Market plans, July 30

We haven’t had meaningful rain since July 3, with near-continuous sun and high heat. Good for summer produce overall, but getting to be a real problem in other ways. As I write this Thursday night, we’re watching a line of storms just to our south, crawling east along I-70 with some nice rainfall that looks like it won’t get this far north. If we don’t get rain this weekend, we’re going to start having trouble. Our pastures are drying out and suffering, and irrigation can only do so much for some crops (plus it is starting to get expensive). Fruit plantings, mushroom logs, and other things get hard to keep up with under these conditions. With Tuesday forecast back up at 100 degrees, we could use a bit of balance in the weather.

AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Cherry tomatoes: Finally hitting their stride, should be a good starting quantity.

Basil: This is at peak quality right now. We brought a lot of basil last week, and hardly sold any. There are so many things you can do with lots of basil: make pesto, put leaves on sandwiches, add to Thai/Asian cooking, infuse in sugar syrups for desserts and drinks, etc. It’s also easy to preserve, either by making and freezing pesto, or by packing the leaves directly into olive oil and freezing in small jars. Basil will store well in a jar of water on the counter; it will turn brown in the refrigerator.

Lime basil: We’ll have a limited quantity of lime basil. These plants are also at peak quality right now, and that doesn’t last long with this variety, so get it while you can. Lime basil is excellent when infused in a sugar syrup and served over peaches. We’ve also added it to shortbread cookies and served it minced in cucumber salad. All very tasty.

Edamame: Get there at opening bell if you want them. One of the few things we can’t match demand on,  but we just can’t handle the picking time and labor it would take to seriously increase our production. If you miss them at market, try Root Cellar.

Tomatoes: Small-medium slicers, red and orange. Good flavor and quality, great for all tomato uses.

Okra: Fry it in salted cornmeal, add to soups/stews/beans, use in Indian cooking…

Tomatillos: These are driving me crazy this year, loaded with flowers and small fruit but stubbornly maturing really slowly such that I keep getting low yields at any given harvest. We’ll have whatever is ready.

Garlic: I sold far less than my usual average last week; I hope that’s a glitch. We should have almost all the varieties this week. Roast it, grill it, make salsa, make pesto…what meal doesn’t use garlic this time of year?

Herbs: Parsley, sage, thyme, garlic chives, mint, and possibly more depending on what looks good at harvest time. We might have some dill heads this week.

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