I have not missed the heat in the way that I miss strawberries out of season or the way that I miss fresh greens in the winter, or the way that miss my cousin in Baghdad. I have only missed the heat because of what I know what it brings with it. The heat and humidity bring ideal growing conditions for the tomatoes, peppers and sweet corn. The heat brings climax to a summer and it brings purging to my sweat gland. In all honesty, I greatly dislike the intense heat, more than I dislike the intense cold. My profession demands that I learn to acclimate to all weather conditions, so I have learned to find ways to cope, but I may never learn to love it in the same way that I could learn to love a painful life lesson.
Now that it is officially summer and we are transitioning away from the spring radishes and spinach and into the summer squash and carrots, the work load increases a bit, but we are ready. As the sweat drips from our brows, we experiment with damp cloths around our necks, sun hats and Adam has even been wearing a white towel on his head to absorb the moisture that seems to pour from his forehead. We are weeding onion beds, picking peas and garlic scapes and trellising tomatoes. We are planting the fall successions of cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, and the sun blazes down. The heat intensifies and we wonder how it’s even possible for Wisconsin to get this hot. We laugh it off, but when the laughter is over, the sun continues to blaze and someone walks back to the house to replenish the lemon ice water and swap out ipods for our field stereo.
We did make a trip to the swimming hole on Wednesday that proved to be the most refreshing thing a person can do when feeling over-heated. We know of a spot near the Kickapoo Reserve where there is a break in the trees with a path that leads you down to the river. You have to walk quickly or the mosquitoes will find you and you’ll go home with more red on you than when you came. When you reach the cool river after about 200 feet, the large opening in the water with a soft sandy bottom is so inviting to the scalding body you can hardly help yourself but to jump right in. The cold shock is a wonderful feeling, so wonderful that I find myself giving thanks to the intense heat, because only when it gets this hot will I go swimming in water this cold and will it feel this good. The dogs come along and we introduce them to water. We teach them how to swim and they teach us how to be thankful for not being born with a fur coat.
Sooo….WHAT’S in the BOX???
Kohlrabi- You may have received a white or purple kohlrabi. This is in the same family as broccoli, kale, cauliflower and cabbage. Stores best in a plastic bag in refrigerator.
Head Lettuce- Lots more where this came from! Stores best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to preserve moisture.
Peas- We planted the snow peas (flatter and edible pod variety) and the snap peas (more rounder and edible pod variety). You will probably have received one or the other. Stores best in the plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Cilantro- We have cilantro now and it’s only here for a short time with this intense heat. I know we just gave it last week, but it’s now or ever and everyone loves cilantro. More later in the season again. Stores best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Broccoli- Bonita que ta! Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Red Russian Kale- So many greens, we couldn’t just let them sit in the field and not get harvested. So many yummy kale recipes, hope you’re learning to love to cook with greens! Stores best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Green Onions- More yummy green onions. Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge or standing up in a jar of water in the fridge with the tops trimmed off.
Dill- Another annual summer herb. Stores best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Garlic Scapes- These are actually the seed pods off of the garlic plant. They are wonderfully edible! You use the stem part up until the little bulbous seed pod area. Use them just like you would use garlic in any ‘ol dish. Store in a plastic bag in fridge or with the ends in a glass of water on your counter top for a few days like a vase of flowers.
Next Week! A short list of items that we may have next week, but will not promise to have. Due to the unexpectedness of the season and perishable nature of produce, anything could pop up or go down hill unexpectedly.
Head Lettuce, broccoli, kohlrabi, snap peas, green onions, parsley, cabbage, garlic scapes