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Out With the Old, in With the New

June 24, 2011

A view of the garden: kale, bolting greens and tall fava beans, in front of the far hoop house

Despite the cool, wet spring and a summer that hasn’t quite arrived yet, the garden is making progress. Pretty good progress, I would say. Yes, it is still true that most things will be late this year, some because they just don’t grow that fast in the cooler weather and some because I have been late in planting, but the garden is growing and there is lots of food out there. Here is the update:

Italian Farmhouse fava beans: ready

The earliest greens are done for the summer (arugula, spinach, mizuna and the chicories: endive and escarole). Some other greens bolted too fast and never were available (bok choi and komatsuna). Hopefully, many of these will be back in the fall. The greens beds will be cleared soon to make way for more lettuce and carrots. Other spring things are in their prime and will continue for some time, like the kale, chard and peas. The first planting of snow peas is finished and I am now harvesting from the second planting. The snap peas take a bit longer, so I am still picking from the first planting of those. The lettuce is growing beautifully right now. This weather is really perfect for lettuce. And, of course, I am very excited about the fennel and kohlrabi, which are also beautiful…the best fennel I have ever grown and my first success with kohlrabi.

Garlic scapes: the flower stalk of the garlic plant

Early summer crops are starting to come on  board. The fava beans and garlic scapes should be ready very soon and I spied the first zucchini yesterday. The later summer, long season, heat loving plants are where the most uncertainty lies. I planted tons of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant this year, in hopes of a good harvest. I think they are in a happy place: between a fence and driveway, where our apple orchard used to be. It probably gets the most hours of sunlight in the whole garden and holds the heat well. I am keeping my fingers crossed. And finally, beans! After last year’s dismal bean harvest, I have planted lots of those, too. Unfortunately, they were one of those things planted late (just this week) and I’ll be watching closely to see if they germinate well this year.

I love the dilemma I have in the kitchen now, when I am deciding what to make for dinner: there are so many things ready in the garden, what should I eat tonight?

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