This week marked the start of summer, the longest day of the year and many preparations for fall.
Solstice week is always a good week to plant many fall and overwintering crops. While the last few weeks we have been busy emptying our greenhouses and transplanting summer crops into the field, we quickly refilled them this week with kale, broccoli, purple sprouting broccoli, orange and purple cauliflower, romanesco, chard and lots of different chicories. After this week, we will just continue sowing lettuce every other week through mid-August. In the field, we still have a few successions of carrots and beets to sow, as well as dandelion greens, beans, cilantro and dill.
The weather has still been unpredictable, with the rain for the most part helping at a time when we are shorthanded and thankful to not be irrigating; our heat loving crops are a little sad, but I think that is temporary and they will perk up as soon as the heat returns. Unfortunately, our raspberries are really unhappy with the rain, and I'm not sure they will recover in time to get a bumper crop like we were hoping. Luckily, we have fall bearing plants, as well, so we will have another opportunity later in the season.
This week's share is a beautiful bounty of greens, roots, bulbs and beans. The medium box has: 3 romaine hearts, rainbow chard, carrots, beets, fava beans, baby fennel, rhubarb and zucchini.
Our family has been chowing on caesar salad with grilled chicken this week. All the kids: not quite 2, 5 and 7 all love the crunch of the romaine hearts and the tangy, creamy flavor of the dressing. Not to mention croutons.
We gussied up our favorite beet salad (see previous CSA week post) and added some thinly sliced fennel bulb and fronds. Fennel is also delicious caramelized (like onions, with a little olive oil, salt and pepper) and used in pasta, as a pizza topping, on top of pork chops, etc.
Our standard go to for rhubarb is a crisp, whether we have strawberries on hand or not. I have also made rhubarb simple syrup by boiling 1 cup chopped rhubarb with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Strain and use the syrup as a cocktail mixer, snow cone flavoring, etc. The remaining rhubarb mash is delicious with yogurt and granola or spread on a piece of nice bread.