We checked a lot of items off of our to-do list in spite of some of the challenges posed by last week's summer-like weather. We manage to work through some of the hotter afternoons by seeding plants for the greenhouse in the shade whenever possible, as well as a few strategic popsicle breaks!
Hot sunny weather is a great time to kill weeds, so we did a lot of tractor cultivating, hoeing and hand weeding in our spring brassicas, beets, carrots, greens, onions, leeks, asparagus, strawberries and blueberries. Monday's rain has brought up a whole new flush of weeds, but our hard work last week gave all of those crops some breathing space for at least a few days!
We also chipped away at our planting list last week, with summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers heirloom tomatoes, and some flowers and peppers in the ground. Because of the heat, we wait as late into the afternoon as we can to begin planting so that the young plants have as little time as possible out in the heat before it cools down for the evening. The new transplants seem to be able to withstand the heat the following day better once they've had an overnight adjustment period.
Melissa and Wyatt also made huge strides in our irrigation set-up. Because our soil is very sandy and dries out quickly, irrigation is essential to our crops' survival. Of course, one of the surest ways to make it rain is to complete an important chunk of irrigation set-up! Even when it does rain shortly after setting up irrigation, as it did on Monday, we are still always happy we did it. We know that we will use that irrigation set-up at many more points throughout the season!
What we're harvesting this week:
- Strawberries - We had our first taste of summer in the store on Saturday and we're anticipating a little more this week, though it's still early! Only the Chandler strawberries are producing right now, so we may not have strawberries every day and they will likely sell out early when we do.
- Head lettuce
- Salanova lettuce mix
- Red Russian kale - we may not have this every day that we are open
- Bok choi
- Radishes - Easter egg and cherriette
- Hakurei salad turnips
- Happy Rich broccoli - this tender broccoli made an appearance in the store on Saturday and we may get another cut by the end of this week.
- Basil plants
- Sweet William flowers - should be ready at the end of the week!
Recipes of the week:
We have an abundance of spinach right now, but not for much longer, as spinach does not like heat. Get your fill while you can with these two simple recipes involving raw spinach and blenders or food processors!
from chow.com - great on pasta or homemade pizza!
- 8 ounces spinach
- 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce), plus more for serving
- Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Place half of the spinach and all of the pine nuts and garlic in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, until coarsely chopped, Add the remaining spinach and pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper and process until combined, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and process until a smooth paste forms, about 30 seconds. Serve on top of pasta (or whatever else sounds good to you!).
Cyra's Favorite Smoothie - My toddler won't touch most vegetables, but she will devour spinach and kale in smoothie form!
- 1 cup whole spinach leaves
- 1 banana
- 3/4 cup coconut beverage or almond milk
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
Puree in blender. You can adjust the amount of liquid to make the smoothie more or less thick. I sometimes make the smoothie thicker and add in chunks of fruit or berries after pureeing so that it looks a little like green fruit yogurt to my daughter!