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GARDENING RICHARD'S


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S


uccessful food growing is as much about time spent in the kitchen as in the veg patch and at this time of the year that point is usually in sharp focus. The garden is at its most productive and you’re unlikely to be able to use all of its bounty straight away. So, storing the produce, or finding some way of processing it, is as important as growing the food in the first place.


Sometimes, processing jobs can be mercifully


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straightforward – for example, a crop of garlic can be turned in to a garlic braid that will hang happily in the kitchen for about 5 months in about 15 minutes. Squashes and pumpkins make their way from the veg patch to the top of the dresser in the kitchen where thanks to their thick skins they will store until next spring. A colander-full of French beans just needs a dunk in some boiling water to blanch them before you bag them up for the freezer. There are plenty of beans still remaining on the plants to be grazed on as required in the month ahead. But these freezer-bound ones will be particularly appreciat- ed after Christmas when the bean plants are long since composted. Other processing jobs require more of a time


investment. Late summer and autumn weekends generally see me spending entire days in the kitchen surrounded by boiling pans, bubbling pots and chopping boards laden down with vegeta-


AUGUST in


the garden BY MICHAEL KELLY


bles. There are times when I find this somewhat of a chore, but other times when I can get myself in to the right frame of mind. August means glut territory for tomatoes and there are lots of options to process them. I generally ‘sun-dry’ one batch of the


much-coveted sungold variety in a very low oven overnight and then put them in a sterilized kilner jar, covered with olive oil. Another batch go in a tray in to a hot oven with some garlic, seasoning and rosemary, get cooked for 30 minutes and are then blitzed to turn them in to passata (which will emerge from the freezer later in the year to make a pizza or pasta). And finally I use 1.5kg of bigger tomatoes to make a big batch of tomato ketchup (see recipe below) which is a great way to make a relatively small amount of delicious tomatoes go a very long way indeed. I am a glutton for punishment, so this month I am also making: jars of beetroot marmalade (great to accompany meats or in sandwiches); zingy cucumber and onion pickle; and a big batch of gut-friendly kimchi (fermented cabbage, carrot and beetroot). I could have put the various completed jars


straight in to the cupboard, but I left them on the counter for a few days so I could enjoy looking at them for a little while first.


It’s hard work,


but these are some of the growing year’s most satisfying moments.


46 WATERFORD


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