In mid-August, activity at the farm slows down considerably. A lot of pruning and trimming is going on, along with plenty of weeding.
There is one area of the garden that isn’t slowing down, and that’s where I planted the heat-loving warm-season vegetables; they are thriving in August’s heat.
The tomato, pepper, eggplant, and okra are all bearing fruit and the zucchini plants are covered in blossoms.
Zucchini is a type of summer squash. Summer squash have thin skins and tender flesh, while winter squash, such as acorn squash, have thicker skin that makes them last longer after being picked.
The squash blossoms can be picked and eaten as an edible flower. The flowers lend a subtle hint of the gourd’s flavor and a splash of color to whatever dish they’re in. They are often stuffed, then fried or baked, but they can also be eaten raw on top of salads. You should use them within a day or two of being picked, as they do not last very long.
If left alone, the blossoms will develop into fruit, and as the squash grows larger, the flower will wither away—so make sure you don’t pick all the flowers or you won’t have any zucchini to eat.
There are many varieties of zucchini, ranging from long and green to more bulbous and yellow.
My favorite is ‘Black Beauty’, a prolific heirloom variety with a very dark green skin and creamy white flesh. It is mildly flavored and great eaten either raw or cooked.
Another variety I grow is called Zucchini Striato di Napoli; it has dark green stripes and a strong flavor. Originally from Italy, these are sometimes picked when they are very small and cooked like you would asparagus.