Summer Heat & Warm Rain
Today is still quite warm but it is such a relief after that stretch of 95 degree days we are just coming out of. We had some wild thunderstorms yesterday afternoon and evening, and with them lots of warm rainwater that has made the garden explode overnight.
We grabbed the last of the garlic scapes over the past two weeks, much of which we've enjoyed in pesto and green goddess dressing. We've had such an abundance of these gorgeous purple snap peas (and will probably continue to for another week or so). I'm so impressed with how they've handled this intense heat. We've also had our first few harvests of summer squash, specifically my favorite, a Lebanese kousa type. And I can't forget to rave about our first round of freshly harvested shiitakes. While they're known for drying well, we wanted to taste them right away and roasted them with green garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper at a high temperature to achieve scrumptious crispy goodness to serve alongside some soft-boiled eggs.
I'm expecting to harvest garlic in about a week. Also on the horizon: carrots, beets, Chinese cabbage, zucchini, and cucumbers. There are some absolutely massive tomatoes out in the field that I'm hoping will ripen any day now. I have some bacon from another local farm on standby in the freezer in the meantime.
Other things to look forward to: the growth on the sweet potato vines is exceptional and I'm so optimistic for a substantial harvest of both the common orange as well as the Japanese purple types. The first little peppers are emerging as well, and the first to harvest will certainly be the Orange Lunchbox. We thought we lost all of the eggplants to pest damage but most of them have rallied and have strong regrowth. The amaranth are starting to form beautiful golden heads, so we anticipate small amounts of this pseudo-grain in the fall. The tomatillos still have a little while to go until harvest, but the plants are absolutely massive and are loaded with flowers and tiny little lanterns that will eventually grow into fruit. We have three different varieties this year, one purple and two kinds of green, and I'm excited to compare. I've heard the purple ones are so sweet that you can eat them right off the plant.
This season continues to be the absolute worst ever for pests, but I'm continually amazed at the way plants can succeed without the use of pesticides. I haven't applied any diatomaceous earth since the last update on the Solstice, and while we are still dealing with the cucumber beetles (and I'm still being vigilant), the majority of the plants are standing up to them with little to no damage - and while I do grow a small amount of F1 hybrids, almost everything we grow is an heirloom if not open-pollinated. It is so nerve-wracking to have people counting on you to grow their food, but I'm inspired by the power of soil health and biodiversity and their role in improving food security in our community.
Enjoy tomorrow with your family and friends! If you need sugar snap peas or summer squash for your picnics, you know where to find us.