Farm Update March 5, 2016

It seems that only a few short weeks ago I was writing about the cold and its effects on our crops. Now it is the HEAT !!

This ongoing extremely warm spell (heatwave?) has most of our greens bolting as you can see in the images. Bolting often occurs due to stress or heat. The plants quickly send up a flower stalk and then seed. Sometimes it doesn’t affect the taste and texture, but often the effects on the plants are negative; they get tough, stringy, the flavor changes.

Most of our greens varieties still taste fine after initial bolting and the flower buds and flowers are good to eat. With Hakurei turnips, after they flower, the roots get woody and bitter and are essentially ruined. If you harvest them before they fully bolt, the taste and texture are fine. Some of ours have started to bolt, but we are hoping that this heatwave doesn’t cause the entire bed to go to seed.

When arugula bolts, the buds and flowers are very tasty. In fact, last summer we sold arugula buds and flowers in the market and Kris Vrolik, the chef at Proper, pickled about a pound of them and they were delicious. The pickling process also preserved the look of the flowers.

OK, I am headed back out to the field to replant some of the greens that have bolted. Probably just in time for the upcoming winter storm and some freezing temperatures – talk about extremes!

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