It’s the traditional start to Summer in the Midwest – Memorial Day Weekend – and it’s right around the corner. Established to remember those American heros who died in war, it is also the first big holiday weekend of the season, even though by the calendar Summer doesn’t officially start until mid-June. Those of us of a certain age remember schools closing for the summer before Memorial Day and reopening after Labor Day, so summer vacation was really bookended by those two holidays, with Independence Day on July 4 marking the mid-point. Even if the temperatures don’t cooperate, in our minds, it’s Summer and we welcome it with open arms.
It’s been a cool and uneven Spring, very wet here in our area. Lots of our fields and garden patches are still too wet to be planted, while others that have been seeded, are struggling to get started. It’s the nature of farming that there are seasonal differences and most crops get in the ground, grow, and mature sooner or later. It is what it is.
Even as we launch our boat and mow grass twice a week, we continue to harvest asparagus and fresh salad greens for sale at the farm. Baking has taken a back seat while planting and other spring chores get our attention. Our garlic has begun to sprout its seed shoots (garlic scapes – edible and lovely in salads and vinegars), radishes are ready, and rhubarb is prolific. We’re hopeful for some good strawberries this year to pair with all that rhubarb! Herbs are prolific, including mint, thyme, oregano and chives, ingredients to enliven our salad dressings and meat rubs and seasonings for the grill.
Fingerling potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes are in the ground in our upper field. Sorghum planting will start next week as we turn the corner to June.
As you begin to gear up for summer relaxation and fun, don’t forget to eat fresh, drink lots of water, apply your sunscreen, and stay safe.