The era of Salad Season is now coming to an end. With the days continuing to get hot and we move into July we won’t being seeing so much lettuce and other salad ingredients in the share. It is also the end of all those flea beetle riddled Asian greens.Before we enter into the next big seasonal era of vegetables – the summer fruit crops of tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and eggplant – we have a few weeks of transition.
This year the weather has played a role in ushering out the spring seasonal crops earlier. I could see the lettuce, Asian greens, spinach, and cilantro really struggle towards the end because we’ve had so many 90 degree days. Many of these crops will start to flower much sooner resulting in smaller yields and they can taste not as good from the heat. This makes this transitional period feel a little different because not all of the summer crops are here yet. I’ve been worried that we are going to have a couple small weeks of shares, but this week isn’t too bad.
The shares actually shouldn’t get too small because some of the crops we are starting to see this week are ready sooner than other years due to the fact they grow better when it is hot. For example, we picked just a quart or two of the field cherry tomatoes today, which must be the earliest we’ve ever picked them before. So expect u-pick cherry tomatoes to start in a couple weeks.
A couple of other crops we will see during this transitional month into the summer fruits are cabbage, carrots, beets, and I hope broccoli. I say I hope for broccoli because I had such grand plans to have a bumper crop of broccoli, but it is a crop that does not like hot dry weather. It also needs to be planted in a highly fertile spot. Unfortunately, it has been hot, dry, and they are not in the best spot. So I’ve seen a lot of small heads forming. Let’s hope they will size up.
Eating seasonally is one of the best reasons for joining a CSA. You get to experience what eating seasonally really is like. Each season you get excited by the new crops that are coming in then as you begin to see them each week they become boring and you wait for the next big exciting thing. This is how we’ve eaten through most of history so it just feels good to eat this way and experience it first hand.