Friday, July 29, 2011

High Summer is here!

Good-bye peas. Hello other stuff. As of today, you'll notice a marked shift in the types of things coming out of the garden and into your share bag. Spring crops are gone with the last of the snap peas and lettuce out today. Radishes are going to seed in the garden and the spinach is long gone. But the heat of summer brings another transition in the yearly progression of the earth.

Along with zucchini, the last of the Sugar Snap Peas and the last of the Australe Lettuce (hopefully until fall) you'll find your first installment of Sun Gold Tomatoes!!! We're very excited this year to have planted twice as many as last season and to have had them do so well in the greenhouse! They're a bit earlier than usual for us and they are coming in heavy. It's actually almost time for me to lower the vines. I can hardly believe I had them in my short greenhouse (The Quonset Hut) last year. This season I put them in my 'Cathedral' and they're already nearly to the rafters! One word of caution, DON'T SUN GOLD AND DRIVE. It can be dangerous to be snacking on something so tasty and operating a motor vehicle. Yes, Sun golds are that good. Mmmm.

Here is a shot of me harvesting them last night in the dark. One of the biggest challenges we face in agriculture, at least in the northern part of the northern hemisphere (and the southern part of the southern) is that just when the garden puts forth the majority of its bounty, the days begin to dramatically shorten. August 1st is the big date for sudden and serious loss of altitude for the sun. That means working in the dark more and more. Soon, it will mean working in the cold too, but for now the cherry tomatoes are keeping me warm.

This shot is just to show that some of the Sun Golds in your share may need to ripen. I picked twice this week (once last night) and you have to pick them if they're even close to ripe or they'll get by you! From left to right is the progression or ripeness. The one on the left is one that actually fell off when I brushed by a plant. Not one I would have picked. But the next one is. The one I'm pointing to is pretty much perfect and the one all the way to the right is screaming 'enjoy me now before I get soft or split!'.

Here they are in close-up. The lighting wasn't great today (though the cool weather and clouds make for an awesome harvest day!) but you can sort of see how the one on the right is a very dark orange.

Also in the Cathedral, climbing the inverted cedar tops as I discussed in a previous post, is a crop of Tasty Jade Cucumbers. This is the first year I've grown these and frankly, I wonder where they've been all my life. Please don't mistake them for over sized regular cucumbers. These are supposed to get that long and large and they are still great! No jelly filled, over sized seed chambers here. Wonderful.

Also this week we have another installment of Provider Green Beans and the first Golden Butterwax Bush Beans. These are my favorite string beans. They are a beautiful color and they are so tender, even if you let them get by you, which I almost did. Luckily, Brittany did some weeding this week and exposed how ready they were to be picked. Thanks Brittany!!! Don't forget to check out our Recipes page at the right. I plan to make dilly beans with both colors.

You also have another bunch of basil and a bunch of chard in the share this week. Harvesting basil is one of my favorite things to do in the summer garden. I grow it in the greenhouse at the base of our trellised tomatoes. The greenhouse is a nice warm place at 4:30 on a cool, wet summer morning and the greenhouse effect works for smell too. Cutting the basil and disturbing the leaves is enough to create a wonderful 'smell bubble'. I love the scent of basil.

And finally, a little teaser. Also in the dark last night, I harvested the first of the large red type tomatoes. This year's winner of first to ripen is New Girl (a hybrid that I tried for greenhouse production). I had one for lunch today. Delicious. I think by next week we'll have enough to put into the shares. Until then, enjoy the rest of what your local food chain, your local farm and your local farmer have to offer.

1 comment:

  1. Ryan -- thanks for all the updates (along with the fantastic food)! My daughter has fallen in love with peas, and just sighed sadly when I showed her the part of the post that said the peas were finished up. She did brighten up when she realized that we should be getting more today. It's wonderful to have a veggie that she's excited about (she's a fruit girl).