>Summer Week 2: Lettuce and Spinach
>THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
(see end of page for photos)
• Spring Onions
• Lettuce Mix
• Pepper Cress
Mini Butter Lettuces
I’ve been looking at the blog posts from last year, to compare what we had at this time last summer, because everything just seems so green. Usually we would have carrots and beets by now, and we’d be picking peas. That’s an indication right there of how this summer is different. We planted those things just as early as we usually do—March or April. The peas are just now beginning to flower (as are those of many other farms) which means we’ll be picking pods in about two weeks.
It seems incongruous, but we were picking zucchini July 15—but I just today planted all the summer squash. It wouldn’t have done any good to plant it earlier this year. Everyone I have talked to who planted in May (when we usually plant it) has had to replant because the seeds rotted. Same goes for the beans—they won’t germinate if the soil is cold and wet, they’ll just rot. We’re hoping to plant tomorrow and catch this next little warm spell. What a crazy year. We can be pretty sure that the broccoli, cauliflower, and other roots and greens will thrive. This is their comfort zone.
The lettuce and spinach we planted in April is finally ready—small leaves, but they will make a good salad, nonetheless. Ironically, the spinach and lettuce we planted mid-May is almost the same size, it just hasn’t been so stunted by cold and rain.
Pepper Cress is a member of the mustard family. If you’ve ever had nasturtium flowers, this tastes similar. It’s got a peppery bite at first, but it becomes sweet as you chew it. I find it refreshing. Enjoy it on salad, sandwich, or as a garnish, but don’t cook it.
I know many people are wondering about fruit. Well, so are we! There isn’t much fruit at the markets yet, but cherries are starting to trickle in. I haven’t tasted any that are really good yet. There was a hard frost when the cherries were blooming and some farms reported losses of almost 80% then. Cherry blossoms won’t set fruit if they are frozen, and the bees can’t do their job either. Then, all the rain has made much of the fruit that survived crack. We’ll see what happens. Apricots should be coming along in July, but we’ll have to wait and see.
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