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What a Summer—Thank Goodness for My Garden!

Get a glimpse inside our August 2020 issue from our Executive Editor Bill Dugan, who shares his thoughts and favorite articles from the magazine highlighting watermelon, corn, and garlic.

Bill Dugan - Executive Editor

Bill Dugan, Executive Editor of Food Gardening Network

Saying these are odd and turbulent times is probably the year’s biggest understatement. If you’re like me, this summer of physical distancing has meant spending more time at home—and for me, that means more time in my small, balcony garden and in my kitchen.

Both my basil and my rosemary plants are thriving right now, adding lots of flavor to dishes at my dining table. Hello Fresh Mozzarella Watermelon Salad, and welcome to my table! Check out the recipe for it in this month’s featured Watermelon Collection. More about that collection in a minute.

To help you make the most of this summer, in these times, welcome to the August 2020 issue of Food Gardening Magazine! Take time to read the entire issue, because you’re certain to find tidbits that you didn’t know. For example, I didn’t know that watermelon is classified as both a fruit and a vegetable—one of the few foods that’s classified as both.

I already knew that corn is America’s largest crop, covering more than 91 million acres, but I didn’t know how all that harvested corn is used. About a third of the corn produced is used to feed animals, a third goes toward making the renewable fuel ethanol, and a third is destined for human consumption and industrial uses.

Or how about that Americans consume more than 250 million pounds of garlic every year? That’s a lot of garlic! But don’t worry about garlic breath—read how a lemon-water chaser after dinner can ward off the effects of powerful garlic breath. Or try any of the four other recommended tricks for getting rid of the bad breath that can come with consuming a lot of garlic.

This issue of Food Gardening Magazine is filled with lots of information about the history and background of our featured foods—watermelon, corn, and garlic.

And then there are the recipes in this month’s issue—here are three of my favorites that I keep making over and over this summer:

  • Grilled Watermelon Salad—firing up the grill to prepare this dish makes me feel all summer-ish. And you can serve this salad as a first course or make it for dessert! Delish!
  • Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad—simple, colorful, and tasty! Goes great with my grilled halibut, and—if I weren’t so self-quarantined—would be great to bring to a potluck barbecue. Next summer, maybe?
  • Roasted Garlic—ah, the wonderful flavor of garlic, especially when roasted, is like comfort food to me. Check out this easy-to-prepare recipe—I make it practically every Saturday night, because I can spread it on my bread and use the leftovers for mixing with pasta and vegetables throughout the week.

In this August 2020 edition of Food Gardening Magazine, you’ll discover lots of valuable and helpful content and advice, with some of my favorites including:

    • “Gardening with Amanda” articles—Amanda McArthur is one rabid food gardener! She takes gardening seriously, but makes it fun, too. Check out these three helpful articles from Amanda this month:
      • “Planting Vegetables in the Fall: Easy Crops for Now and Later”: Discover how succession plants, bulbs, and perennials can thrive when planting vegetables in the fall. Some people think that gardening is only a 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 also start planting vegetables in the fall that will pop up next spring. It’s never too early to plan when it comes to gardening, so read Amanda’s article, and get prepared for fall.
      • “RECIPE—Fresh Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites)”: Want an easy-to-make new twist on a favorite corn recipe? Amanda has you covered with this zesty dish that will please your taste buds and save you the messiness of eating corn with your hands—this is served salad-style in a cup, on a plate, or in a bowl. Quick, easy, and super tasty!
      • “How to Paint DIY Plant Pots with Kids”: What a great way to introduce your kids to the whole idea of gardening! Create these DIY plant pots with your kids, and they’ll be eager to plant and nurture their own veggies in them. And, hopefully, when they get old enough, they can help you out in the big garden. Get all the details from Amanda, including necessary materials and instructions, about how to engage your kids in this crafty project!
    • Special Collections—get full reviews and summaries of three premium collections, complete with links to the full Collections that include plant-specific history and background; seed, seedling, and soil advice; tips on fertilizing, weeding, and watering; best ways to avoid plant diseases and pests; even how to treat affected plants; plant profiles that highlight some popular varieties; quick-and-easy recipes that are tasty and worthy of your table; nutrition, health, and home remedies; more food gardening resources to help your efforts; and glossary items to explain technical or unknown terms and concepts:
      • Wonderful Watermelon—watermelon is a delicious treat and a powerful superfood! With this premium Collection, you’ll have everything you need to know about growing and enjoying this delicious fruit. Want to try growing hip and unique square watermelons? Find out how. Do you know the best time for harvesting your watermelons? And how to tell exactly when the time is right? Get answers here. Choose from six different watermelon varieties from our Plant Profiles section, to help you decide what to grow—get it all in this Collection right now!
      • The Everything Corn Guide—get all you need to know about growing, harvesting, cooking, and eating this all-American crop! Did you know that corn comes from the grass family of plants? Or how about best ways to battle corn smut, the corn-killer disease? Read the Plant Profiles section of this Collection to learn about eight different varieties of corn, to help you choose what to grow in your home garden. And try out all seven of the easy-to-make and tasty recipes—you’re bound to find new favorites that will help you mix it up when it comes to serving corn.
      • Glorious Garlic—you won’t believe how much you’ll learn about garlic when you read this Collection! Garlic is one of the oldest crops in the world and is still used today by cooks everywhere. Did you know that elephant garlic isn’t really a variety of garlic at all, despite the name? It’s more closely related to leeks! Review five top garlic varieties to help you choose one for your garden. And check out the terrific recipes for cooking with your garlic. All in this Collection now!

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Food Gardening Magazine as much as I did!

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy? Well, I’m not sure about that this summer—but, thank goodness for my garden, especially this year.

Happy gardening—and happy eating!


Bill Dugan
Executive Editor

P.S. With more than 20 recipes in this month’s Food Gardening Magazine issue, you have plenty to choose from. I’ve made them all—quick and easy, every last one—and now the choice is: which recipes to repeat…and how soon and when?!

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