We get to start Summer later this week, and luckily that means some new treats from the fields. Peas and Sugar Snaps will continue to come in, and local Strawberries will last as long as the weather does, rumor has it Canada’s berries are ready shortly.
We have started harvesting our baby greens from the greenhouse now that flower sales have tapered off. Baby Arugula is now available and lettuce and spicy mix will be along shortly.
Beet greens have finally matured to full-fledged beets and they are particularly sweet right now.
In addition to these new finds you can check out our Now Picking page at the top of the Blog, I will try to keep it as reflective of our true picking status as possible, but of course the way to really get the best variety is to come in often and see what we have for you.
We finally got our winter squash and pumpkins transplanted this week so that crop is on the way.
We also are thrilled to be growing greenhouse cucumbers again. Our long time shoppers will remember these long European beauties from the past. We haven’t had a place to grow them since the new glass greenhouse opened in 2008, but the hoop houses that replaced the space where the new farmstand sits are perfect for them, and nice and toasty. So we will have boatloads of European and Persian homegrown cukes in a few weeks.
On the nearing horizon are blueberries, summer squash, and even green beans.
We are also awaiting this season’s Kildeer hatching. Another annual mark of summer, this year’s mating pair found a perfect spot in the early lettuce crop to hide their nest and have diligently fought us off every morning as we picked Boston lettuce. Even though we have moved on to another crop they are still keeping watch, but hatching feels imminent.
The nice steady rain we have been having off and on all week has left the fields lush and happy. The pea fields are popping with full pods and hence so is the farmstand. Both regular and sugar snap peas are available this weekend, so be sure to stop in soon. The season gets a little bit longer every year, but it is still all too fleeting, before you know it they will be gone.
Strawberries are in full season right now as well. We have a small number of homegrown berries available from time to time, but the crop we are picking is on its last legs, with a new one just getting established for next year. So you will find the best in local berries on our stand this Spring, some Homegrown, most Massachusetts and New England Grown whenever possible.
Events of note this week are the return of On The Edge Knife Sharpening, this Monday from 1-4. Patti will be in the parking lot sharpening blades and implements of all sorts so bring your kitchen fare and your garden shears down, and let her do her handiwork while you shop. Details available on her website. She is planning on coming every second Monday, so you can really get used to how nice it is to cook with a sharp knife.
Also last week began the start of Cape Ann Fresh Catch’s Summer season. It is not too late to join if you want to have a healthy, sustainably caught, access to fish this summer. What better way to start the week than with some fresh caught filets? Cape Ann Fresh Catch is a Community Supported Fishery, meaning you buy a share directly from them at the beginning of their season and they deliver filets, whole fish , or a combination to you throughout the season, every, or every other Monday. You pick it up at the farm and have all of our other fresh produce available to put together a great meal. Not too late to sign up for this season, they still had space as of last week, more info here.
Speaking of space, The first Dinner in the Field filled up in just three days. I will happily say, I told you so. Well we are thrilled with that excitement level and the fact that there is so much built up anticipation for future events of its kind. Stay tuned here for details on the next one, which will be announced shortly after our first one goes off (without a hitch).
Speaking of things that have been going well, Todd and the Volante Farm Kitchen are excited to be providing catering for the taping of Ming Tsai’s show for WGBH this week. Look for our logo at the end of the show once it airs this fall and tell your friends “your farm” is famous. The underlying comment there, if you were paying attention, is the catering part. We don’t quite have a full catering menu ready to roll out yet, but keep us in mind for your upcoming events, and consider if a platter of Volante Sandwiches wouldn’t just hit the spot. More to come on that as it becomes official, in the meantime direct inquiries to the Deli!
The Greenhouse has been bringing in more flowers daily, in large patio pots, ready to go. If you have a last minute soiree sneak up on you, outfit your BBQ night with some large and well established annuals. You will look like you’ve had it all under control for weeks, with just a minutes effort.
Things are happening fast this weekend. This rain might have washed out the Needham Street Fair this weekend but on the other hand it also washed away a lot of the yellow pine pollen that’s been coating everything lately.
Todd auctioned off a couple of tickets to the Dinner in the Field on the WGBH Auction Thursday night, which also announced its time, July 19th, 2012 at 6 pm in our fields at 292 Forest St. Sneaking a peek at the guest list, tickets are going quick. Don’t go dragging your feet on this one! Check out the link to the right, or click here for more info.
The rain has also pushed a few more Homegrown items out of the fields on onto your plates this weekend. Sunday morning will see the season’s first Sugar Snap Peas on the stand, first in decades Iceberg Lettuce, and first time crop for us Garlic Scapes.
Sugar Snap Peas are one of our farm favorites, edible pods crunch and snap with sweet,
juicy tenderness. Try them in salads, sauteed, or as a super healthy raw snack.
Iceberg Lettuce, wait… why are we excited? We have worked so hard for decades to get you all to move beyond Iceberg. But sometimes it’s good to go a little retro, and with our expanded growing season we had some room. Plus every once in a while you just need a good wedge salad, and like most of our homegrown produce, this won’t be the Iceberg you are expecting. For one, notice the color, it actually has some nutrients in there!
And then Garlic Scapes, the shoot of the garlic bulb that will create new seed garlic. We remove it to help the garlic bulb under ground plump up into a heartier bulb. It is a curly, pointy odd piece of green vegetable that can be used like scallions with more of a garlic flavor. Todd is talking about pickling some, but then when isn’t he. You scapes fans out there, you know who you are, and this is your time.
More on the horizon, stay tuned and stay dry!
PS Don’t forget tomorrow is the Needham Garden Tour!