The end of summer is a bit of an alarming time for me as I steel myself for the coming winter months. If only fall could last longer, winter wouldn't be so difficult. I know that once the Brussels Sprouts are big enough to slice off their large, prehistoric looking stalks, the growing season is near its end.
Some of the more interesting vegetables in the garden certainly take their time growing. Our leeks for example morph from looking like chives then scallions then leeks over the summer months. The particular variety we grow, Blue Solaize Leeks, get a distinct deep blue at their ends as they mature.
One of my favorite late summer items are the Cranberry Beans. Vibrantly fuchsia, speckled, and abundant, these beans are easy to grow and are an unusual addition to soups or succotash. I have found that they freeze well once shelled. I keep them on hand, portioned out in individual bags.
Our tomatoes have been a sad disappointment this year, as I suspect it has been for a lot of people. Strange cool weather coupled with dry spells essentially stopped our tomatoes from ripening. Once the weather got back on track, another tomato hazard took over: our two labrador retrievers. These pests lie in wait, only pulling off a tomato when it has a hint of ripeness to it for they don't really want to eat the green ones either. Next year, we need to come up with a new plan of attack.
Pictured above: Lacinato Kale, Blue Solaize Leek, Ancho (Poblano) Pepper, Anaheim Pepper, Jimmy Nardello Pepper, Wenk's Yellow Hot Pepper, Purple Tomatillo, Green Zebra Tomato, Long Island Brussels Sprouts, Vermont Cranberry Beans.