Planting is a regular cycle throughout the growing season for us. That is until we hit this time of year. Why you may ask?
You see all crops grow and produce differently. Some crops you harvest by pulling the root vegetable out of the ground like a carrot, beet or radish. Once you harvest the crop, you are done with that crop.
Beets grow below ground and are a root vegetable.
Carrots grow below ground and are a root vegetable.
While crops like cucumber, beans or tomatoes flower, then the flower is pollinated which then grows into a vegetable. Vegetables will be harvested when ripe. Once the plant is done flowering. The crop is pulled and fed to our chickens.
Peas – you can see the white flower drying up as the pea pod has formed.
The tomato plant flower, to the left is a small tomato growing and on the far left is a young cherry tomato which will turn red and be ready to harvest soon.
Jade Green Beans
Leaf vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and kale can be harvested by cutting the leaf. The leaf then grows back week after week. The plant will eventual start to look spent with leaves turning brown, change flavor etc. After which we again pull the crop from the ground and feed it to the chickens.
With all of the above scenarios going on simultaneously and repetitively throughout the growing season planting has to occur in different areas of the garden to continuously provide fresh vegetables throughout the season.
Inhibitors to a regular plant growing cycle include weather changes combined with soil type, fertilizer for proper plant nutrition and health, insects and weeds that inhibit the proper and regular growth cycle to allow for quality crops.
So believe it or not as we look ahead the growing season is quickly upon us and not knowing when a frost will occur in September, we are nearing the end of a repetitive planting season. The last one has taken place with hope that the crops will continue to grow until the end of September.
Zinnia – looks like three grew as one. Maybe it’s like a 3 leaf clover – full of luck.
Check out this activity on the 4’OClocks.
Boxes of Produce
This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.
Black Seeded Simpson/Red Oak Leaf Lettuce – Both of these crops taste good on a sandwich or salad.
Spinach/Kale – Great for salads – a new crop of Kale was included this week.
Beets – An old garden favorite of mine. Learn how to use them here.
Radishes – A new crop is planted so enjoy this spicy delight.
Carrots – Esperanza carrots – enjoy these summer delights.
Cucumbers – Will make a return once the next crop is available.
Sugar Snap Peas – A new crop of peas. This is our first crop of sugar snap peas. Our favorite variety.
Jade Green Beans
Green Beans – The first crop of Jade green beans. Delicious raw or cooked. However you prefer to eat them.
Peppers – Banana peppers, green peppers and a few surprise peppers adorn your boxes. They may be small, but they pack quite the taste.
Onions –Enjoy on your burgers, brats or hotdogs. I cut my onions up and freeze them to use – the year. It makes cooking much easier when I have onions pre-cut, frozen and ready for a hotdish.
Potatoes – Kennebec potatoes are in your box this week. These are great baking potatoes.
Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash
Peter Pan Squash
Summer Squash – This crop is slowly coming on with either Golden Egg Hybrid (yellow) or Peter Pan (white). Both would be great in the summer squash soup below.
Tomatoes – This summer favorite is coming on. Included this week are some of the 4th of July tomatoes and some SunGold cherry tomatoes.
Fresh cut arrangement – Hosta Leaves, sunflowers, hydrangeas, zinnias
Recipe of the Week
Summer Squash Soup
5 small yellow summer squash, seeded and cubed (I have used 2 medium or 1 large instead)
2 green onions, cut into 3-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1. In a large saucepan, saute squash and onions in butter until tender. Stir in the broth, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
2. Cool slightly. Process in batches in a blender; return all to the pan. Stir in cream and heat through.
Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash – I always wipe them down with a Chlorox wipe before I cut them up.
Take your Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash, cut down the middle and peel the outside – I used both a knife and a peeler.
Inside of the summer squash before removing the seeds.
Using a spoon, I scoop out the seeds.
Cut into cubes about 1/2 – 1 inch in size.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Puree the mixture.
Cool slightly. Process in batches in a blender; return all to the pan. Stir in cream and heat through.
Place back in your pan, add cream, salt and pepper and warm the soup up. Serve with crackers if desired. We enjoyed this soup with Townhouse Crackers.