, it’s early August. My garden has exploded. I have weekly hauls of tomatoes, eggplants, beets, kohlrabi, cabbage, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, carrots, peppers and green beans with melons on the way and late raspberries right around the corner. I’m daunted!
Every night I look in the fridge and think of a dish I can make with not one or two veggies, but with six or seven. Veggie stir-fry? Check. Giant salads? Check. Rainbow curries, jeweled rice dishes, ratatouille? All check. And I haven’t even started preserving yet, beyond a giant batch of kimchi. I’ve waited and worked all year for this, but I sure wish I could slow down and savor the moment. August has so much bounty that I feel truly rich. Below is a survey of my garden over the season, plus my favorite summer tomato salad, a mainstay for my heirloom harvest. Take a moment and enjoy the summer. Even if it’s only over a tomato salad.