In this issue:

  1. August in the Garden
  2. Closing the Food Gap – Podcast
  3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Preserving the Harvest
  4. Gardenerd Product of the Month: Gardening for Geeks 2020

August in the Garden

The summer garden is plugging along and we’re seeing ads for home canning and food preservation kits. With so many new gardeners harvesting crops for the first time, it’s important to include preservation as part of the conversation. Canning, drying, and freezing are part of the gardening season. Don’t let your delicious harvest go to waste!

The Test Garden continues to be an oasis in the midst of the Covid-19 resurgence here in LA. As summer heat comes on, we’re harvesting yard long beans, tomatoes, basil, watermelons, corn, and Black Magic kale (bred for hot weather). We’re installing coddling moth protectors on the apple tree, and testing them out on tomatoes as well to see if it keeps the rats away. The summer lettuces are still going, thanks to some shade from our tree kale. Soon it will be time to start seeds for fall crops, but until then, we’re applying compost to all plants.

In this newsletter, you’ll find our latest podcast, and tips for drying peppers. Please continue to wear masks outdoors. It’s the only way we’ll beat this thing. Also, our popular Basic Organic Gardening 101 course at SMC is back virtually this October. See details here.

Happy gardening,


Christy Blacktain Mountain Watermelon
Our first watermelon of the season! It was delicious.

2. Podcast: Nourish LA with Natalie Flores

Natalie Flores
This picture of Natalie Flores says it all.

Our latest podcast features Natalie Flores, a fellow gardenerd and founder of Nourish LA. She’s spend so much time helping others in the garden that when Covid-19 hit and she couldn’t go out, her anger about it led to feeding thousands of families who lost their jobs. Listen to this inspiring podcast. NOTICE: We’re moving our podcast to a new RSS feed with a whole new URL. You may see duplicate listings for each episode or missing episodes during this time.

Podcast: Nourish LA with Natalie Flores

3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month – Preserving the Summer Garden Harvest

Dried guajillo peppers finished
Dried guajillo peppers look dark and mysterious.

With harvesting comes processing. We all must do something with the summer garden bounty: eat, refrigerate, freeze, can, dry, or cook into something for later. Now is the time to bone up on techniques and get to it. Here are some posts to help you on your journey:

Read our latest blog post on drying peppers. You can also freeze them whole. That blog post also has links to post about preserving other veggies.

Freeze Pesto – You can enjoy pesto in winter if you make it now and freeze it. Find our favorite recipe in Gardening for Geeks or try this vegan one.

Can Tomatoes we’ve been doing it in small batches for years. You can too!

Make Sauce you can freeze or can it to enjoy on a cold winter night.

Shred summer squash now for use in breads and soups later. Freeze them in 1 cup amounts. Or make baked goods with shredded squash now and freeze those. They’re delicious warmed in the oven months after making them.

Make Fruit Leather with stone fruits, strawberries, and cherries. Take them on hikes or snack on them on movie night.

Make Ice Cream – We’ve got several recipes to try, some vegan, some not. Check them out!

However which way you decide to use up your harvest, just make sure you don’t end up throwing it away after it’s gone bad in the fridge. Give your excess harvest to friends or a food bank if you don’t have time to make, can, or freeze. Find a local food bank here.

4. Gardenerd Product of the Month – Gardening for Geeks

Gardening for Geeks – Out now in bookstores near you!

Gardening for Geeks is available on, Amazon, Fox Chapel Publishing, and Barnes & Noble. This updated version will help you plant victory gardens for everyone in your family. It includes 6 new plant profiles, and updated resources and terminology. Some distributors still show the book as back-ordered, but we’re working with the publisher to resolve the issue. Stay tuned and…

Get Your Copy Today!

Stay tuned for more tips and tidbits from Enjoy your summer garden!

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