Monday, June 22, 2015

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week's CSA box has salad greens like lettuce, pea shoots, sorrel, and braising greens like turnip thinnings and mustard, asparagus, green onions, garlic scapes, beets or carrots, cabbage, and strawberries

Field Notes.  Each season some crops thrive and others have more difficulty.  Trying to anticipate weather conditions while a crop will grow is a challenge.  As weather becomes more extreme in temperature shifts and precipitation, the plants often experience more stress. 

One of this year's successes has been strawberries - we have had several good pickings from the first crop and are moving on to subsequent varieties.  If we do not get rain, the berries are small.  Too much rain or heat and they will rot.  We are glad the first crop has done so well.  Another crop, the early potatoes, looks very promising at this point.  People have requested we grow more potatoes, so Ken planted some earlier than usual.  Again we were lucky as they neither froze nor rotted.

On the bee front, one hive seems to be doing well.  Ken brought a hive with a weak queen to a friend's place.  They are trying to re-queen the hive with a stronger, healthier queen.  Although it is late for a hive to produce honey for us, Ken is focused on strong colonies that can over winter rather than honey production.  We are doing our part to help all the pollinators.  About a third of our food requires pollination.  Some examples are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, cucumbers, peas, berries, melons.  

From the Kitchen.  Happy solstice.  We are moving into longer days, consistent heat and new crops.  The end of asparagus and cool weather greens approaches.  Be comforted by all the new crops - cabbage, carrots, beets, and peas!  

My cooking style changes with summer weather.  I light the oven less and focus on saute, steam, and stir fry.  I also continue to make soups, but  more vegetable based with soup stock canned last fall.  And with Ken's first mushrooms we have had many breakfasts of eggs, mushrooms and green onions.  Mushrooms are available to purchase

'Til Next Week, Judith

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