Four days ago the sweet potato plants finally arrived and were planted into the fall garden. The last of the tomato and pepper plants were removed from the greenhouse to the outside staging area. Now our greenhouse sits empty and hot.
I don’t know if you can tell it, but this outdoor staging area of plants waiting to go into the gardens is greatly reduced in size! And we can see the ending days of planting on the horizon.
May was an exceptionally cool month so the cucumbers and summer squash seeds in the Summer Garden have been growing very slowly. Now it is June and really hot which will begin to stress the Spring Garden plants as these greens like cooler weather.
It can be difficult to distinguish the various greens from one another. If you taste the stem end, you may be able to distinguish the turnip from the mustard from the collards. Don’t stress over the names; but if you want to know them, check out the web site Photo Album entitled “Vegetable Identification” under the Harvest Calendar section of the website to see photos of some of these first spring vegetables. The veggies are shown in the approximate order of their appearance in your CSA Box—although, of course, this will vary slightly from season to season and we are always adding new items! Here is a look at the Spring Garden through the deer fence!
All of these first greens can all be used in a raw salad or a quick stir fry mix. I like to wash all of my greens at one time and have them ready to chop for salads or sauté at mealtime. I also keep a big bowl of all these greens chopped and mixed together in the refrigerator. Then I can make a tasty salad (or even a pizza) in no time. Beyond what I will use in two days, I leave washed but not chopped and in a bag.
When you get tired of salads try making a delicious veggie pizza. We use a gluten-free pizza crust, pizza sauce, mushrooms, black olives, onions, and pile on all of the chopped salad mix possible, and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
You might look through the recipes on the web site for these first vegetables and stock your pantry with some of the staples you see repeated in the ingredients. See “T” for Tatsoi, “C” for Choi and “L” for Lettuce. In particular, I would recommend the Joi Choi Salad crunchy topping and dressing! These can be made in advance.
Included in this week’s veggies will be Ching Chang, Black Summer, and/or Joi Choi the last of the Tatsoi (for some boxes), spring onions, red kale, leafy purple Asian mustard greens, and peppery green Asian mustards, Chinese cabbage, endive, escarole, romaine lettuce or head lettuce. Who knew there were so many GREENS?! Your CSA Farmers–that’s who–and now you, too!