There comes a time every summer when the squash plants become so lush and large that the entire bed – and sometimes part of the path – disappears beneath them, and I have to dive head and shoulders into the broad, prickly foliage to hunt for zucchini. If I don’t make this a daily ritual, I may resurface with fruits more closely resembling rolling pins or clubs than tender summer squash. Regardless, one is bound to evade me long enough to reach impressive proportions.

That time has now come, fittingly, on the day of the summer solstice. While I don’t have any emerald baseball bats yet, I did pick some beautiful zucchinis this morning at that perfect size that’s still small enough for sautéing but just large enough for zoodles or zucchini bread (or chocolate zucchini muffins – yum!).

Come get some of these beautiful Italian heirloom zucchinis this Saturday morning at the Broadway Community Market, and celebrate the start of summer. Here’s what all you can expect on my table:

  • zucchini
  • chard
  • kale
  • radishes (likely the last!)
  • garlic salt
  • aloe plants
  • crocheted items

And don’t forget to enter my birthday week giveaway on Facebook! One winner (selected tomorrow morning) will receive an aloe plant, handknit dishcloth, and $5 gift certificate for fresh veggies. Check out the Facebook post for details and to enter.

See you at the market!

Only a week remains before the summer solstice, but I hardly need a calendar to tell me that; it’s written all over the garden. Lettuce heads that didn’t get harvested in time have begun to grow upward rather than outward, sending up tall flowering stalks in the heat. The pea vines, having enjoyed a good two weeks of peak production, now look tired and yellow. And the radishes, too, will soon grow bitter and pithy in the long, warm days.

But the summer vegetables – now is their time to shine. The summer squash plants already threaten to spill over the edges of their beds, and tiny zucchini lengthen by the day at the base of large, golden blossoms. Though the cucamelon vines have a bit of growing to do yet before they put on flowers, I’ve spotted at least one miniscule slicing cucumber. And the tomatoes! The cherry tomato vines are covered in big clusters of little yellow blooms, and the early tomato vines already bear small green fruits.

So you might see zucchini on the table in a week or two, and perpetual spinach chard will begin to replace the spring greens. For now, though, let’s savor the flavors of spring. The final spring plantings of lettuce and radishes still wait crisp and sweet in the beds, and the peas have one last crop waiting to be picked. Come to the Broadway Community Market this Saturday to find:

  • sugar snap peas
  • radishes
  • lettuce
  • kale
  • chard (maybe!)
  • garlic salt
  • crocheted items

Don’t forget: this Sunday is Father’s Day! Support local small businesses at the Broadway Community Market and find unique, heartfelt gifts for the father figures in your life. Plus, every purchase at the market this month earns you an entry into a weekly drawing and the grand-prize drawing at the end of June!

See you at the market!

Celebrate the start of summer vacation at the Broadway Community Market this evening, 5-8 p.m.! At this “School’s Out” Special Evening Market, you can purchase tacos to enjoy for supper at the picnic tables and shop local vendors, for a festive weeknight version of our Saturday market. Here’s what I’ll have for you:

  • Garlic scapes
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Radishes
  • Head lettuce
  • Kale
  • Garlic salt
  • Aloe plants
  • Crocheted items

If you purchase one of each vegetable, you’ll have all the veggies you need to make a stir-fry or pasta primavera (literally “spring pasta”) with a side salad. Simple, nourishing, and delicious! You can expect all of the same items at this week’s Saturday morning market as well.

I’ve been harvesting an abundance of lettuce this year, and some of you may have wondered, Why head lettuce? Why not sell convenient bags of mixed greens? There are two main reasons for this choice. First, head lettuce does not require packaging. Whereas mixed greens are best sold in single-use plastic bags that end up in the landfill or clamshells that may or may not be reused or recycled, I can set head lettuce on my market table as-is for a pretty, waste-free display.

The second reason is that head lettuce does not require washing on my end. It does get a quick dunk in a basin of cold water to remove any bugs and cool it down quickly, but I don’t have the setup to properly and safely wash and spin-dry mixed greens.

Plus, both the lack of washing and the heads remaining intact mean that the lettuce will keep longer. You may have noticed that mixed greens will start to wilt within a couple days, and there always seem to be icky slimy bits. That doesn’t happen with head lettuce. Just make sure to transfer your lettuce to a sealed container or plastic grocery bag and put it in the fridge as soon as you get home from the market, and it will last a week or longer (if you don’t eat it sooner!).

See you at the market!