This week marks a definite transition toward the summer. We are harvesting the later spring crops - broccoli and cabbage - along with the first of the classic summer crops - zucchini and cucumber soon to follow. Above is a picture of the inside of the smallest of our four hoophouses. It's filled with a mix of late spring crops along with tomatoes in the middle. There are beets planted on either side of the tomatoes to maximize growing space. Those are the ones we're harvesting this week for your shares.
Even though most people would say our cultural summer begins on Memorial Day weekend, as a farmer I can see that this transition usually times up pretty well with the summer solstice on June 20th. During the weeks right around the solstice, all of the crops (and weeds!) are at their peak growth rate and everything feels like it is happening all at once. No matter how well I plan my lettuce successions in the spring, it seems like the later planting just catch up and we have a bit too much lettuce in early to mid-June. Hopefully you've found lots of ways to enjoy all of the lettuce you've received in share the last few weeks. If you have some languishing in your fridge and need a new idea for how to use it, one of our members shared with me this recipe for lettuce soup. I know it may sound strange, but Pam said it was wonderful and easy!
This week's share is totally my jam. My favorite vegetables mostly come from the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, turnips, radishes, and mustard/asian greens are all members). We are loading you up with three different brassicas this week, so hopefully you enjoy them too! The nice thing about having several veggies from the same family in your share is that they play really well together in many recipes. This broccoli and kohlrabi fried rice sounds amazing and you could toss in your fava beans or some turnips from previous weeks too!
Fava beans are another end of spring crop that we've been trialing out for a couple of years. We never get a great yield from them, although I was hopeful with the cool spring this year. In any case, they're a bit of a treat and a really nice fresh shelling bean, but do require a bit of work to prepare. If you haven't prepared fava beans before, here is a link with more info:
Cabbage has become one of my favorite vegetables as an adult. It would also be good in fried rice, or in soup, vinegary coleslaw, stir-fry (with some sugar snap peas!), curry, etc. I don't usually roast cabbage, but this recipe using roasted thick slices of cabbage along with beets sounded very good:
Crops I'm looking forward to in the coming weeks include cucumbers (next week!), sweet onions, celery, green beans, and fennel. It won't be too long before the tomatoes start coming on too. We'll probably start harvesting those in about three weeks, with the cherry tomatoes arriving just a bit sooner. The summer lettuce plantings are looking good, so we should have salad mix available throughout the summer along with our nice frilly green summer crisp lettuce and the lovely red leaf (both of which don't mind the heat).