Red Butter Lettuce with exposed burned edges
For the second week in a row, we have lost our planting of Red Butter lettuce to a pervasive burn which effects the edges of the leaves. It looks beautiful, until you start to pull it apart. We will face a lot of disappointed customers at the markets, but luckily have other lettuces to offer. The burn seems to correspond to heat during certain parts of the growth cycle.
The old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket” comes to mind right now. The farm has lots of baskets and they are full of many summer crops. Take a look:
This week’s ruined Red Butter crop in the center. Last week’s failed crop on the left.
The full crew picks beans.
Asparagus in frond stage
Tomatoes are beginning to color.
Just harvested pea shoots
The first row of of a new crop of carrots was picked today.
Garlic chives are flowering.
Cloudy skys over the winter squash field. The plants are taking off, but not yet flowering.
The yellow raspberries are in full production.
First and second planting of peppers
Harvested carrot bed
Changes happen fast around here. Our second market of the week opened this week, Tuesday, with much fanfare and commotion. We had a busy and successful night. Thanks to all for coming and supporting us and all the vendors. We look forward to another great season.
We are growing some new varieties this year including a new English pea called Penelope (ahhh). It sports a densely packed pod of small, sweet peas, most picturesque. Also, to fan the kale-craze flames, a broader leafed kale called Rainbow Lacinato kale.
Rainbow lacinato kale
The farm stand will open soon. Still haven’t set a date, but the decor has been planted.
Farm stand is planted…
Everything happens fast. All of a sudden, we are in it, full tilt.
Potatoes are flowering. In the distance, rows of lettuce were transplanted yesterday, looking slightly like a rainbow, between the new raspberry rows.
This healthy Red Russian kale is so nice to see after several plantings have succumbed to devastating insect damage.
This field, with the enormous Valley Oaks in the background, is where the artichokes were last year. It’s becoming the herb zone because it is a little oddly shaped, perfect for small plantings of more perennial crops.
Lots of Sugar Baby watermelons. We’ll have them next week at the markets. Yummy.
Basil growing under covers to protect from the cucumber beetles.
The winter squash crop here is taking off.
Winter squash is flowering like mad and setting fruit to feed us later.
The Roadside Farm Stand has been so much fun. And the sensational garden in front is only just beginning!
I cut a variety of herbs this morning…dill, tarragon, parsley, sage and thyme.
Herb vinegars are easy to make. Shove herbs of choice into a jar and topped it off with a white wine vinegar. Let it will sit for a week, then strain out the herbs and voila! I used dill and tarragon this time.
Some of the herbs that didn’t make it into the vinegar were chopped up and added to a rice salad, along with sweet antohi peppers and chopped red onion (salted first to soften the “bite”). Parsley, a little tarragon and dill season the salad along with salt and pepper and pomegranate olive oil.
Another way to use an overflow of herbs is to make a simple herby sauce. Parsley, capers, shallots, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, salt and pepper are the essentials. Proportions are up to your taste. I make enough to freeze into herb [ice] cubes for use specially on fish, but this sauce perks up everything!
Then the rest of the herbs will just sit for a week and dry. Give them some air… a fan will speed up the process… or just put them in a wide basket and carefully turn them over everyday until they are thoroughly dry.
Taragon and sage drying.