We've had some lovely, warm days over this past week and the vegetables are growing well. The snap peas were growing slowly but are now fully flowering and I see some tiny peas forming. Hopefully we will have some to share soon. The beets are sizing up and the zucchini plants have some tiny fruits on them. Before you know it, we will be swimming in summer vegetables!
I have been noticing higher than normal pest pressure this year. This seems to come in waves: we will have a few years with minimal insect and other pest pressure and then a bad year and then back to normal again. It's been 3 years since our last bad pest year so that seems about right! The curcubits (squash, melons, cucumbers, zucchini) are being plagued by cucumber beetles but so far the plants are winning. This can occasionally mean some scarring on fruit but we will wait to see as the fruit grow.
We have also had a year of high rodent pressure around the farm. The rodents have been eating some of the new transplants right at the base and just generally being destructive. Hopefully we don't lose too many more plants: I tell them that there is lots of other vegetation around to eat but they apparently prefer the tender vegetable plants.
Thank-you to all the share members for accommodating my decision to not provide plastic bags. I know it's a bit more awkward to fill other containers but everyone is adapting well. Over the next couple weeks there will fewer items that will need individual bags, which will make the process easier.
Every year I like to try at least one or two new vegetables and this year endive is it! Many people will have eaten endive without knowing it. The variety that I have grown is a Frisee type endive. Frisee (or curly) endive is a common ingredient in mesclun and salad mixes. It is the crunchy, frizzy green you see in those mixes. So, if in doubt, simply chop the endive and add to your lettuce salads. But endive is also known for being a green that handles heat well. Which means that there are lots of great ways to prepare this vegetable.
Warm Frisee Lardon Salad
Dutch Potato Puree with Curly Endive & Bacon
Endive Salad with Crispy Chickpeas