One of the things I love most about gardening is the sense of creating abundance. I love producing more than we can eat, the joy of giving it to others who truly appreciate fresh vegetables, and the comfort of squirreling food away for the winter months that are coming so soon.

This year, my garden has outdone itself.

I think it’s partly the soil, partly the weather, and partly just pure luck, but I have never had a garden do so well. On Sunday morning, I picked this:

That’s three peppers, 7 cucumbers, three zucchini, 2 eggplants, and probably 5-6 pounds of tomatoes. And this is after it’s begun to slow down.

My neighbors and I have eaten all the tomatoes that we can, and there are just pounds more every day. So I decided to can. I peeled and diced the big bowl of plum tomatoes, and stewed them briefly to release the water. Then I packed them into quart jars and heat treated to seal.

I ended up with two quarts of crushed tomatoes, which were added to the growing list of canned goods from the summer. The extra juice found its way to my downstairs neighbors to become a gazpacho, because that’s really the only thing to be done with fresh tomato juice in my opinion.

Today, I picked the same amount of tomatoes, so it looks like there will be at least a third tomato canning session this summer (Sunday was the second for tomatoes, the fourth overall).

There is no bounty quite like a garden in August.