|Zucchini season has started|
Field Notes. Heat is the word. The weather forecaster said most years the Twin Cities gets about 10 - 13 days over 90 degrees and at that time there had already been eight. Heat is good for some crops, and not for others. Greens prefer cool and damp. Peas prefer cool and damp. All the cabbage family (the largest family of vegetables - the brassicas) prefer cool and damp. The peas are giving up - just too hot and dry. Ken says if it is a short peas season it could be a very good melon season.
|Peppers - one of the nightshades|
And there are several plants who prefer heat - mostly those in the curcurbit family like cucumbers, squash, melons and the solanae or nightshade family like eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. BUT if it gets too hot as it did last year the plants who love heat will drop their blossoms and we just have to wait for the next ones to set fruit.
Ken has been weeding the asparagus and planting a green manure in the asparagus beds. Now the plants will shoot up, grow, and make energy for next year's crop. Soon he will mow the strawberries. Once they regrow, he weeds and moves runners to next year's location. Perennials require attention several times during the year.
Ken has been mowing and spiffing up the place for next Sunday's garden and field tour. Please let us know if you plan to come as I make some garden snacks for after the tour - it is nice to know if that will be two or twenty.
|Salted roots on a bed of wilted greens|
From the Kitchen. Heat. I have been doing more quick cooking. I wash, slice and salted vegetables like kohlrabi bulbs, carrots, red turnips, and radishes and placed them on a bed of greens I have wilted. I clean up combinations of kohlrabi, beet, turnip, and radish tops with any other braising greens like kale or chard. I saute the white part of green onions, add the chopped greens to wilt, add an interesting vinegar and or cream or sour cream or yogurt (last week I used balsamic vinegar and cream, and Ken gave it a thumbs up).
This week we have shell peas. This English variety needs shelling. Each year a grandmother contracts with me for a picking of shell peas. She and her grandchildren shell and eat peas as they watch videos in the evenings. They love the activity and she loves giving them a healthy snack. I tend to save the pods after I shell out the peas and boil the pods down for a really sweet soup stock. Then the spent pods go to the pigs.
It is our first of many weeks of zucchini. We love grilled zucchini. I also add it to tomato sauce or soups. As a child during summer camp one day we made "pocket stew" from vegetables we brought from home. I probably brought carrots - one of my favorites. That night I told my family someone brought a cucumber with no seeds. My mom laughed and explained what a zucchini was to me. Enjoy this versatile vegetable. I welcome any ideas from you and I will share the recipes.
Hope you can make the garden tour!