In August, there’s no bad place to start in the Shed—the expansive variety and high-season quality abounds.
Apples, plums, peaches, and pears are in steady flow, joined now with ripe raspberries and blackberries. And there is still so much cantaloupe and watermelon to be had! Likewise, there’s no shortage of okra. Flowering alliums add mild flavor and flourish to the summer table: savory onions, scallions, shallots, leeks, and garlic, among others. The selection of greens grows ever wider: bok choy, collards, chard, and kale can do the heavy lifting, while arugula and mesclun mixes act as summer salad workhorses. Why not mix in callaloo, mizuna, purslane, microgreens and mâche—a small, nutty-flavored leaf, also known as “lamb’s lettuce.”
Shiitakes, grown in concert with the cycles of the moon, make their debut the first weekend of the month, joining other cultivated varietals in the Shed through the end of August. Get lost in the endless exploration of a dozen heirloom tomato varieties. Or, browse upwards of 40 varietals of Central American, Central African, and Peruvian peppers—some sweet, some ferociously spicy. (Keep an eye out for those little demons on Sundays.) Fresh, locally made nut-milks—also available on Sundays—can help cleanse scorched palates. Carrots, beets, and red, gold, and Russet potatoes—and maybe some sweet potatoes later this month—keep the Shed’s offerings down to earth. Fennel, eggplants, Persian and English cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash keep it light, crisp and delightfully colorful.
Don’t forget to ask your favorite farmer about the availability of their squash blossoms. Lima beans, pole beans, haricots verts and haricots jaunes, wax beans, black eyed peas, and snap peas bring the crunch, and broccoli add a helping of green protein to the plate.
In August, corn is still king. A menagerie of herbs remains in the offing—chives, parsley, cilantro, basil, dill, rosemary, thyme, lavender, and bay leaf. Don’t forget that wheat flour, wheatberries, bee pollen, honey, and ginger are also in the Shed, ready to be discovered and brought home. A great selection of kimchi and other ferments stands out, while farm-fresh eggs—with their sun yellow yolks—make lips smile and eyes twinkle. Local pasture-raised beef, chicken, lamb, and woodlot pork have to stay in the fridge, but are rich reward for all our customers who remember to ask about them, take them home, and throw them on the grill. Fire it up—this weather won’t last forever.