Josine Atsma takes a look at seasonal August fruit and veg in Scotland, focusing on courgettes with a great recipe for Vegetarian Stuffed Courgette.
August is supposedly the warmest month in Scotland. But you just never know!
While I’m writing this at the end of July, it’s raining again and although it’s not been very warm, it wasn’t as wet or cold as last year July. Last year our area had 250% of the average rainfall, resulting in lots of mouldy, soft strawberries. Thankfully this year July was a whole lot drier (compared to last) and our fruit is looking quite well.
Growing courgettes, squashes and pumpkins in Scotland can be tricky, because it depends so much on what kind of summer we are getting. That’s why I always grow one plant each in the greenhouse to ensure at least some courgettes. Pumpkins, however, are even in the greenhouse not always a success. This year the courgette plant is enjoying the warm greenhouse climate and has produced lots of courgettes. It’s actually kind of taking over! The pumpkin is slower, but it looks as if it too will be producing some fruits this year. We still need some sunny days though…
I have also got courgettes plants outside and they are a lot slower, but we might be getting some courgettes at the end of August. At least it means we are not inundated with courgettes all at the one time.
If you want to grow courgettes or pumpkins, sow them at the beginning of May indoors in a 4 inch pot, two or three per pot. They need at least 20C to germinate, so keep warm. Remove the weaker plants so that you have one plant left. Once they’ve got their roots growing out of the pot, either transplant them into the greenhouse (if you have one), cold frame or into the garden. They grow super large, so make sure you have plenty of space. Or you could grow them underneath runner beans and the likes as a ground cover.
Please remember that one courgette plant can produce of up to 15 courgettes! So, one plant will probably be enough for a family of 4. There is lots of different types available too: round ones, very dark ones, ridged ones, even yellow ones!
Courgettes can grow in lower temperatures than pumpkins, but you really need some warm days! So, my advice is; try growing them but don’t get your hopes up too high!
Fresh August fruit and veg include:
So much! Courgettes, all types of lettuces, chard, early potatoes, onions, garlic, peas, runner beans, french beans, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, small white swedes (or turnips as they are known in England), gooseberries, strawberries, soft fruit like currants, raspberries, plums.
August fruit and veg recipe
Vegetarian Stuffed Courgette
2 large courgettes
1tbsp creme fraiche
1tsp dried or fresh sage, chopped
2tbsp olive oil
2tbsp pine nuts or kernels
75g grated cheese
Cut the courgettes lengthways and remove the flesh using a tablespoon. Leave around ½ inch on the inside of the courgette (you don’t want your stuffing to run out). Put the courgette flesh in a bowl along with the creme fraiche, sage and salt and pepper to taste.
Grease an oven dish with the olive oil and add the courgettes. Stuff the courgette with the mixture, while they are in the oven dish. Top with cheese and pine nuts.
Add ½ inch of water and bake in a 180C oven for around 20 – 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and has a light brown colour.
Serve with a side salad of lettuce with tomatoes, cucumbers and a simple dressing of olive oil & lemon juice.
By the way…
I have lots more tasty, seasonal, plant-based recipes available on my website. Please follow this link to take a look. I hope you like them!