Following a few false starts, summer has finally arrived –
its presence was timid at first, but has become brash and unapologetic over the past weekend. It was about time : solanaceas and cucurbits are not philosolic for philosolia’s sake. Indeed there exists a long list of vegetables that need a double dose of heat – tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and all the members of the squash family, summer and winter alike – to spark their growth and their flowering.
But such sudden bursts of heat are a double-edged sword –
forcing your vegetable farmer into a state of heightened alert, suddenly preoccupied by the performance of his irrigation systems, obsessed with insect pest scouting and concerned about ensuring his employees are well protected against the heat. Be that as it may, the heat conjures up visions of succulent tomatoes and sweet watermelons…well worth a heat stroke or two.
Many of you have been been amazed by the size of some of our vegetables, generally, and of our lettuces, in particular.
To put it plainly, you are witnessing the return on last year’s investment in cold greenhouses. Not only has it allowed us to start the season a week earlier, but optimal growing conditions in a controlled environment are such that all these vegetables have had to do is grow. Abundant water, no gale force winds, few insects to stress them – a Miltonian paradise, indeed…
…but a paradise lost this week,
as almost all the veggies in this week’s basket will have been field-grown, i.e. subject to the vagaries of the climate and the curiosity of the local fauna. To wit, our lettuces will probably be smaller, but no less tasty.
That said, we look forward to seeing you all again soon.