Field Notes. Hot and dry! What an interesting season - cool snowy at the start, hot in June, cool in July, and now REALLY hot. Overall it has been dry. We were fortunate to start out with good soil moisture. That and the organic matter that Ken has built in the soil has carried us through. We do need rain, but I feel I should be careful what I ask for ! One summer we got a great deal of rain in August and two things occurred - the winter squash was like water balloons and did not keep and the melons lacked sweetness because the sugars did not concentrate.
Ken is doing much better - he tells people he only needs one nap a day! Most days he gets no nap, but he has been balancing work by activity level. And in the heat we both try to schedule active work for the coolest parts of the day.
Ken has been rethinking what he will be doing on the bee and honey front. His primary goal this year is to create healthy hives, and he is reading that people are now asking for honey from bees never fed sugar water. These bees have not had sugar water, so he may take off less honey and leave the bees their natural food. We have several native bees, but we really need pollinators! Much of our food requires pollination: peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, strawberries, raspberries, apples, plums, grapes, cucumbers, melons, summer and winter squash. The problems with honey bees and native pollinators is one that affects everyone who eats.
Days are getting shorter, and we can see the annual crops pushing to make fruit and seed. The tsunami of tomatoes is a prime example. Enjoy summer's bounty! This week we have broccoli earlier than planned. Ken planted three crops for a long fall harvest. With the wide swings in temperature it is all coming at once. Want broccoli to freeze for next winter? Call or email us
From the Kitchen. Salad time! We have been eating cucumber salad most days. Cucumbers help cool the body down in the heat. Ken usually makes a salad with yogurt or sour cream, vinegar, honey, onions, salt and pepper. For a change of pace I do an Asian dressing with sesame oil, sesame seeds, mild vinegar, honey, tamari and some pepper. We add red pepper hot or mild for color and zip.
I have been packing up the tomato in balsamic vinegar and olive oil with basil for pot lucks, and we have only had a bowl of dressing to bring home!
Summer cabbage makes a sweet and lovely salad or a quick steam and voila. I often do a traditional slaw or with steamed wedges it is usually butter or umeboshi paste.
'Til next Week,