Our experiments with having more salad greens this summer are paying off so far. I’ve got beds around the greenhouse that get morning sun and afternoon shade, and I’ve planted some of them with heat tolerant lettuce and other greens. Growing lettuce in our hot and humid summers is always challenging, and in years past we have been happy to get whatever we can. I am also trying some of the Asian salad greens to see what will take the heat.
This week we enjoyed the Asian greens Fun Jen and Tokyo Bekana in our salads. Fun Jen is listed in most seed catalogs as a frilly leaf Pac Choi, and I think it is best used raw. The Tokyo Bekana is a loose head Chinese cabbage which looks and tastes somewhat like Fun Jen, but is a bit bigger. Both are mild tasting, with crunchy ribs, and they also keep well in the refrigerator after harvest.
We’ve had at least two fairly recent hail episodes that were hard on all the greens, plus we’ve had a few flea beetles and caterpillars munching on the leaves, but not enough to move me to spray with anything. The slugs have not been an issue thanks to Sluggo applications. All in all the greens look pretty good I think. Two lettuces that are standing up to the June heat are the Batavian type Sierra and the leafy New Red Fire which is good here in all seasons.
I took a cutting this week from all our spearmint and peppermint plants for drying. We use both mints for teas, and it’s nice to have some dried for winter use. I used the dehydrator for them, instead of my usual method of hanging and drying. Our Excalibur dehydrator makes quick work of drying herbs, and the results are great. I’ll likely be using it again later in summer when I have enough basil to dry.
Cucumbers from the greenhouse continue to come in. The Manny variety is medium sized and prolific on the two vines in there. We’ve been enjoying them on salads and made into refrigerator pickles. The outdoor cukes are just now blooming here.
And we’re getting a nice amount of summer squash. Actually, we’re about to the point where it’s coming on faster than we can eat it. It may be time to make some zucchini bread, or else freeze some grated zucchini for later baking. I will be donating some of it as well.
I used up the last of the garlic scapes to make a batch of Daphne’s Garlic Scape Dressing. It has become a new favorite here, and I have tweaked the recipe a bit by using walnut oil, rice wine vinegar and adding a bit of toasted sesame oil. We will certainly miss the garlic scapes!
That’s a peek at what we have been harvesting here mid June. We hauled in a little over 15 pounds of goodies last week. For more gardener’s harvests, visit Daphne’s Dandelions, host of Harvest Mondays.