We’re deep into the spring/summer transition now, as pea picking gives way to bean picking and the tired salad greens are ready to be tilled under to feed late season crops.
This week we finally finished weeding the row that got (almost) away – the teensy tiny parsnips are rescued from the thick forest canopy of weeds that had oppressed them since they sprouted, and already exploding in size.
I was gone over the weekend visiting my sister in Illinois, so Kristin went to the Saturday market without me – fortunately, Shareholder Amy came out to help. Unfortunately, the alternator belt fell off the car … but fortunately, it didn’t die til they made it to the Market. Kind of a mess, but all came out OK in the end, with a few hours of waiting and some help from Neighbor Dave.
We had a changing of the guard this week on the Farm, as B, Nora,and Bucket transitioned into their next phase, and Floridians David, Rebecca, and dog Neville arrived. They weren’t all together though – David, here for the summer, is actually the son of last year’s WWOOFing couple “The PhDs.” Rebecca and her dog, here for a week, are traveling across the country in a travel trailer.
They showed up just in time to survive a pretty awesome storm last night – a rollicking thunderstorm that dumped 3.5 inches of rain on us over a few hours, and showed us just how leaky our various coverings could be. Storms like this are a reminder to be grateful for our rather sandy soil, which can absorb such an onslaught with nary a puddle to show for it in the morning. Damage was minimal; some of the basil, arugula, and other more tender-leaved plants were visibly pummeled, and some corn got blown over (we easily stood it back up, propped with hay mulch).
It had been a long time since we’ve had a real rainfall on the Farm – for weeks, the storms keep missing us, or glancing off yielding only wind and fractions of an inch. About time! The serious soaking put the garden in a good place to recover from today’s harvest without missing a beet!
- Beets – a medley of several types and colors, but all similar in how you’ll eat them. We love beets, which made it hard to let many of the go out last year … so this year, we planted quite a lot more! They’re pretty grated onto a salad, you can made “red flannel hash” with your potatoes , they’re delicious when roasted, can be cooked to soften, then eaten cold in a salad …
- Beet greens – perhaps chop it up, cook it with onion and garlic, add to ricotta with fresh basil, and stuff pasta shells? And invite us over for dinner?
- Summer Salad Mix – lettuce, arugula, pea tips, baby kale, a little mache and lambs quarter – We almost didn’t do a salad mix this week – and perhaps we shouldn’t have, since we couldn’t even fit it into your boxes. This time of year, all the greens are moving toward flowering, and are becoming less sweet and more toward the bitter side of the spectrum.I personally love the salad even when the lettuce is a little bitter, and so I advocated for its inclusion this week over Kristin’s reservations – so please, let’s win together by your enjoying it! Unlike the salads of spring, summer salad is likely best eaten with some dressing, rather than simply devoured raw, straight from the bag. This will be the last salad in your box until the very end of the year – this week we’ll be tilling in the salad beds to make room for late season crops!
- early Potatoes – Mostly reds, with a bit of purples and russets for fun. The potato plants are looking great so far; we should have many more later in the season – just thought you’d enjoy some now!
- Napa Cabbage – the Big Freeze back in May killed several of the Napas, so we didn’t get as many heads as we’d intended … which kind of works out, because a whole head of these suckers would’ve taken up most of the box I think.
Hopefully a half-head is still plenty for you! We like to use them fresh, shredded up with a sesame dressing with soy sauce. Some people grill ‘em.
- Peas (Snow and Sugar Snap) – the final installment! I’m excited to get the pea trellises down and weed the row – there are some beastweeds lurking in there that I’m going to really enjoy taking out.
- Beans – A mix of seven varieties spanning three colors! Tender enough to eat raw, but also great to cook with. Be warned though – the purple ones don’t stay that way if cooked, so eat those ones raw if you want to enjoy their sexy coloration.
- Broccoli – Although most of the main heads have been harvested, the type we grow continues to produce tender side shoots. Yum.
- Zucchini – So it begins. Oh wait, that was last week … this week, we only had room in the box to give you a couple. I’d brush up on your zucchini recipes though, because the row is looking feisty and fit so far.
- Basil – Use this as soon as possible for maximum impact!
- Okra (large shares only) – we’re never going to have enough okra for everyone at the same time, but if you’re interested in some be sure to let us knowm and we can start getting it out in small amounts!
(thanks for a bunch of pics from your first day on the Farm, Rebecca!)