July is the month when the garden kicks in to overdrive. Bees are a buzzin’, vines are taking over and the promise of the first field tomato is visible, even though it’s still green. We say good-bye to spring vegetables, like radishes and spinach, as we gear up for zuchs, carrots, potatoes, peppers, eggplants and cucumbers. Little Italy, our brimming greenhouse, is a sight to behold. The sun gold cherry tomatoes, a CSA favourite, are just starting and should appear in baskets by month’s end.
We harvested our first zucchinis this week. At this point it’s manageable. I know it’s only a matter of time before the swearing starts. We have 50 plants, which seems crazy. It is crazy. But we like to harvest them small and like all cucurbits, it’s only a matter of time before pests catch up and take over. There are many types of zuchs, though we mostly see the generic dark green skinny guys in the grocery store. This year, we are growing Zephyr. Don’t be thrown off by his pale appearance. He’s very tasty.
Like zuchs, carrots grown organically stand out compared to their conventional counterparts. This early variety is particularly flowery in our opinion with undertones of violets. What do you think? We judge vegetables like wine!
The beets are called “Baby” and can be boiled or roasted. The greens can be steamed. Topped with butter, S&P and a little vinegar, they make my Ukrainian heart sing. To keep both carrots and beets firm, remove the tops ASAP.
The sugar snap peas are starting this week in small amounts which will surely whet your appetite for more! You may want to de –string them by pulling from the stem end down to the tail.
Even though they aren’t on the menu until the 4th week of July, the cucumbers have found us today so we’ve slipped one into each basket as a special surprise.
This is the year of the brassica as conditions seem to be what they enjoy the most. Who knew? We have an insane amount of kale and invite you to bring a machete and help yourself if you would like more for processing or juicing. We’ll be turning it under next week. Fall varieties will appear in the baskets in late September. We’re excited to have a bumper crop of broccoli as it is a very challenging vegetable to grow. We leave a few leaves on as they are edible and can be chopped up into a salad. The cabbage is a European variety and is soft and sweet and makes a fantastic coleslaw. It also stores really well if you are unable to eat it all within a couple of weeks. Speaking of European varieties……
The French boys are here! Pierre Alain and Edouard from Reims, an hour outside of Paris, are a welcome addition to the team. The weeds have never been so threatened, and, like our daughters, seemingly fall down at their feet! When he is not in school, Edouard is a champagne server at the house of Pommery. Imagine!
For the first time in 8 years, I’m going to leave the farm for a four day mini-vacay. I’m going to Manitoba to celebrate the 90th birthday of dear Uncle Bill. Some of you may remember him from last year’s newsletters. He was our number one farm hand! Will is very nervous about me leaving. I may find only his feet sticking out buried by cukes and zuchs upon my return! Until then, enjoy the bounty!