We hope everyone had a beautiful Independence Day! Our family was happy to enjoy the true summer weather.
We're nearing the end of the sugar snap peas and strawberries. It was a perfect spring and early summer for peas. Because they're so inexpensive in the grocery store freezer, I don't think most people realize just how labor intensive pea harvests are for the small farmer who works by hand. Sugar snaps are worthwhile to us because our customers can eat the whole pod. There is a lot of waste with the shelling types, so we grow these on a small scale just for our family at this time.
If you drive by the farm you may notice that there hasn't been a stand up and it is because we haven't had very much leftover to put out yet. For the past month Chris has been delivering most of the extra produce to his very loyal coworkers. Our veg-loving baby has also been enjoying lots of homegrown goodies! She just tried zucchini yesterday and it was a big hit.
When you drive by, you may also notice a big tarp. We are clearing an area as a first step in preparation for next year's garden expansion. In two or three weeks we will be sowing a cover crop of crimson clover, vetch, and rye. This will be mowed down later on and followed with the tarp to completely clear the area.
Unfortunately, as soon as our strawberries began to ripen we had another wave of that damp, cool weather. This certainly lowered our yield and made the berries smaller than normal, but they still had wonderful, sweet flavor. So far, we've put up some strawberry and red raspberry jam for our family. Fruit jams are a great thing for the novice canner to try out because any jars that don't seal properly can simply be popped into the freezer once they cool completely. The quality doesn't suffer when defrosted.
We have some super-sweet little carrots ready to go this week, and next week we will have more kohlrabi and various beets. Swiss chard and buttercrunch are going strong, too. Also growing crazy fast are the zucchini, kusa summer squash, and snap beans. For future harvests, the cuke plants are packed with fruit, broccoli heads are growing quickly, and the tomatoes and tomatillos are loaded with blossoms (we've just noticed our first tomatoes forming!). The peppers had a slow start; they love heat, and now that they're finally getting some they're catching up. The melons and watermelons have their first flowers today, too. It should be an abundant summer and fall.
We'll be putting in the fall transplants of caulflower, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts next week.
Another exciting development - our 16 week old hens have started to lay pullet eggs! We got three on Monday, which we used to make a beautiful tagliatelle. It is empowering to be in charge of your own food security.