Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In the Field: The State of Summer Produce

A quick photo tour of what lies just around the corner as we near the start of an early summer harvest season at the farm. A walk through the fields right now provides views that are mostly green as fruiting summer plants come closer to growing strong and mature and offering the colorful seasonal bounty of summer and harvest seasons. There is plenty of food out there right now though and starting the week after this one, the farm stand will be open for regular season hours, soon the CSA will be a weekly event once again, and free time for farmers (if there ever was any) will be a thing of the distant winter past.

I found the earliest tomatoes hanging around on some vines yesterday as I walked to the back of the field for some lettuce. An outstanding green tomato such as this and it is still May, I was inspired to share the sight of it.

Not far from the green tomato, I peeked in at the earliest planting of summer squash to find baby zucchini well established and loving the recent quick heat wave we had a couple of days back.

Carrots hide their progress underground quite well, you often must pull a few or keep track of their "days to maturity" to get an idea of what lies beneath the soil. The tops are vibrant in color in the afternoon sun. Long rows of these frilly carrot tops are eye candy in themselves, but before long the roots that are often as sweet as candy will return.

The onions are called Red Burger and I think these were grown from saved seed. I have some in my home garden and they were from seeds we had saved last season. It is a nice early crop of good sized red onions. These you do not have to wait for, they are already being harvested for sales. Harvesting onions in spring provides a full onion bulb, but may lack some of the storage qualities like the dry outer paper and the dried back stem. Instead, you get to see the vibrant red of the onion and have a nice, sturdy green stem with which to carry your onion home. No bags needed.

Cabbages are not huge yet as they tend to get in the Tierra fields, but they are forming their heads and are recognizable. Fresh sweet cabbage and new sour batches of sauerkraut will return before long.

And finally, some broccoli florets are well formed and nearly mature. Here comes the vast array of fresh vegetables, get ready to start enjoying the bounty of the 2009 season!

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