The Summer Season Begins

Today marks the beginning of the summer vegetable season, and we are pleased to be sending out a lovely ensemble of perennial and volunteer vegetables. Late to get started this year, our asparagus patch has been loving the heat of this past week, giving us a full two pounds to send with each full share. Rhubarb is also coming along, and by pulling the multiple flower stalks that have formed, we should be able to keep up the harvest for another month or so.

Dutch chives

The Dutch chives are starting to peak, so we figured it was worth sending them as well. We are thinking the best way of presenting them to you is to send them whole before the tops die back, so that you can enjoy both the green tops and the bulbs, and they hold together better in your bags than cuttings.

sorrel

Sorrel is another early-producing perennial, and one that is relatively new to us here at Largo. We have been enjoying its leaves in salads, stir fries, and teas this spring. Judy has found that the acidity of the sorrel nicely balances out the orach to make a very pleasant salad, and has been combining them in roughly equal quantities. I have also been experimenting with teas, and have found that rhubarb and sorrel make a lovely combination. On Wednesday, I chopped up a few cups of rhubarb and a medium bunch of sorrel and placed them in a gallon jar along with boiled water, a touch of mint, and a dollop of honey. I placed the jar in the sun for the afternoon, left it out overnight to chill, then transferred it to the cellar and strained it. Refreshing!

orach

The bulk of today’s order is our star spring volunteer: orach. This domesticated version of lamb’s quarters is rather challenging to start from seed, but once a patch is established, it produces abundantly for as long as you allow it to go to seed (and probably then some!). We have to mercilessly thin our spring volunteers to prevent them from crowding themselves out, but we are now getting some delightfully large (and quick to harvest!) leaves. Use these however you best enjoy eating spinach: raw in salads, steamed, stir-fried, in casseroles etc. If you do not expect to be able to use all your orach this week, you can also blanch and freeze it to enjoy next winter.

dill

As we made our way from the sorrel to the chives this morning, we stumbled across a beautiful patch of volunteer dill along the garden’s edge. Since the edge needs cultivating, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to send some early dill. Enjoy!

 

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