When you buy seeds, almost all are labeled with a number of days till you can expect to harvest. This is helpful in planning a succession of crops throughout the growing season. What is doesn’t always take into consideration is the difference in weather. Sometimes the weather speeds things up, sometimes it slows it down. Sometimes crops planted 2 weeks apart still are ready for harvest the same time as seeds may sit in the soil due to insufficient moisture or get a slow start due to cold temperature.
Such is the cases with peas. While they were planned to be more spread out(15 days according to the packet and planting date) they were all ready the same time. So this week the share had Swiss Giant Snow Peas. These flat, edible pod peas are best sauteed or stir fried. The Cascadia peas are a marvelous shelling pea with nice long pods and the short podded, fat, Sugarsnap peas are great anyway you try them – raw, stir fried, steamed, chopped on a salad. This is one of the best pea crops ever for me so expect them again.
Also included are lettuce, garlic scapes, Napa cabbage, onions, beets, dill, spinach and little bin of strawberries.
As we look to week 4 I think I am going to get after some potatoes, Finish off some spinach for a while and maybe there will be some sort of berry in production. We will see.
Enjoy the Fantastic Weather!
As the weeks progress, each day the field is monitored. Some crops are watched for adequate water, others like peas and tomatoes sometime need help trellising, potatoes are watched for those pesky potato bugs, and still others in anticipation of when a new crop will be ready, this week Garlic Scapes and Beets will find their way into the CSA box!
Garlic Scapes are the immature flowers of hard neck garlics. The scapes can be used however garlic is used as it has the same great flavor. They don’t keep as long as garlic so it is best to refrigerate and use them up as quickly as possible. If you don’t have a need for them, an easy way to preserve it so whip up a batch of Garlic Scape Pesto. Perfect on pasta, bread, and sandwiches. I like to mix some in goat cheese or cream cheese for a great dip as well. Garlic Scape season is short, as the by the 4th of July, they are often overly mature and become fibrous so enjoy them while you got ’em!
Hanging out in the box with the scapes are leaf lettuce, spinach, arugula, more head lettuce, green onions, Swiss chard, rhubarb, bok choy, some beautiful dill weed, AND the first of the beets. Today’s mix contain the ever sweet Golden Beets and beautifully stripped Chioggia Beets. There are only a few as I had to scrounge to find enough sizable ones but they are a great hint of what is to come. This time of year the tops are also exquisitely tasty. They can be juiced, steamed, creamed or cooked up in this tasty rendition. There will be plenty of beets spaced through out the season including red ones, striped ones, golden ones, and cylindrical ones. This small taste is just tease of what is yet to come.
This weekend I get the great excitement to get to Iowa for a little camping trip. While Iowa is not always at the top of everybody’s list of great places to go, it does mean I get to make a stop at Seed Saver Exchange. Seed Savers is a nonprofit organization that focuses on preserving rare vegetable and plant varieties and also makes many available to the public, many of which find their way to my garden. No better way to preserve these treasures than to get people eating them. Hopefully I can document the place and share it with you in the future and NOT come home with a pile of seed packets.
The CSA Begins this week with the much anticipated box of greens: Lettuce, Spinach, Arugula, Bok Choy, Pea Tendrils, Onions, Radishes, Cilantro and a little bit of goat cheese. The spring has been very generous to us and the plants with favorable weather and timely rains. This had lead to the garden looking beautifully. The last of the cucumber transplants have been planted as well as the later crops of beans, beets, and carrots.
All of the bagged greens have been washed and should be ready to go in your favorite salad, wilted or used in this easy gem of a salad: Spinach, Arugula, Cranberry and Walnut Salad. If not used right away, keep them in the bag with the paper towel in the refrigerator, although it is best to use them quickly to get the most nutrients out of them. The pea shoots are a new trial this year. After hearing my sister rave about how great they were when she had them on vacation I thought I would try them out. This variety is called Maestro and is specifically grown for the insane volume of tendrils it produces. The shoots can be sauteed, used in salads, as a sandwich garnish or try out this flavorful rendition, of Pea Shoots Sauteed in Garlic and Ginger.
The favorable conditions also allowed for the transplanting of 80 apple trees to their permanent spots. Some of these are well known current varieties like HoneyCrisp and Haralson while others are some more obscure Antique Apples like Water Mellon and Pound Sweet. It will be a few years till these varieties become available, but my older established apples have a nice collection of fruit set, probably due impart to the beehives we are keeping on the property.
Other than that, the chickens are growing well outdoors and the goats are enjoying our first cutting of hay that was bailed today.
Next week should bring more of the same but also look for a few new things… for sure I saw some garlic scapes popping out, either mustard greens or tatsoi will be ready to harvest and the sugar snap peas are flowering, we will see if they get here in time.