The irony of last weekend’s abundance of beautiful waving spinach leaves. No rain equals slow growth. This season was much drier than last year. Once it rains, all weed seeds grow at such amazing rate where the entire field will turn green in a week. Usually by this time the sugar snap peas are about 3 feet tall, but this year, they are a measly 6 inches.
A few seedlings are emerging.
Hakurei turnips are one of my newfound favorite root vegetables. Sized at just bigger than a golfball, they are snow white and are quite different from the huge turnips that get no love at the supermarket. These are meant to be eaten young, not for storage. I quarter the root, and sautee in olive oil and garlic with the lid on until one side browns. That’s it! I also use the leaves – remove the stem and sautee.
Beet leaves making their way out of the ground. They are in the same family as spinach and chard and the wild amanranth weed – vegetables that have a colorful tinge at the base of stems.
I am so excited the shallots sprouted. They are so small that you almost require an inspector gadget magnifying glass to spot them. You can see competition in nature right here – the weeds flourish, the crops are trying to make their way up. Yet the crops will most definitely fail without human intervention. Very soon it will be an all knees on ground weeding operation.
Brussels sprouts are a long-season vegetable. They grow to about 3 feet across and fall over in all sorts of directions without support. Last time I noticed bugs at harvest that hide in the branching of leaves. I am still trying to figure what it’s called, possibly whitefly. This year, they are interplanted with hyssop. They are backed against a row of nasturtiums, into which I’ve seeded cabbage. Certain plants attract other predatory insects, or give off scents to repel unwanted pests.