Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Planting for the New Season

People often wonder why we can't get spinach or kale in the summer (if you're eating local and it's grown in your area) or why melons and tomatoes (some growers actually have figured out how to do that) generally don't last through the winter months.  I used to wonder those things myself until we started gardening.

I'm crazy about kale and LOVE the Tuscan Kale Salad we make at the farm. I grew lovely kale and found it quite distressing as I would watch it start to bolt. My answer to that problem was to simply call one of my favorite nurseries and go by more kale starts. 

"Kale isn't in season anymore and it doesn't grow now - it's too hot"....was the answer to my request for more starts.  To be honest, it was my first 'awakening' as to this 'growing in season' thing.

Spring into summer crops are all those fruits and vegetables that are full of water - things like tomatoes, watermelon, eggplant, okra, cucumbers, zucchini and melons. They grow in hot seasons and when we eat them in the hot season it helps to hydrate us.

On the flip side -we're getting ready for the next season - the cooler one (I can't wait) and what we'll grow are all those lovely greens and root vegetables like the kales, chards, beets, turnips, radishes and carrots.  They grow well then and we eat them then because they have incredible benefits to aide in fighting colds and flues that tend to float around during those cold season months.  So, eating food in its season has some pretty smart health benefits.

So, what are we getting ready to plant and what starts (not root vegetables) we will have available for you to purchase? Here's a partial list and each one has several gourmet and heirloom varieties:

Mustard Greens
Bok Choy

and all kinds of herbs: French Sorrel, French Chervil, Parsley, Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Marjoram, and a ton more.

A word on tomatoes - there are some growers who have this great ability to grow tomatoes here in winter months and we totally applaud them.  That being said - we're trying to do that as well and we'll keep you posted as to how it goes.

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