August: To-Do List

Illustration by Chris Bernhardt

Illustration by Chris Bernhardt

1. Collect your collards and okra
Start harvesting some of those great plants you put into the ground—August is the start of when collards and okra should hit your plate.

2. Check A/C drains
After working hard all summer, your air conditioning drainage lines can clog. Make sure they’re functioning properly so you don’t end up with water damage in your home.

3. Put up some peaches
Fresh summer fruit will be over before you know it, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be gone. It’s easy to preserve fruit: We’ll show you how on Page 54.

4. Cool off in the woods
Our city’s hardscapes have been absorbing sun and heat all summer, which can mean that temperatures for city dwellers are more than 10 degrees higher than our rural or suburban friends. August is a great time to escape to the woods, especially if you can find a campsite that’s near a lake or pond to help you stay chill.

5. Keep your pets cool
The Humane Society of the United States has good guidelines online for how hot is too hot for your pets, and you can get a great recipe for DIY peanut butter popsicles for your dog!

6. Celebrate our diverse city 
Philadelphia isn’t taking a break in August. Don’t miss Philly’s homegrown Blackstar Film Festival on Aug. 4 through 7, or two great festivals on Penn’s Landing: the African Cultural Alliance of North America’s ACANA Festival on Aug. 7 and the Caribbean Festival on Aug. 21. The Pennsylvania Dutch Festival, featuring handmade crafts, is at Reading Terminal Market on Aug. 11 through 13.

7. Take a dip in the pool
Did you know that Philadelphia maintains more than 70 public pools, some of which also host poolside yoga, aquatic yoga and aquatic Zumba? Check out the list at phila.gov or take to Twitter and look up #swimphilly to find out where you can make a splash.    

8. Treat yourself
For Grid’s picks on some summer indulgences, see Page 39. If you’re camping and find yourself fireside, you can celebrate National S’mores Day on Aug. 10.

9. Get that garlic in the ground
At the end of August, break up whatever bulbs you plan to use (but leave the skins on) and let them sit for a few days before planting the cloves.

10. Give some veggies to your neighbors or co-workers
You won’t be able to keep up with the tomatoes and peppers exploding in August. There’s probably a neighbor, a young colleague or a busy family with kids who would gladly take your surplus. Don’t let it fall to the ground and be wasted!