It is not officially summer yet, but the heat has arrived (along with the lack of rain) and I am already feeling the warm season veggie blues. The GRAND variety of cool season veggies is amazing.....everything from lettuce to fava beans to sugar snap peas to turnips and beets......I love cool weather veggies. Once the spring heats up though we have to say goodbye to the cool weather veggies until the fall (September or so).
Warm weather crops consist of some of the staple crops....squash, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, melons, purple hull peas and okra to name a few. These crops are exciting when they come in for harvest but soon lose their luster after weeks and weeks of the same things.
Because I am trying to stave off those warm season veggie blues before they begin we are planting some new, fun and entertaining things this season to combat this very problem. Edamame is one of my favorites and has been sowed in the beds. Yard long beans are one of the other fantastic warm weather crops which add diversity to the harvest (we have red noodle and gita this year). We are trying out a few new ones as well. A couple off the top of my head are New Zealand spinach, malabar spinach, Vietnamese fuzzy guord, comet edible guord and cucuzza squash. Should be fun to try them all!!
In addition to these new additions to our crop lineup.......I am not willing to surrender those cool season veggies. It is a bummer to not have lettuce or salad greens when the tomatoes and cucumbers start producing. You can always have a tomato, cucumber and pepper salad (YUM!!).....but you can't beat a salad full of freshly picked greens. Research has shown that salad greens can certainly be grown during even the height of the summer under 50% shade. Keep watching the beds for the shade structure to be constructed (it is coming soon)! Hopefully we will be having fresh salad greens back on the menu soon, just in time for tomatoes!!
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )