August! If your favorite thing about gardening is enjoying the harvest, this month is simply spectacular! Almost anything you could ask for is in season. I took a ride last weekend and every farm stand I passed was bursting with squash, eggplants, cucumbers, tomatoes, chard, peppers, corn, okra, and more.
It wasn’t just vegetables, though. I saw some beautiful heirloom watermelons and bags and bags of juicy, aromatic peaches! Even though I garden, I still love stopping at these stands. There’s just something about the way the sun feels on your skin and the smell of the open fields that makes you thankful for the wonderful foods we get to enjoy. Plus, you never know what you might happen upon!
One stand I went to had Sugar Baby watermelons. Naturally, I had to buy one of them, since I’m not growing that variety this season. If you haven’t had this variety, you’ll want to put it on your list. Sugar Baby watermelons are small—about the size of a small cantaloupe. They’re sweet, as you can probably guess from the name, and even though they have seeds, it’s usually minimal. You could easily share one of these with a friend on a hot summer day.
I’m especially excited about these and several other fruits, since they’re highlighted here in the August edition of Food Gardening Magazine!
You’ll find a recipe here for making your own Peach Schnapps, a Grilled Watermelon Salad, Lemon Meringue Bars, and plenty more. Plus, we’ll explore the ins and outs of planting a bare root apple tree, expanding your orchard through cloning, and growing your very own food forest with flowering fruit trees.
And in case you want to round out your diet, there’s also a featured article on planning and planting your fall garden. I know it’s hot out now, but this is the perfect time to get ready for your fall crops, as well as some garden vegetables that will overwinter and be ready in the spring.
Here’s a look at what’s on the plate in this edition of Food Gardening Magazine.
Food Gardening with Amanda articles—Food Gardening Network’s Senior Editor and Producer Amanda MacArthur is one fabulous food gardener! She takes gardening seriously, makes it fun, and delivers some great content—including companion videos to show you, not just tell you, exactly what to do. Check out these helpful articles from Amanda this month:
- Planting Vegetables in the Fall: Easy Crops for Now and Later: Some people think that gardening is summer’s game, but not only are there such things as succession crops—which you plant in the same place as your spring crops—but you can start planting vegetables in the fall that will pop up next spring.
- How to Create a Food Forest of Flowering Fruit Trees: Flowering fruit trees captivate our senses and offer an exquisite display of nature’s artistry. Whether you find solace in their delicate blossoms, enjoy the fruits they bear, or both, these trees deserve our admiration.
- How to Plant a Bare Root Apple Tree: The process is quite simple, really, but it’s very specific and much more effort than dropping a bucket of soil with a sapling in the ground.
- Homemade Peach Schnapps: All you need is some fresh peaches, lemon, sugar, vodka, and a little bit of time, and you’re good to go with this homemade Peach Schnapps.
- Don’t Get Too Sentimental About Fruit Trees: This article comes from our sister publication, GreenPrints Magazine. In it, writer Michael Filas compares raising fruit trees and raising kids—and goes on to let us know why it’s folly to conflate the two!
- A Quick & Dirty Fruit Tree Cloning Guide: Cloning fruit trees is a perfect solution for expanding your orchard in a shorter amount of time than if you were to grow fruit trees from seed. It is also very cost-effective. It oftentimes costs nothing, if you already have some basic gardening materials.
And this issue of Food Gardening Magazine includes details on three featured foods this month—concurrently with publishing this issue of our magazine, we’re also publishing and updating three gardening guides on peaches, lemons, and watermelons. As a premium member of Food Gardening Network, you get full access to the magazine and these gardening guides:
Peaches: You already know how delicious peaches are. Did you also know they’re good for your skin? Peaches are packed with vitamin A, which provides moisture to the skin, and vitamin C, which helps protect the skin from damage. Find out more about growing this super healthy and tasty treat in Perfect Peaches: How to Grow this Sweet Summer Delight!
Lemons: A little bit sweet. A good bit sour. Always packed with flavor. The tart lemon lends itself to a wide variety of food and drink, but did you know lemon is also good for cleaning copper pots, polishing furniture, and has medicinal uses? Learn more in the Tart & Tangy Lemon Guide!
Watermelons: If there is an “official” fruit of summer, it has to be the watermelon. And with over 1,200 varieties, you’re bound to find the perfect one for your garden, no matter how much or how little room you have. Find out more in Wonderful Watermelon: How to Grow the Fruit that Means ‘Summer’!
Here are some interesting tidbits about the foods you’ll find in these gardening guides to get you thinking about what you might want to plant in your garden.
- Did you know that peaches are native to China? And that—while Georgia is known as the Peach State—California and South Carolina are number one and two, respectively, for peach-producing states?
- While lemon trees are often considered a sub-tropical tree, smaller varieties can grow indoors in containers. An evergreen tree with bright yellow fruits can certainly make a place feel warm in the middle of winter!
- Did you know that the watermelon is American Heart Association Heart-Check certified? It is cholesterol-free, fat-free, and sodium-free, and has 80 calories per serving. Watermelon also has several heart-healthy components, including lycopene, citrulline, and other vitamins and minerals.
In this edition of Food Gardening Magazine, you’ll find Gardening Guide Close-Ups that focus on peaches, lemons, and watermelons to help get you started with these three foods and our gardening guides. These articles give you valuable tips and advice about these three foods, and you’ll have instant access to the premium gardening guides themselves, too. Be first to read these Gardening Guide Close-Ups and get a head start on how to grow and use these foods:
- Even without the mouth-watering fruits, peach trees are stunning. Depending on the variety, peach tree blossoms may be a lovely white tinted with pink, deep pink with red, or fuchsia. Add to that the brilliant oranges and yellows of nasturtiums, the jewel-like red of strawberries, the deep green of garlic, and the commanding purples of lavender, and you have an array of colors that’s sure to bring a smile to your face. In 10 Peach Tree Companion Plants That Belong In Your Garden, discover 10 companion plants that bring pollinators, deter pests, and add a lovely aesthetic to your garden.
- Thinking of growing your own lemons? In How Big Do Lemon Trees Get?, you’ll find the answers. Some of the tallest, like the Ponderosa lemon tree, may reach 30 feet tall. Others like to spread out. For example, the Eureka lemon tree can have a mature spread of 20 feet. Then there’s the Meyer lemon bush, which may top out at only 5 feet.
- Watermelons need a long growing season, and a lot of room to spread out! But what if you love watermelons and don’t have a big yard? In Start Growing Watermelon in Raised Beds, we’ll explore how raised beds can be ideal for gardeners who want to grow watermelons, but don’t have endless space for this summer delight.
And then there are the recipes you’ll find in the three gardening guides! Here are some of my favorites that are tasty, unique, and easy to make:
- Roasted Beet, Peach, and Goat Cheese Salad: If you need something to brighten up your day, and you’ve got some time to spare, then why not try making this Roasted Beet, Peach, and Goat Cheese Salad? Not only will you get a vibrant and healthy dish, but you’ll be able to enjoy varying levels of sweetness—that’s hard to resist!
- Lemon Meringue Bars: This recipe really is as easy as 1, 2, 3: Start the crust, bake a little; add the filling, bake a little; top with meringue, bake a little more. When your baking pan comes out of the oven for the last time, you’ll have an impressive dessert that will have guests asking for seconds.
- Grilled Watermelon Salad: This sweet, delicious tropical fruit is a great candidate for grilling when you’re hosting a backyard get-together or a dinner party with pizzazz. Aside from being an eye-catcher with its vibrant colors, this Grilled Watermelon Salad is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser as it combines the fruit’s natural sweetness with an ensemble of complimentary flavors.
I hope you enjoy the August 2023 issue of Food Gardening Magazine as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. We’re so happy to have you here! Now let’s head out to the garden!
Happy harvesting—and happy eating!
Editor & Publisher
P.S. Please enjoy this issue of Food Gardening Magazine, and let me know what you think about it by commenting below with your feedback! Your input is valuable to us and can help us make improvements.