We finished our succession planting of tomatoes last week! Harvest is still a few months away, but it should start in late July with Stupice, an early Russian heirloom variety that produces small, but very flavorful fruit. We grow this variety in the high tunnels to ripen them as quickly as possible. All the other varieties are grown outside without protection. In August we’ll start to harvest the mid-season varieties like Moskovitch, Celebrity and Azoychka. The heirloom tomatoes take the longest to ripen and this year we’re growing some old favorites like Brandywine and Big Rainbow in addition to trialing some new ones including Cuore di bue from northern Italy. Keep your fingers crossed for lots sun this summer!
We still have a few SUMMER SHARES for sale!! Follow the links above to sign up.
This week your share may include…
- Arugula: We seeded our first bed of arugula several months ago and we’ll probably keep planting every few weeks through September. This is our last harvest off of this particular bed so you might see a few flower stalks in your bunch and it may add a bit more zing to your salad. The spicyness of arugula has to do with a combination of the age of the plant and also how hot the weather has been. Older plants in the peak of the summer can be really really spicy! This week the heat level of the arugula is mild to moderate. If you cook the arugula you’ll get all the flavor but none of the heat. Last night the crew made pizza on the grill with mozzarella, capers & arugula – yum!
- Dried Fava Beans: These beans are used fresh & dried throughout the Mediterranean & Middle East. Soak them for at least 8 hrs or longer before cooking. As always the dilemma is – to peel or not to peel?! There are some great tips and interesting recipes in your packet.
- Garlic Scapes (aka Whistles): These are the immature flower stalks from the garlic. You can chop them up and use them to replace garlic in any dish. If you like the shape and want to make some fun finger food – try rubbing them with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, then put them whole under the broiler. They’re done when they start to wilt down and when sections of the scapes get brown & start to caramelize.
- Green Garlic: In the fall when we plant our regular garlic field, we always save a few cloves just for green garlic. These are planted on a much closer spacing – just a few inches apart – and harvested early in the spring. The bulb end is most tender and can be used raw or sauteed. The tops are flavorful too they just take a few minutes longer to cook. Katherine included them in several recipes in your packet.
- Lettuce: The heads in your share the past few weeks are New Red Fire & Tropicana – two of my favorite early leaf lettuce varieties. The leaves are nicely ruffled, tender, and have really good flavor. In the winter I make lots of kale salad, and I’m a big fan of that, but this time of year I’m always so happy to have beautiful spring lettuce salad back again!
- Cayenne Hot Peppers: We grew these spicy little red peppers last summer and dried them down over the winter. You can put them whole into a pot of beans or grind them up to make red pepper flakes. Whatever you do, handle them carefully! In all peppers, the heat is produced by different kinds of capsaicinoids. These are found in the membranes inside the pepper which surround the seeds and attach them to the flesh. Cayenne peppers are usually rated in the med-high heat range on the Scoville Chile Heat Chart.
- Spring Raab: If you were part of the winter share then you may remember my raab rant. The buds of many different kinds of brassicas can be called raab, rabe or rapini which can make it confusing! In this case, Spring Raab (aka Sessantina Grossa), has a turnip-type leaf and a mini broccoli buds on top. The whole plant – leaves, buds & stem – are all quite tasty.
- Turnip greens: Nice big bunches of Hakuri salad turnips this week. Don’t forget to use the greens too.