It looks like summer has finally reached Fort Collins this week as we catapult straight from the low 70s to the low 90s by the end of the week. I suppose it had to happen at some point, but as a farmer I'm not quite ready to give up on my late spring crops! Peas, broccoli, and spring fennel are all just about ready and the heat can really throw these plants off. Team irrigation is working double time this week to keep up with the new water needs of the plants as well as to try to save the heat intolerant ones. Keep your fingers crossed and give them an encouraging high five at the market for all their tireless work! As we were army crawling through garlic patch one late afternoon this week, a working member pondered aloud about the beauty of the atmosphere just two feet above the ground. I really hadn't thought too much about it before, but I realized that as a vegetable farmer, that is where all the action is. Not just the physical action, but much of the farm ecosystem unfolds in this often overlooked space. So at the risk of sounding like a bad flash back of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, I decided to pay more attention and bring you all updates as they come from two feet off the ground. Stay tuned.
Although we are still relatively green this time of year, fruits and other spring treats are starting to appear at the market stand this week. Baby Bok Choy is a favorite in our house. Its crisp stems and peppery leaves go well with mushrooms, lemon grass, and soba noodles. Spring kohlrabi is back and delicious. Everyone on the farm agreed that this batch in particular is the sweetest and most tender we have ever grown. Enjoy peeled and eaten raw, or throw some in with your bok choy. Cilantro is gone as soon as it is here. If you like it, use it in everything. Basil is here and will stay for a while. I love to add this to my salads to bright things up but a whole handful in your pasta, especially when paired with zucchini (which we also have this week), is fabulous as well. Speaking of zucchini, the first fruits have subtle flavor and grill well. Save zucchini bread for later summer doldrum.
Quick tips for the new folks. Most things off the farm store best in a plastic bag in your fridge. Your crisper is a fancy (and misleading) name for a fridge organizer. If you put our vegetables in it without a bag, they will wilt. If you keep things in a plastic bag, they will last for weeks. Zucchini does well in a bag in your fridge with a paper towel. All root crops do well when cut off of greens. If you want to save your roots from getting soft, cut off the the tops and store roots in a plastic bag in your fridge. More storage tips coming soon.
See you all real soon!
This Week's Harvest
Baby Bok Choy