Transitioning from summer to fall plantings is never easy in Southern California, let alone in a historic drought. This week's heatwave is another example of the high temperatures that come after Labor Day. At the farm, we are currently seeding a diverse selection of fall crops to ensure that we beat the heat, conserve resources like water and labor, and keep harvesting produce into the new year! Some varieties we are especially excited about include:
- Hon Tsai Tai Broccoli-- A delicious sprouting (& leaf) broccoli that produces in warmer temperatures. Heavy producing and delicious with a light mustard flavor. Nutritious with vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, iron, manganese, protein, and dietary fiber. A great transitional crop!
- Golden Globe Turnip-- These turnips have a texture similar to carrots in their thin, delicate skin, and are easy to germinate in warmer temperatures. They are also harvested young, with greens and all, to be eaten before the late heat can make them tough or unappetizing. No fall crops thrive in the high 90's, but these turnips are sticking it out. The greens are like mustard, with calcium, iron, folate, and the roots are rich in vitamin C.
- Dwarf Grey Sugar Snap Pea-- Starting peas is risky in the heat, but with some shade cloth they are doing great. This heirloom variety is loved for its peas as well as pea shoots-- a delicious addition to our salad mix. Increasing functionality and yield by harvesting the shoots and pods is a great way to make the most of limited resources. Peas are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A and E, iron, potassium, and protein.
- Grandpa Admire's Lettuce-- A favorite butterhead lettuce that is also heat tolerant. This pre-Cilvil War heirloom has high yields of large, fluffy, gorgeous heads that are slow to bolt and tender. Grandpa Admire's is a great variety for Southern California growers that matures quickly and can hold in variable temperatures. Tasty and fresh lettuce is full of vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, and folate.
- Bull's Blood Beets-- These beets are gorgeous and incredibly versatile, with heavy producing greens and bulbs that can withstand heat and cold. We always get a lot of mileage out of our beet greens, and are glad we can sow these all the way into fall. A classic red beet (with unbelievable hue) complete with high nutrient content of vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and folate.
Thanks, and more updates to come!