Happy (almost) summer solstice! After the short heat wave we had at the end of May, it certainly hasn't felt much like summer over the last few weeks. The summer crops seems to be growing really slowly this year due mostly to the lack of rain we had for a month, but also partly due to the cooler temps we've been having. I was really hoping that we'd have cucumbers and zucchini in shares starting next week, but it looks like it will probably be the week after that before those crops are fully going. There are just a few cherry tomatoes starting to ripen, but those will be a few more weeks before we have critical mass for shares too. There typically are a couple of slightly leaner weeks in between the spring bounty and before the classic crops of summer are ready. Luckily, we grow such a diversity of crops and plan to have more than we think we'll need, so that we're still covered when the succession crops just aren't quite ready yet.
The share this week feels a lot like an in-between share, although honestly there are a lot of new and awesome crops included. New items that I'm particularly excited about are cabbage (such an under appreciated vegetable!) and these italian red long onions. The onions are on the strong side, so a little can go a long way. We've harvested them fresh and their greens still look great, so definitely chop up the whole thing - bulbs and greens to throw into your cooking this week. Our family really loves soup with cabbage and since it's still a bit cooler this week maybe that would sound good to you to. Here's a recipe for an idea, but you could really use almost all of the items in your share this week in a big cabbage soup:
Two more new items in the shares this week are sweet basil and swiss chard. This is our first cut of the sweet basil, and we are cutting the middle out of the plants to encourage them to grow big and bushy, so you'll find your herbs bagged up instead of bunched. They will keep fairly well at room temperature in a bag for a few days, or you can add them to the soup recipe above, or you can blend them together with your swiss chard for a different twist on classic pesto:
Hopefully you are trying and enjoying the kohlrabi in your shares! I know it can be a lot sometimes and it's good to know that certain vegetables keep in the fridge for a good long time, so that you can focus on eating up those that spoil a little faster. Kohlrabi is one of those workhorse veggies that last for a month or more in the fridge. They are best kept with their greens removed (this is true for all root crops too). Most of the root crops we give bunched with their greens should ideally be separated from the greens for storage. If you love greens to cook, put in smoothies, etc., you can certainly use them! They are also great to compost if you have plenty of other greens to eat.
The last new crop in the share this week are the salad turnips! These are a favorite vegetable in our family because they are so incredibly versatile. They are wonderful raw - my kids like them sliced and sprinkled with salt. We also throw them into soups, stir-fry, curry, or a roasted veg side dish. I was a little disappointed in our last spring planting of these (from which we're harvesting this week). The turnips weren't quite as filled out as expected and some had some funny shaping. I'm guessing this was mostly due to dry weather. We did harvest out a lot of turnips from a previous planting last week to store without their greens, so some of you may be receiving those on Thursday or Saturday if we can't get enough from the current planting.
Alrghty, that's all for now! Be sure to check out the comments of previous newsletters as some of you are starting to share recipe ideas there. We'd love to see more of that if you have something you'd like to share!