Name This Vegetable

  

Does anybody recognize this vegetable?? Here’s a hint: it looked very different last week when we sent you the season’s last of it…

It’s asparagus, starting to store up energy for next year’s growth! We picked asparagus longer into June than usual this year, but it’s now time to let the plants rest so that we can (if all goes well) enjoy another delectable harvest next year.

Judy’s 1930s dryland farming guide tells us that it’s time to stop picking the asparagus when the peas are ready, and this year that timing worked out just right. This week we are sending the first of the edible pod peas (Sugar Ann is the variety). There aren’t many yet, but we hope you enjoy this taste of things to come.

The herbs in with the peas are snippets of parsley and summer savory. Our bedding plants have not yet fully taken off, but we send you these trimmings to help tide you over till they’re in full swing. Our volunteer coriander is going to seed, and the next seeding has not yet come up, so you won’t see any of it for a little while. There is lots of dill though, so we hope you’re not overwhelmed with the generous handful we sent this week. With that out of the way, we are much better able to weed our four rows of parsnips.

You will notice that this week’s orach looks significantly different than it did a month ago. The plants are getting to their full size, and this will likely be the last orach we send. Taking its place will be the perpetual spinach, which makes its debut this week. You each have a handful of leaves on the top of your orach bag. We use this just as we would “regular” spinach, though botanically it is more closely related to swiss chard and beets. Unlike other spinach, it doesn’t bolt easily, so we should be able to send it all season long. The Bloomsdale spinach, on the other hand, is finished for the season.

We had hoped to have some other greens ready for you by now, but one horribly cold night about a month back thwarted those plans. Most of the mustard greens and kale we planted were killed off that night. We’ve replanted the kale and it is coming up well; we’ll just need to be patient with it. As for the mustard greens, we’ll try again next year.

The lettuce, on the other hand, is reaching its prime. Salad is a major part of just about every meal here on the farm (though not breakfast in our household!) and we hope you enjoy the lettuce as much as we have been. Here’s a dressing recipe we’ve been enjoying with our salads:

1/2 cup olive oil (or, for a creamy dressing, substitute part or all plain yogurt)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Braggs or soy sauce
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of black pepper
2 Tbsp minced fresh herbs

Combine all ingredients in a jar, shake, serve, and enjoy!

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