In your box:

–Basil

–Green onions

–Head Lettuce (“Webb’s Wonderful”)

–Komatsuna

–Turnips or broccoli or kohlrabi

–Salad mix

–Sorrel

–Summer Squash

With the heat wave we’ve had this week it looks like we’re nearing the end on some of our favorite spring crops. This will be your last crop of salad mix until fall, when the weather cools enough for it to flourish again. I do have successions of head lettuce planted all through the summer, so we should still be enjoying salads in August unless the heat gets to be too persistent.

We have just a few heads of Broccoli that have reached full size, with many more on the way over the next couple weeks or so. We don’t yet have enough for every box, so if you don’t receive broccoli this week you’ll get turnips or kohlrabi instead as I clean out the garden of a few remaining spring veggies.

With all of the heat over the past few days the Summer Squash are really starting to pick up production. We’ve planted four varieties of squash: green, yellow, yellow crookneck, and a green-yellow blend called “Zephyr.” All of them can be used in the same way, and all prefer to be kept in the fridge and stay fresh for at least a week. The skin is perfectly edible and does not require peeling. In case you are wondering, there is really no difference between “Zucchini” and “summer squash.” Zucchini is just a particular variety that gets the most name recognition (it’s the Kleenex of facial tissues). You’ll be receiving weekly squash through Labor Day, so I wanted to offer some tips on how to use it:

  • Delicious raw, when cut into sticks and served with dip.
  • Can be grated or sliced thinly into salads.  Also, try grating it to make a squash slaw.
  • Steam squash whole or halved to retain texture.  Cook squash cut into 1-2” pieces for 10-15 minutes, chunks for 5-10 minutes or until tender when a fork is inserted.  Do not overcook!  Top with butter, lemon juice, herbs, Parmesan cheese, or pepper.
  • Great in soups and stews.  Add toward the end of the cooking to retain texture.
  • Grill summer squash halves about 3–4 minutes on the hottest part of the grill and then 8-10 on a cooler side.  Baste with oil or marinade.
  • Mash cooked summer squash, drain well, and blend with butter and salt and pepper.  Add grated cheese, if desired.

This week also brings us our first Basil of the season. I really wish we had some tomatoes to go with it, but basil is great even without its partner. Basil makes a great pesto mix for spaghetti topping, is great mixed into baked bread, and is perfect as a pizza topping. Just separate the leaves from the stem and enjoy. Basil does not keep well, so if you can’t use this fresh within a couple days I recommend blending it into pesto to freeze or refrigerate.

The good news is that the heat has really pushed along many other crops that we’re excited to begin picking. Cucumbers should be ready for next week, while tomatoes and green beans should start coming in the week after that.

Expected next week: Beets, Napa cabbage, head lettuce, red onion, summer squash, cucumber, chard, and currants.

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