June 16th Market
I have to admit, the further we get into the season, the less talkative I feel--not because there isn't plenty worth talking about, but because there are fewer "firsts" to report. During beginning of the growing season, there's always something new and exciting--the first day of short-sleeve weather, the first chive blossoms popping out, the first kale harvest. Getting into the rhythm of the season is exciting; once things are underway, it's a little more challenging to find those moments of wonder and excitement in between picking Japanese beetles off the lemon balm and elderberry! (But the beetles do make for some very happy chickens...)
There is one "first" to get excited about this week: the first of the cut basil. I know y'all have been waiting patiently for this, so get your food processors geared up for some pesto-making! Harvesting basil is one of my favorite things to do during market prep, and that sweet basil smell IS summer for me. As many of our market regulars know, last year was a terrible year for basil here on the farm because of the temperature extremes, but things are looking much better this year. Think pesto, bruschetta, caprese salad, basil lemonade...the possibilities are endless! Personally, I'm planning on making some pesto and using it as a spread on our focaccia bread when making turkey sandwiches this weekend...Aside from the basil, we have more cucumbers, more garlic, and more fresh-cut herbs and flowers this week--and of course, plenty of focaccia bread, which has turned out to be very popular. In other news, I've been harvesting a lot of herbs for drying this week--for use in teas, salves, sachets, and more this summer--from lemon bergamot to lots of sunny calendula blossoms. We've also been taking a little time in the evenings this week to teach one of our WWOOFers about natural dyeing, and two of my favorite medicinal herbs, nettles and mullein, yielded some really excellent colors in the dye bath! When you think about all the amazing traditional uses of plants, it makes you wonder why our culture has gotten so caught up in synthetic dyes, additives, flavorings, and colorings when the prettiest and tastiest ones are entirely natural!
Here's what we'll have at the market in the morning:
Tarragon, basil, chives, peppermint, spearmint, flat-leaf parsley, rosemary
Baked Goods & Herbal Products:
Lavender-mint shortbread, herbed focaccia bread, "Farm Hands" herbal salve
"Satsuki Madori" cucumbers, "Suyo Long" cucumbers, "Mantovano" bulb fennel, "Red Toch" garlic, "Inchelium Red" garlic
"Genovese" basil, "Lime" basil, peppermint, lemongrass, feverfew, horehound
Fresh-cut flowers by the stem
Hope to see you in the morning!
Red Fern Farm