7/1/13 – the heat is on

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Though the forecast was for 97 today it looks like it only got up to 92 and I think I was able to keep everything from wilting, including myself.  Thanks to Ruth and Laurel for bringing me surprise refreshments today!  I have the best CSA members ever.  New today in the shares are cucumbers, fresh garlic, and european (non-napa) cabbage.

cabbage – “early jersey wakefield” is this open-pollinated pointy variety.   From wikipedia: European cabbage was probably domesticated in Europe sometime around 1000 BC.  It is closely related to other cole crops such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and collards.  Culinary uses include pickling (as in sauerkraut), steaming, sauteing, braising, and eating raw.  The ancient Roman nobleman Pliny the Elder described both culinary and medicinal properties of the vegetable, recommending it for drunkenness–both preventatively to prevent the effects of alcohol, and to cure hangovers.[51]

radishes – “french breakfast” — you can use the greens like turnip greens – lightly steaming or sauteing them.  A korean quick pickled radish recipe: http://koreanfood.about.com/od/sidedishesbanchan/r/Korean-Quick-Pickled-Radish-Recipe.htm

cucumber –

fresh garlic – the garlic hasn’t been cured yet, but has basically sized up to its full size so I can harvest it and give it in the shares.  I would keep it in the fridge though as it is not cured for long term storage.  Use like regular garlic, though the flavor is probably less intense than fully cured garlic.

lettuce – 4 heads today: 1 “sylvesta” which is the medium/large green butterhead, 1 “australe” which is the smal and very firm red/green romaine/butter, then there are 2 random other mini-heads as well.

swiss chard – just the golden stalked kind today.  One of the CSA members quick pickled the chard stems and was happy with the result.

beets – you could add the greens to your chard for a massive cooking greens haul.  Here is a nice simple way to cook beets: http://localfoods.about.com/od/preparationtips/ss/How-To-Roast-Beets.htm

As the season warms up, the heat-loving plants are putting on massive amounts of growth very quickly.  It seems the cucumbers and tomatoes keep growing faster than the pace that I can trellis them.  The summer squash is coming along nicely after a bit of a slow start, with lots of flowers now.  That means zucchini will show up soon in your box – perhaps as soon as next week, though 2 weeks is more likely.  Pole beans are finding their newly built trellis and climbing up happily.  Fava beans are filling out their pods nicely and will get in the shares next week.  The winter squash is starting to put on a lot of growth as well.  I can hardly keep on top of the beds that are finished and need to get mowed and tilled in preparation for another crop.  OK time to eat dinner!

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