We have had a relatively normal week here on the farm: harvesting, weeding, some planting of later crops, and pruning the tomatoes. We were thrilled to receive a steady rain last Thursday; our rain gauge said about 1 inch but others in the area said we received closer to 2 inches. Either way, we were happy to see some water falling!
With our early summer crops done, we will now be able to start enjoying some 'height of the season' crops. In addition to the broccoli and zucchini we had last week, we also have some cabbage for the shares this week. You can look forward to green and yellow beans and cucumbers in next week's share! Once we hit August, we will be able to enjoy carrots, beets, eggplant, peppers, and, of course, tomatoes!
On a sad farm note, today we said good bye to our 15 year old farm dog, Okie (short for Okwaho). He has been a trusty companion to Rob since before even I was in the picture and in his younger days he loved to go camping and canoeing, visit farmers' markets, and frolic in the snow. He slowed down a lot in the last couple of years but still enjoyed sitting in the shade and sniffing the air. And he always found the energy to beg for food at dinner time and run for a treat from the Puralator delivery woman! This summer's heat has been hard on him and in the last couple of days he lost the ability to walk or stand up. We are sad to see him go, but know that he has lived a long, happy life.
It's the start of zucchini season! This means we all need to dust off our zucchini recipes from last year, because there is always lots to go around :) But before I share some recipe ideas, I thought I'd explain a little bit about zucchini's origins. You may hear me using the terms 'zucchini' and 'summer squash' interchangeably, which I do for simplicity's sake but it's not entirely accurate. All summer squash belong to the curcubit family, which also includes winter squash and cucumbers. Zucchini are just one type of summer squash. This year we are growing a standard green zucchini, a yellow zucchini, and an heirloom Italian zucchini that is green and white striped. We are also growing three other types of summer squash: both a dark and light green patty pan variety (shaped like a flying saucer), and a round, light green variety called 'Ronde de Nice'. Regardless of shape and colour, all summer squash can be used in similar ways. I find the heirloom varieties to be the most flavourful, with a rich, buttery taste. Most weeks this summer you will receive one of the standard zucchini varieties and the other summer squashes will appear in the trade-in bin as an option.
Summer squash are the perfect summer food because they are 94% water, low in calories, and cooling. They can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted, grilled, sauteed or baked into cakes and breads! For more ideas, here are some zucchini recipes to try.