There are some weird & wonderful things growing on the farm this season.
For example …
** (None of these vegetables will appear in our CSA shares, as we are not growing quantities of any of them. They will only be available at our farmers’ markets – or not at all if they don’t turn out successfully.)
Cucamelons aka mouse melons, Mexican gherkins or sandiita. Sandiita means little watermelon which is exactly what they look like. The size though is slightly smaller. For comparison …
Cucamelons don’t taste like a watermelon, but rather like a tangy cucumber. They can be eaten out of hand or in salads, stir-fries, salsa or pickled.
These little guys are turning out great. We had a few to sell at market last week & they were snapped up in a hurry.
Growing nicely & spreading out on the straw are bitter melons – 5 kinds. We’ve tried growing them before with little success. Maybe this year is our year? While even the name bitter melons does not sound appealing to me, but they are a staple in many cultures & I would really like to be able to offer them to our customers.
Our artichokes were seeded, transplanted into the field and are growing well – but not as well as the weeds. The overwhelming crop of weeds this season, thanks to the abundance of rain, forced us to make choices as to where we would direct our weeding energies. The artichokes were not chosen!
Other less common vegetables that we are growing (or attempting to grow) include fava beans (total crop failure), radicchio (on course for a fall harvest), winter radishes & Asian radishes (to be seeded this week). Some seeds never even made it out of their packages (amaranth, quinoa, sesame, and huauzontle). Maybe next year!
Some crops we have not mentioned lately but are doing well.
We have made 4 seedings of sunflowers this year. Looking forward to these cheerfully bright blooms!
Our new raspberry rows were rescued from the weeds today.
What’s in the box?
Tomatoes, lettuce, onions, zucchini, cucumbers, kale, (beans).
- There are finally enough tomatoes being harvested to include them in our CSA share this week. Not a lot, but a hint of what is to come.
- We are still planting lettuce – varieties that are supposed to be able to take the heat. Our hope is to have lettuce off & on for much of the summer. Enjoy your fresh salad again this week.
- Onions, zucchini & cucumbers are becoming a regular part of the box. A CSA member shared a recipe for zucchini fritters that I have included below. She claims they are great – and she’s right! We made them & loved them. Thanks Rachel!
- Farmers love kale – easy to grow, dependable, waiting in the field until we need it. Most members love it too. Kale is always a favourite.
- Beans are a big disappointment this week! We were anticipating big picks all week. However the plants have succumbed to rust & today’s harvest was small & of poor quality. The next planting should be mature for harvesting later in the week. Perhaps Friday pick-up will have beans again?
Speaking of disappointments … other crops are showing signs of stress from all the rains. Zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, even onions & kale are all becoming diseased & declining. New plantings of many of these vegetables are growing, but there may be shortages in the next few weeks. More sunshine & less precipitation would be a big help right now!
Two views from our market stall last Thursday. Not a customer to be seen! We had almost 2 hours of heavy rains. Bad weather means lots of time to visit with the other vendors & share stories of the difficult season. Most growers have lost crops to the rain & some are not able to replant because the ground is so wet. I guess misery loves company – it’s oddly comforting to know we are not alone in our struggles with mother nature!
3 cups grated zucchini
¾ cup shredded cheese
½ cup panko bread crumbs
½ tsp basil
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Grate zucchini and squeeze to remove some of the water
Mix in rest of the ingredients
Scoop out onto parchment lined baking sheet (each fritter about 2 tbsp)
Bake at 425 for about 20 mins (until lightly browned).