Bountiful Summer Harvest

It’s harvest time for people who have a backyard garden. I’ve made four dozen zucchini muffins and two loaves of zucchini bread so far, thanks to my sister’s generosity. Zucchini season is about the only time people lock their cars around here. If you leave your car unlocked, you might find the back seat full of sacks of zucchini. I’m not a fan of zucchini relish, but a lot of people here make it.

Zucchini has a lot of health benefits. Zucchini is well-known to reduce weight, yet boost the nutrient value of your diet. Moreover, it helps enhance vision and prevent all the diseases that occur from vitamin C deficiency like scurvysclerosis, and easy bruising. It helps cure asthma and has a high content of vitamin C, carbohydratesprotein, and fiber. It contains significant quantities of potassiumfolate, and vitamin A, all of which are important for good health. When eaten regularly, it can effectively lower your homocysteine levels.

We’ve harvested and processed five quarts of raspberries in two pickings three days apart in our raspberry patch. I have two gallons frozen and some to eat in the fridge. We figure we will pick at least twice more.

Rhubarb season is almost done. Rhubarb salsa, rhubarb crunch, strawberry rhubarb pie…Yummy!

We let the nanking cherries go to feed the birds this year. We trimmed our five bushes last fall and didn’t have that many to pick. Usually my sister makes wine with them. She picked blackberry currents at a friend’s house Saturday morning. She is going to make wine with those instead.

We enjoyed local beer at the Ten Sleep Brewery on the 4th of July, and on tap at Burlington Place last Saturday. Barley for beer season is in August, locally. My favorite is Speed Goat. This is from their website: Speed Goat is a golden ale loaded with 2-row and C-15 on the malt side and featuring subtle use of Willamette hops for bittering and aroma. Locally produced Bryant Honey from Worland provides a crisp dryness with a slight honey finish. Easy drinking for folks born and raised on lighter fare, the Speed Goat may go fast, just like its namesake.

If you have extra produce from your garden, please consider donating it to your local food bank if they will take it. We donated our bumper crop of apples several summers ago, and will donate apples from our two trees this September, too. We have way to many for two people to eat. Everyone has a lot of apples and you can only freeze, can, or eat so many.

One in six children in the U.S. suffer from food insecurity. That is 13 million children in the United States going to bed with empty bellies. See what you can do to help at the above link. Think globally, act locally.

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