Well, the rain drops are falling once again as I type this. As dry as last season was, the theme this year seems to be wet, wet, wet! A couple of bright spots with all this rain is that for the most part the rain has been happening in the evenings and over the weekend, right after we transplant and there have been some killer rainbows.
Last week we were busy getting about 4000 transplants in the ground. We got in a second planting of fennel, the first planting of basil, another round of lettuce, rutabagas, the first of the fall broccoli, another round of cucumbers and summer squash, the watermelons and cantaloupes, pumpkins and all of our winter squash. It was a busy few days around harvesting and field trips!
In addition to all of last week’s transplanting, we spent some quality time in the heirloom tomato house tying up the plants and began the weekly job of “trellissing and suckering”. The varieties of tomatoes that we grow on the farm are indeterminate, which means that they will grow as tall as we let them. We “sucker” or prune the plants to one main leader and wrap the plants around a biodegradable twine. By doing this we are able to maximize the plant’s energy and hopefully have better quality fruit that will ripen faster. It already seems like they have grown another 6 inches since last Friday. One of these days I’ll actually get around to measuring the growth in a week.
The CSA share this week will feature a few new items. There will be the first kale of the season. It’s not full-sized and can be lightly sautéed or eaten raw. Kohlrabi will also be making an appearance. I love kohlrabi, especially when it’s young and tender. Now, some folks might be saying kohl-what? Think of a cross between cabbage and broccoli that looks like a space ship 🙂 The greens on this veggie are edible but the main focus is on the bulb part. It can be peeled and added to salads, lightly roasted with salt or sautéed. I prefer to add it to salads to add a crunchy sweet goodness to my greens. The last newbie for the week are garlic scapes. These curly pigtail-like buggers actually grow out of the center of the garlic plant. We harvest the scapes to tell the garlic that they need to start sizing up their bulbs. You use the garlic scapes just as you would use fresh garlic. Just chop it up and add it to your favorite dish. My preferred uses of scapes are to just marinate them whole in some oil and a coarse salt and toss them on the grill until they are slightly charred or to make pesto. The New York Times put out a real simple recipe a few years back for scape pesto. It’s one of my favorites! In addition to these items, there will be more arugula, mustard greens, radishes, hakurei turnips (with their edible greens), the last of the mini romaine heads, mixed bags of the mizuna and Tokyo bekana and strawberries. I’m not sure how much longer we’ll have the strawberries for and all this rain definitely hasn’t been kind to them but there will be at least one more week.
Have a great week folks!