More than one season at the farm

At the farm, we experience more than one season at a time. 
We are certainly well past spring and into summer now
as the plantings we put in the ground 
at our May "planting party" are now taking off. 
The chefs are having fun with all the padron peppers, which are in full swing. 

first plant in the ground (a padron) 
padron plant now 
Padron peppers are one of many chile peppers. 
Check out an interesting article in the current issue of Whole Living Magazine 
(including a "Pain O Meter" to help measure chile's heat) that details a lot about 
what a key ingredient chiles are for so many cultures: 
"Consumed in larger quantities by more people around the globe than any other spice, 
it's the underpinning of virtually every cuisine. 
Where would salsa, kimchi, and curry be without it? 
But because of the chile's signature bite, it's all too easy to forget 
its other qualities -- above all, flavor. 
Each chile contains a unique blend of notes ranging from 
nut to molasses, tobacco to licorice, citrus to stone fruit. 
And then there are its not insignificant health benefits. 
The heat in chiles dilates blood vessels, stimulating circulation and perspiration 
and speeding along digestion; when applied topically,
it's been known to relieve everything from headaches to psoriasis to shingles. 
Talk about a Renaissance fruit."

It definitely feels like summer in the upper quadrants at the farm 
with thriving basil, eggplant, summer squash including zucchini, lemon 
and white scallop varieties, merlin beets and sunchokes 
along with the padron peppers in just one section. 
And right next to all this, tarragon, asparagus, swiss chard, kale, fennel, carrots, 
lemon verbena and a few of the 350 tomato plants are growing.

summer squash, padrons and eggplants

sunchoke plants are almost 5' tall already. They can grow to 8 feet

first of the heirloom tomatoes appearing
But since our farm is a year round project, we are to committed succession planting 
where we plant at different times to vary our harvesting times. 

tomatoes, cucumbers and the abundant upper quad
overlook the lower quad planted with winter squash
So, here we are in July picking carrots and beets in the morning 
for the bartender at the girl & the fig to make a truly farm-inspired "Harlot" cocktail 
with carrot and beet juice spiked with Tequila 
(a server refers to it as "an intoxicated Jack La Lanne!"), 
while the lower beds are planted with winter squash.

photo by Jerry James Stone

Talk about thinking seasonally. 
Being sure the farm is planted for the season ahead 
even while we are picking what's fresh today gives us greater flexibility, 
is better for the soil as we change what is in the ground and 
certainly guarantees that the chefs always have farm fresh produce 
to feature on the menu.

summer and fall side by side: cucumbers and winter squash
 While you are picking the fresh herbs you've planted 
on your window sill or in your backyard, it is not too early to think
 about what you can plant for fall

So, go ahead be in summer mode and 
savor blistering padron peppers now while they are in season. 
(this video shows you how easy this is to do)

While you enjoy the heat of the peppers and the season though, 
do think ahead to fall, so you will be able to continue appreciating 
your farm project during cooler times. 
As we pick our summer lemon squash, we know it won't be all that long 
before the chefs will be serving
the winter squash that is just beginning to grow. 
honey-glazed winter squash on pg. 256 of Plats du Jour cookbook
photo by Steven Krause

What's in your summer garden? 
And what do you plant for Fall? 

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