June Solstice

It’s the end of June and the farm is filled with butterflies, flowers, and good food. And weeds.

butterfly

So much changing each day it is hard to keep track of what is ready where.

butterfly on the monarda

I could spend all day walking around and just observing the beauty. But instead I spend all day frantically harvesting this and that and making mental notes of all the things I should be doing but don’t have time to do. Cockscomb celosia in the big tunnel.

celosia

Flowers are magnificent right now. Even the vegetables make beautiful flowers… if you leave them in the ground long enough. These delicate pink and white beauties are radish flowers.

radish flower

A row of farmscaping to the left: herbs and flowers to attract beneficial insects.

flowers

Bean picking in the new tunnel. It has been so nice having the beans inside with all the rain lately. I can pick in the rain, and the bean plants don’t fall over and rot!

bean pickin

Diving into a sea of cucumbers. Might be a new sport around here.

cucumber diving

It was a big week for cucumbers!

cukes

Digging some of the first potatoes from the mud: Kerr’s Pink variety.

digging potatoes

Eggplant. Don’t look too close or you will see the two potato beetle larvae munching on the leaves above the eggplant fruit. They require lots of diligent scouting and squishing to keep in check, or they will defoliate your plants in no time.

eggplant

Finally, a good beet crop. The voles found my first two plantings and left very little for me to harvest; my third planting was almost totally overcome with dodder (cuscuta), a parasitic weed that is quick to spread and take over large areas.

beets

In the little tunnel: cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, basil, and flat beans.

little tunnel

Some first cherry tomatoes ripening.

sunpeach

And one of the first heirloom slicers, Illini Star.

first tomato

Kohlrabi. My new favorite vegetable.

kohlrabi

Peel off the skin, grate up the interior, and toss with a creamy dressing or a viniagrette, and voila: kohlrabi slaw. You could add in carrots and cabbage too if you have them on hand.

preparing kohlrabi

Throw in some chopped fresh herbs and spices and you’re ready for a summer picnic. Or just slice up and dip into hummus or any veggie dip.

kohlrabi slaw

Last week a bad storm passed through and knocked out our power for several days. It made harvest and market prep a bit challenging without water and electric.

another storm

So we are getting serious about planning for the install of a generator to keep our harvests coming even during bad weather.

the jungle

Time to go mow.

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