July is the start of the holidays, and when harvest gets into full swing.
If the first of July be rainy weather, ’twill rain, more or less, for four weeks together.English Proverb
The hazy memories of youth (at any age) are often associated with the long, hot summer days, where anything seems possible. Although the solstice has gone, the days are still long and July and August can be the hottest months. Harvest gets into full swing – it’s the month of plenty. So many seasonal foods, it’s a delicious time of yar. Busy roads become empty, empty roads become full. Deserted beaches are more crowded than the city streets. No better thing to do on a hot day than sit in the shade of a mighty tree and watch the world go by.
Notable Dates in July
26th June – 11th July – Edinburgh Science Festival 2021
29th June – 4th July – Henley Royal Regatta
TBA – Round the Island Race
3rd & 4th July – Wales Airshow
4th July – Ironman UK
10th July – New Moon
6th – 11th July – RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
10th July – Devizes Carnival
17th & 18th July – Longleat Live
16th – 18th July – Bristol Harbour Festival
19th – 22rd July – The Royal Welsh Show
21st – 25th July – RHS Flower Show Tatton Park
TBA – The Big Cheese Festival
24th July – Full Moon
27th – 31st July – Glorious Goodwood Festival
29th July – 1st August – Bestival
July seasonal Foods
What is seasonal in July.
Greens and leaves: Basil, Chervil, Cavolo nero, Cabbage, Lamb’s lettuce, Lettuce, Mint, Pak choi, Radicchio, Samphire, Sorrel, Spinach, Swiss chard, Watercress.
Roots and other veg: Aubergine, Beetroot, Broad bean, Carrot, Courgette, Courgette flower, Fennel bulb, Garlic, Globe artichoke Onion, Spring onion, Mangetout, Pepper, Potato, New potatoes, Peas, Radish, Runner bean, Tomato.
Meat: Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Pork.
Fruits: Blackcurrants, Cherry, Gooseberry, Raspberry, Redcurrant, Strawberry, Tayberry.
Seafood: Crab, Halibut, Salmon, Kipper, Mackerel, Tuna.
Exotics: Banana, Pomegranate, Nectarine, Watermelon.
Fair weather is the friend of all.
For more inspiration see the Nature Blog
On the Farm
Harvest begins. Oil seed rape (Canola), winter barley and wheat.
Sheep shearing. Lambs given worm dose vaccinations and footbaths.
Hay making & Silaging.
Irrigate potatoes to encourage growth and ‘filling out’. Irrigation of other crops as required (especially market garden crops).
Baling and carting straw or straw chopped fine and left.
Things to do in July
In the July garden
What to plant and sow
Out and about
Also see the Out and about Blogs
Long summer days.
Recipe of the month.
Summer garden soup
Soups are not just winter warmers, but a celebration of what is seasonal. Soups can also be quick, tasty, and nutritious – not always a worthy use of bones or other leftover items.
This soup is a real summer celebration of summer seasonal specials, with the fresh flavours from garden produce.
I admit, I got very excited about this recipe when I found it, it’s by Gill Mellor, who along with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a food hero of mine. I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing it on here – please visit his site, and maybe get one of his excellent books ( I really should have a link for this). Both Gill and Hugh celebrate the ingredient, respect the seasonal, and make the food rather than the chef the star of the show – as it should be.
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, halved and diced
4 new potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1cm cubes
1 litre well flavoured vegetable stock
1 medium courgette, cut into 1cm cubes
2 large handfuls freshly podded broad beans
2 handfuls freshly podded peas
6 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 small lettuce, washed and shredded into 1-2cm pieces
Large handful mixed fresh herbs, (such as mint, flatleaf parsley, basil, fennel tops or chives), leaves picked and chopped
Squeeze fresh lemon juice
Nothing specialised. You should be able to make this using what you usually find in a kitchen.
wash and prep the veg. Chop the courgette, potato, and fennel – shred the lettuce. Pod the peas and beans.
Make the stock.
Set a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat.
Add the olive oil followed by the fennel and potatoes. Season them lightly and soften gently, without colouring, for 6-8 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock and bring to a low simmer (see tip).
Make sure your broth is simmering, then drop in the courgette, broad beans (see tips), peas and spring onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the shredded lettuce and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Stir in the herbs and season to taste with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Ladle the soup into warm bowls, then add a trickle of your best olive oil just before serving.
For more inspiration see the Food Blogs
Activities, things to see and do in July
With lengthening days arise more opportunities to get out and about. To see what is happening in nature and the countryside. There is also a lot more to see as they year really starts to get going.
Thinking about getting out and about, then perhaps Buy OS Landranger maps direct from Ordnance Survey to discover new places or see the latest handheld GPS devices with bundled mapping from Ordnance Survey.