Sunflowers, watermelons, and purple potatoes
It's been a busy week at the farms. We've done a ton of weeding, trellised most of the tomatoes (the vines grow fast!), and are enjoying our cucumber taste tests. The spring greens are winding down, and the summer crops are ready to replace them.
The sunflowers at Tanglewood Flower Farm are spectacularly beautiful, field grown sun gold cherry tomatoes are coming in strong and sweet, full sized red tomatoes from the high tunnel at Blueberry Gardens are ripening nicely, we have a seemingly endless supply of squash and cucumbers, purple potatoes are ready, and we have limited quantities of watermelons and sweet corn!
In the next week or two, I expect to stop having kale and chard, and to have a few heirloom tomatoes and ripe peppers....
Meanwhile, here's the scoop:
Your business supports several local, sustainable farms and a vibrant community of people who take great pride in growing nutritious food. All items are grown in Maryland - most within 20 miles of the markets. Everything is grown according to the rules of the National Organic Program. Honey is raw (not heat pasteurized) from bee hives in Silver Spring, Ashton, Laurel, and Brookeville. Grains are from fields in Ashton, Beltsville, Newburg, and Leonardtown (Leonardtown is furthest away - it's ~60 miles south of DC). Here's what you'll find at the farm stands this week:
- Cut Flowers (Tanglewood Flower Farm in Ashton)
- Summer flowers are here! We have beautiful mixed bouquets, bunches of multi-colored zinnias, and spectacular, large sunflowers. There's nothing like fresh cut flowers to brighten your day - or someone else's!
- Grains (Purple Mountain Grown in Takoma Park)
- Sorghum flour, whole wheat flour, brown rice, oat groats, and buckwheat groats
- Honey (Charlie's Bees in Silver Spring)
- Raw (not heat pasteurized) honey from hives at small farms in Ashton, Brookeville, Laurel, and Silver Spring.
- Vegetables and Herbs
- Italian basil (Blueberry Gardens and Tanglewood Flower Farm in Ashton)
- Sweet corn (Somerset Produce in Sandy Spring) - It's been years since I last grew sweet corn and I am so happy to have it again! The variety that's ready this week is called Xtra Tender. It's a super sweet variety with yellow and white kernels. The ears are small and delicious but not perfect. I've had two ears so far and both have had some undeveloped kernels and a few tiny black beetles. The beetles are easy to brush or rinse off while you're peeling the husks. The undeveloped kernels are the result of incomplete pollination, high temperatures, and insufficient soil moisture. I'll be irrigating today!
- Cucumbers (Somerset Produce in Ashton) - several varieties are ready this week: classic green slicers and picklers (which are also tasty fresh), Silver Slicers (thin skin, great flavor), Poona Kheera (golden skin, great flavor, and very juicy), and Striped Armenian (long, curvy cukes with thin striped skin and great flavor). Try something new!
- Garlic (Somerset Produce in Ashton)
- Bunched greens (Somerset Produce in Ashton) - Chard and curly kale, limited quantities available.
- Peppers (Somerset Produce in Ashton) - purple bell peppers with thin walls and mild green pepper flavor
- Potatoes (Somerset Produce in Ashton) - new potatoes are harvested before they're fully mature, while the foliage on the plant is still green. They have thin skin and should be eaten within about a month. We sell them unwashed because washing them shortens their shelf life. This week, we have a limited supply of Dark Red Norland (pink skin, white flesh), and plenty of Purple Majesty (purple skin, purple flesh).
- Summer squash (Somerset Produce in Ashton) - dark green zucchini, bi-color yellow and green crookneck squash, and light green cousa squash. Try them all!
- Cherry tomatoes (Blueberry Gardens and Somerset Produce in Ashton) - orange, red, and purple varieties
- Full sized red tomatoes (Blueberry Gardens in Ashton)
- Watermelon (Somerset Produce in Sandy Spring)
- Small watermelon with seeds and red flesh. Delicious and refreshing! Most fruits are ~6" in diameter and ~5 pounds.
I think that's everything!
You can find this bounty at one of our markets and you can order online!
I hope you're well and to see you at the farm stand :)